May 19th, 2009
TV Advertisers Are Offered Closer Ties With Content
By Stuart Elliott
The New York Times
In another sign of how hard television executives are working to attract advertising in tough times, two cable channels plan to significantly expand an initiative that pairs commercials with relevant scenes in the shows they interrupt.
TV in Context seeks to offer advertisers something like the contextual targeting they can achieve online by serving ads to computer users whose behavior is tracked from Web site to Web site.
The renewal of “Chuck” for a third season by NBC, part of the NBC Universal division of General Electric, offers another example of how marketers and networks are collaborating in nontraditional fashion.
The special sponsorship with Subway is enabling NBC to bring back the series, executives said, in a deal they described as made possible by a decision to go to advertisers earlier than usual in what NBC called the “infront,” to ask for ideas about interweaving brands into shows.