Reality television isn’t just tied to big brands through advertising time, but more in the way Ford Motors was tied to serial television shows in the 70’s. They are part and parcel of the programs. One of the most recent examples was on The New Celebrity Apprentice with Welch’s grape juice. The challenge was to find a way to showcase the healthy benefits that come with drinking Welch’s grape juice. The show also worked with King’s Hawaiian’s dinner rolls.
Plenty of cooking shows use branded ingredients in their challenges, which is something to be expected. But over the years they’ve worked with other brands in other ways as well. Top Chef worked with frozen dinner giant Lean Cuisine in an earlier season to create a new lean frozen dinner to be highlighted by the brand. They also worked with an airline and various charities to make, share, teach, and improve various brand options.
Project Runway has offered limited releases of winning outfits in top fashion stores. They also feature Mood Fabrics where the contestants get to choose their fabrics for the design they are making. But it’s not just about fabrics on that show either. The show, like many others, features cars, cameras, and numerous fashion and beauty accessories.
Just like movies often get bonus bucks for slipping in top brands in their scenes, reality television also has that going on as well. If you like a particular show … The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Top Model, Big Brother, and even Duck Dynasty, you’ll notice some brands showing up in the footage. It might be drinks in Starbucks, Coca-Cola, or Pepsi cups or cans. It could be cars that are driven or household food staples. But it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll see brands there. It’s a way for the brands to get low-key and yet prominent time and a way for reality tv shows to offset some of their costs.
It’s good for consumers too. They get to see what the people they are cheering on enjoy or at least who pays for a good share of the show’s costs so they can keep watching. It’s not just about commercialism, like any other business, income is needed to keep going.