Brilliant! product placements

Visa's double whammy on Corner Gas

Visa’s double whammy on Corner Gas

Signage is great. But, having Canadian TV’s most famous feisty father and son duo argue about the origin of your brand’s name on the country’s number-one show – that’s priceless. That’s exactly what Visa landed on Corner Gas. While the show’s writers are above being paid off to write brand names into story lines, they do need trademark clearance. That’s where Visa’s Toronto-based placement agency MMI came in. ‘We’re extremely proactive – we lobby to get the client on the show,’ explains MMI president Phil Hart. Since Visa already had traditional product placements on the show – with the logo on the Corner Gas station’s door and at the cashier stand – and with MMI’s consistent presence on the set, the writers knew it wouldn’t be a problem getting trademark clearance from them. The verbal brand mentions are perhaps the most coveted of all product placements because they’re so rare. Having that and signage? ‘There’s no question that’s a home run,’ says Hart.

Mitel scores the right attention on ER, Boston Legal

Including product placements on mainstream TV shows as part of a B2B ad effort may seem like a strange idea – but, business folk watch TV, too. Ottawa-based IP solutions company Mitel landed exclusive roles for its high-end phones on hit TV shows like ER and Boston Legal, as well as in the upcoming movie Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction. Mitel’s placement agency, Vancouver-based PropStar, knew the shows would be good choices for the phones, since both have sets that centre on work environments. The placements target office supply managers. ‘It’s a very niche audience…those are the guys who notice what kind of phone [is in the background,]‘ says PropStar CD Nancy Tear, adding that competition is fierce in the phone biz. ‘They need to be more aggressive and creative to penetrate the market.’ It appears to be working – a Los Angeles-based medical centre noticed the phones on Boston Legal and began calling around to see where they could get them.