To Hold The Line, Or Not Hold The Line? That Is The Question

Ad Age is reporting on the vanishing line between content and advertising, and using Dr. Pepper’s spot last week on NBC’s “30 Rock,” as an example.

Yes, it’s true, in the early days of TV, networks were happy to mix commerce and content, with talk-show hosts also serving as pitchmen. Many of them do that now. But Dr Pepper’s spot offered a slight twist on the format by saying nothing explicit about “30 Rock” or about NBC. It just used a character from NBC’s “30 Rock” for Dr Pepper’s gain.
When you consider not just DVR penetration and the shaky revenue streams but a viewer diaspora spreading out to watch video in any number of formats, you wonder how much longer TV networks will be able to resist the old line of thinking that programs and promotions are supposed to be distinct and separate.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.