Take that, American Idol! You might be the “largest venue for product placement,” according to Ad Age, but Bravo has been named the “highest-rated network for product placement effectiveness in broadcast,” according to Nielsen IAG. And the network is damn proud of this most recent achievement: “Bravo consistently delivers the most affluent, educated, and engaged audience in all of cable entertainment – which results in product placements resonating with fans and directly boosting viewer perceptions of the integrated brands,” the network said in a press release. And, lord, was this a surprise win: Who would have thunk that a network that features approximately 463,759 instances of product placement during a 60-minute episode of Top Chef would prove to be the most effective?!
Yes, that is sarcasm. (Sorry, grumpy Friday.) But, honestly, this can’t possibly be shocking for anyone who has tuned in to even five minutes of any show on the network. Project Runway has helped shill for Banana Republic, Mattel, Hershey, Levi’s, Bluefly, and even the United States Postal Service. Top Design has featured challenges revolving around Target and Swarovski. Top Chef has tasked contestants to work with products from all of the following companies (take a breath): Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Bombay Sapphire, Cold Stone Creamery, Red Robin, GE, Uncle Ben’s Rice, Swanson’s, Diet Dr. Pepper, Target, and Verizon Wireless. (Phew.) And, in probably the most egregious example of product placement on the network, Work of Art told its cast to create a piece of art… inspired by a ride in an Audi. (I hear that’s how Munch got “The Scream.”) And, hell, don’t all the Real Housewives franchises essentially star products? (The stars are, after all, selling themselves, aren’t they?)
Whatever Bravo’s next reality show may be, I think I just found its new hosts.
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