ABC Introduces Embedded Commercial Format
At a program development meeting in LA yesterday, ABC introduced a new commercial format which would have actual paid commercials appear in media vehicles shown in the network's dramas and sitcoms. In other words, a character on a sitcom might be watching TV, an actual ad would appear on the screen withing the show and then it would widen out to the viewers TV and be viewed in standard fashion. The plan, still in development, would also incorporate print ads seen in magazines depicted in shows as well as ads shown on cell phones. Presumably, there wouldn't be official commercial breaks rather the commercials would be embedded within the show and appear individually rather than clumped together the way they are now.
Some are skeptical show producers will allow this level of intrusion into their shows but, as an experiment, it's an interesting idea. After all, for the most part, television content avoids showing or mentioning any brands at all withing programming to the point where it becomes awkward such as the classic, "I'll have a beer." No one orders "a beer" when they are at a bar. They order by brand name. We're not sure this is the best solution to the much feared ad skipping becoming more and more prevalent as TiVo's and DVRs become standard equipment in homes but it is an intriguing idea. We'll reserve judgment for now.