US Network Breathes New life into Late Night Ads

16 April 2008

NEW YORK: US television network ABC is planning to reintroduce live commercials into its late-night Jimmy Kimmel Live show next month, subject to demand from marketers.

The move is designed to foil ad-skipping DVR technology by integrating the product into the show's content.

Doug Hochstadt, vp, late-night sales at ABC: says: "We're thrilled to be offering it. It just gives us one more way that our customers can touch the product."

The concept was revived last year by car satellite navigation maker Garmin, which introduced a live spot into the popular Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

Declares Garmin's media sponsorship marketing manager, Steve Lovell: "Probably most people had no idea they were being pitched a commercial. It looked like a skit."

He claims research showed effectiveness and awareness levels for the live spot were notably higher than for many of the company's traditional 30-second spots.

The firm is planning a repeat performance on the same show later this year.

Comments David Barrington, managing director of video investments at Havas' MPG: "The brand has to fit first and foremost and I'm sure it's not for everyone. 

"But at the end of the day to have someone who is a great talent like [Kimmel] make the ad a part of the content will help get our messaging across and also help break through the clutter."

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff