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Advertisers return to the days of solo sponsorship

November 12, 2009

I’m not really an ad man, but I do follow the industry trends a bit. I guess that makes me a wannabe ad man. In fact, I think the honest truth is that most people in branding are wannabe ad men (and women, to be politically correct).

These days, for all our advancement toward the bright future where advertising has died and been replaced by digital brand experiences, there’s a whole lotta retro going on. One trend I’ve noticed recently is a return to the good old days of solo program sponsorship, where a single brand carries the show. Like the Ed Sullivan Show brought to you by Brylcream – a little dab’ll do ya.

Some examples from the past few months:

Morning Joe – Starbucks’ uneasy marriage with MSNBC. Jon Stewart, in typical  fashion, cast the sponsorship deal under a rather harsh and sniggery light.

Bud Light Golden Wheat (which probably needs all the marketing push it can get) bought up a single edition of SNL for its brand launch.

And then there was the ill-fated Microsoft-sponsored Seth McFarlane variety special. Microsoft pulled out when they learned the content was less than savory. Which makes it seem like the marketing folks who approved the deal had never watched a single episode of Family Guy.

Ah, it was so much easier in the old days…

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