What do you get when you run commercials to alert viewers about an upcoming product placement in a TV show? Its called a “promercial” — a combination of a “promotion” and a “commercial.”
ABC premiered the first promercial for Diet Dr. Pepper to urge viewers to watch the January 5th episode of Cougar Town which included an integration with the brand. The promercials appeared during episodes of Desperate Housewives, The Middle and Modern Family. They started out like network tune-in promotions for Cougar Town, outlining the plot for the upcoming episode, but then an announcer described Cougar Town as “unbelievably satisfying, like Diet Dr. Pepper.” The promercial was then followed by regular Diet Dr. Pepper commercials.
The integration also includes a webisode series called “Andy’s Dreams” on ABC.com featuring one of the characters from the Cougar Town show. There will be six webisodes that premiere online to coincide with the TV show air dates.
Lauren Radcliffe, Director of Branded Entertainment for the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, said that this deal – the first of its kind for the company – had been worked out with ABC during upfront presentations last year, and called it “an effective tool [to] get as many eyeballs as possible” onto the product placement.