As you flip through your television channels, you may soon run across "The Sears
OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration -- but be ready to see more Sears products televised into your home. ABC television, owned by Walt Disney
Product placements in television shows have been around for a long time, but have become less subtle lately. (Think of "Survivor" contestants being tempted with Mountain Dew or being given new cars.) In the new "Extreme Makeover" program, while the stories will revolve around worthy families getting their homes spiffed up, Sears products and services will be front and center. Sears will also air commercials during the show.
The arrangement is attractive to companies such as Sears because it will deliver more viewers than commercials do, as many people skip commercials, either by flipping around with the remote or by using tools such as TV-recording service TiVo
It also will capitalize on the continued popularity of shows such as The Learning Channel's "Trading Spaces," which featured Lowe's
A New York Timesarticle (registration required) asserts that the Sears-ABC deal is costing Sears more than $1 million, while an Associated Press story reports that "an ABC official confirmed that it represents the television network's biggest branded-entertainment deal yet." It also notes that "the new ABC program will carry scenes of trips to Sears stores, trucks delivering merchandise from Sears to the homes, and visits by Sears repair workers who will use Craftsman tools in their home-improvement work."
Critics are speaking out and filing complaints with the government. What do you think about it? Share your thoughts on our Sears discussion board.