Marshall McLuhan's prophetic proclamation almost 40 years ago has again been proven true, particularly when it comes to television. Commerce and TV have morphed into one entity, with the medium and message solely focused to sell, sell, sell.
Now comes the next logical step. Television marketing itself via one of the most basic human needs: sustenance.
If you thought the TV dinner was the pinnacle of food and programming, think again. CBS is taking an eggs-traordinary route to try to get us to watch its shows. It is imprinting promos for its prime-time programming on eggs. (Sorry for the bad pun, but I just couldn't resist.)
Yes, the next time you open a carton at the store to make sure none is broken, you might find messages urging you to "leave the yolks to" CBS' Monday night comedies.
If you bite, then the main course will not be the shows themselves, but the commercials (as well as the product placement) in them. CBS marketers are hoping this strategy will help them put a string of goose eggs behind other figures in their ledger books and boost profits.
Of course, they're also hoping to cook up a little good will via the humorous (punny, at least) egg copy: "The Amazing Race: Scramble to Win on CBS," "CSI: Crack the Case on CBS" and new show "Shark: Hard-Boiled Drama."
George Schweitzer, president of the CBS marketing group, told the New
York Times the network hopes to generate some laughter in American
kitchens: "We’ve gone through every possible sad takeoff on shelling and scrambling and frying." (See, I could work for the Tiffany network.)
It's not a bad approach. Advertising does work. How else can you explain why so many people spend their money to buy Budweiser, the worst beer in the world?
EggFusion is the company responsible for actually placing the messages, via laser etching, on the eggs. An advantage of advertising directly on eggs is that the food itself gives advertisers three chances to influence us: when we check for broken eggs at the grocery store pre-purchase, when we transfer them from the carton to another container in our refrigerators, and when we break them to cook or eat them.
You can read more about the "eggvertising" campaign, as well as check out other writers' pun attempts, at:
- New York Times
- WFAA, the ABC (yep, the competition) affiliate in Dallas
- Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch
- The Raw Story
- The Chronicle-Herald of Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Media Buyer Planner
Read about EggFusion and its egg-stamping process here.
Eggs-cellent ads: I think eggvertising is a great idea. If it works, look for other new and egg-citing ads. Special seasonal promotions are a natural -- holiday scenes, pre-decorated eggs you just boil and hide at Easter. The possibilities are endless.
Advertising has always fascinated me. The merging of creative and financial talents and goals is a thing of beauty when it's done well.
One of my all-time favorite ad campaigns was BMW's "Hire" series of online mini movies. Clive Owen, whom I fell in love with when he played a visually-impaired detective in the British TV series Second Sight, was the driver of the German autos. In each of the short films, he would show us how great a BMW was by taking various passengers on some harrowing road trip. The Madonna episode was the best thing she's done.
On TV, commercials don't bother me. As I mentioned in this earlier post, a lot of TV ads are better than the programs.
I subscribe to Vanity Fair magazine primarily for the ads. They are as gorgeous as the people and products, which I can't afford, featured in them. I'd love to live, at least for a while, in the VF ad pages, taking an occasional side trip within the magazine to some of Dominick Dunne's name-dropping articles or to the regular feature on some previously-unknown-to-me European lesser royal (the Archduke of Whereinthehellovia) who committed a heinous crime in a horrific but oh-so-glamorous way.
Radio ads offer a special challenge, forcing us to "see" the product only in our heads. The hands-down winner here is the Bud Light "Real Men of Genius" series. The spots "honoring" those who have given us such indispensable items as the giant foam finger or the push-up bra (C'mon. They are selling beer, primarily to guys), as well as recognizing the fellas who perform such under appreciated services like writing fortune cookie copy or driving parade floats, are just too funny.
But I'm still not buying or drinking any form of that awful brew!