NBC is set to shake things up a bit for the upcoming broadcast of its live production of Hairspray by experimenting with native, in-program advertising. Instead of cutting to a commercial break, Oreo and Toyota will promote their products with live commercials performed in character by the cast of the musical in a retro style that harkens back to the early days of television commercials.
Moreover, the show will also feature a song-and-dance number inspired by Reddi-wip’s milk delivery history. In addition, NBC will also run two segments of sponsored content during two breaks with brand sponsors’ messages showing alongside behind-the-scene looks via split-screen.
What Brands Should Do
This is not the first time that NBC has tried out this type of native ads to appeal to an increasingly ad-avoidant TV audience, as the broadcaster substituted some regular ad spots during its primetime shows in February with AmEx-sponsored native content from the respective shows. This upcoming initiative seems to be a natural continuation of this trend. At a time when ad blockers and subscription-based streaming services are helping millions of viewers actively avoid ads, it is important for brands and media owners to take measures in response and come up with new ways, such as sponsored content and native ads, to engage with their audience.
For more information on how brands should leverage interesting branded content to earn consumer eyeballs, check out the Ad Avoidance section of our Outlook 2016.