Cinecultist's interest, though guarded, continues unabated for Martin Scorsese's new movie The Departed—especially since we read about this interesting advertising twist they're using from Variety. The film will be the solo sponsor on the pilot for a new CBS program, Smith starring Ray Liotta.
The pilot's running time would ordinarily need to be stretched into a 90 minute schedule block but with Warner Bros., The Departed distributors, paying for the sole 4 minute block of ad time, the show can run in a 60 time slot. According to Variety, "At the start of the Smith premiere, an announcer will let auds know that the episode is being sponsored with limited commercials by The Departed. It's likely Warner will then split its four minutes of ad time into a pair of two-minute pods, each offering an extended look at the pic." Both parties involved get an oddly sweet deal, Smith can run nearly uninterrupted and The Departed gets a buzz boost with the commercial's exclusivity and unusualness.
There aren't any other major connections between the projects (other than both stories center around career criminals and Smith was produced by Warner's TV division) but if Ray's show turns out to be cool, it could only mean better associative word of mouth for The Departed. Good work CBS, Marty Scorsese and Warner Bros., you're a crafty bunch of old dogs with your synergy, your product placement and your one hand washes the other. Oh wait, that's another underbelly that doesn't really involve TV advertising.Posted by karen at August 29, 2006 5:42 PM