Monday, February 23, 2009

Everything old is new and hip again

Over on Twitter, someone was commenting on the novel ways of working in sponsors and product placement on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the late-night show on ABC. It was a classic case of "everything old is new again."

In this case, "novel" is a sponsor's product all over the show and commercials done, on the set, by the show's cast.

ONCE UPON A TIME in television, shows often were sponsored by a single advertiser (or just a few advertisers), the sponsor's product was all over the program, and live commercials were quite common -- like the above live ad for Polaroid cameras on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, and the one below (near the end of the video) for Alpo dog food during Johnny Carson's Tonight tenure.

It's a beautiful thing when things get out of control.

AND, OF COURSE, there was the master of the live commercial during the infancy of television in the late 1940s and 1950s . . . Arthur Godfrey.

INNOVATION. It's a wonderful thing. Even the second or third time around.

Hey, I've got this idea . . . why doesn't somebody put announcers on the radio playing music they find noteworthy and think the audience might want to hear. You could have these guys on all the local stations, live, 24 hours a day -- keeping the listening audience company, as it were.

You could call them something like "disc jockeys." I think that's kind of catchy.

And you could have news every hour so people can keep up with events, and the whole thing could be kind of a "theater of the mind."

It could be groundbreaking . . . really cutting-edge stuff.

I wonder whether anybody would go for it.

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