My All-time Favorite Product ...


Reading that Paramount greenlighted the Frazier reboot with Kelsey Grammer for a second season reminded me of a product placement for the ages.

As part of our Sony consumer electronics assignment at the time, we supported Aibo, a robotic dog. While I love B2B tech, periodically landing in consumer space delivers a nice change of pace.

One of the team’s brainstorming sessions led them down the path of surfacing TV shows that included a dog. From there, they zeroed in on Frazier, where Eddie — right, the dog — had a prominent role. We had never pitched a product placement on TV or a movie, but that didn’t deter the team. They somehow, some way, navigated the gauntlet that resulted in Aibo showing up on the original Frazier.

Here’s the clip of Aibo on Frazier.

It doesn’t exactly qualify for Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame,” but I’ll take our 32 seconds on prime-time TV.

It’s worth pointing out that this win came at a time when there was an “earned media” component to product placement. In today’s environment, the path for landing a product on a TV show or movie has become purely a paid exercise. To give you a feel for the cost, negotiations with network TV for a prime-time spot start at $500K.

Our relationship with Sony eventually came to an end with the line, “Lou, you know what your problem is.”

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