TV's best product placements (and the ones that got away)

20186__loralei_lYes, product placements are annoying, but the research on how effective they are is fascinating and surprising. Get this: According to IAG Research, the most effective placements on TV in 2007 — meaning viewer opinion of the company was dramatically enhanced because of the tie-in — were Tyson Foods (for donating a massive amount of meat in an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) and Sue Bee Honey and Soft Scrub (both for The Apprentice: Los Angeles). Also making the Top 10: Kraft (No. 4) and Kenmore (No. 10) for Top Chef, Visa (No. 9) for What Not to Wear, and Second Life (No. 8) for The Office.

IAG also researched how well viewers recalled brand names within 24 hours of seeing them in a placement and a commercial together during an episode. was the most memorable with its Project Runway tie-in, followed by Jeep on Gilmore Girls(!), and Ford on Survivor: Fiji.

Do you have fond feelings for a company because it was tied-in to a certain TV show? And what product placement did advertisers miss? I don’t know that I’d buy a Jeep because Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham, pictured) drove one, but I would certainly buy whatever coffee she drank at Luke’s…

addCredit(“Lauren Graham: Scott Humbert”)

Comments (36 total) Add your comment
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  • Eric J

    Among blog-readers and TWOP fans of Top Chef, Kenmore certainly didn’t get their money’s worth. A constant behind-the-scenes refrain was complaints about the inadequacy of the “Kenmore kitchen.”

  • Heather

    I have to admit I have a soft spot for Sears, Kenmore, Tyson, CVS and any other company that makes large contributions to EMHE

    • Steve

      I think that may be their intention as opposed to overwhelmingly selfless charity.

  • garrick

    I’m surprised Cover Girl’s integration into America’s Next Top Model didn’t make the list. I guess WB = Smaller viewer numbers.

  • NineDaves

    garrick, i will second that cover girl snub! and the cw loves product placement! the last episode of gossip girl was all about victoria’s secret!

  • Daniel

    The Sheinhardt Wig Company

  • Amy

    The Junior Mint plug on Seinfeld was the all-time classic. They’re very refreshing!

  • Sandra

    Burger King on Arrested Development (Tobias: This is a great restaurant. Narrator: It sure is!)
    Staples products on The Office (I’ll buy anything from that show)

  • Working Girl

    How is it possible that American Idol’s oustandingly aggressive placement schemes are not among the most effective??? Their strongarm tactics worked on me – I can’t ever leave AT&T wireless – how else would I text in my votes?!?!

  • Ames

    Any car driven my James Bond is a car I want to be driving. But I want all the extras Q puts in. Imagine how drastically your life would improve with a passenger side ejector seat.

  • Anonymous

    Nissan Rogue or Nissan Versa for Heroes. What car will they pick for the next season?

  • Cassie

    Snapple because of 30 Rock. I honestly never drank Snapple before that.

  • Sally

    Not only the Junior Mints — “Seinfeld” was also responsible for me actually seeking out Drake’s Coffee Cakes, AND for still looking for an Entenmann’s yellow cake with white icing (that would look like the one from the Duke of Windsor’s wedding…) And PEZ!!

  • Jelana

    I’m jumping to the movies here, but I think every one I know wants a red Swingline stapler (thank you, Office Space!).

  • Jenny

    The character’s name is actually spelled Lorelai.

  • S

    I hate the Yaris on Smallville. It makes dialogue so awkward. People don’t say “Take my Yaris,” but they do say, “take my car.”

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