It’s no secret or a newly-unearthed fact that, while deemed obtrusive and disruptive by viewers, commercials are the lifeblood of television programs.  However, recent marketing deals have broken from traditional advertising convention, as evidenced by an episode on NBC’s 30 Rock.

Not content with merely placing ads for its telephones in spots during 30 Rock‘s time slot, Verizon Wireless has found a way to embed itself into the program proper.

In the episode from November 15, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, in their 30 Rock roles as Jack Donaghy and Liz Lemon, delivered picture perfect pitches for Verizon Wireless.  In one scene, Jack heaped praises for the mobile carrier, to eager agreement from Liz.

“These Verizon Wireless phones are just so popular.  I accidentally grabbed one belonging to an acquaintance,” Alec Baldwin as Jack declared.

“Well, sure that Verizon Wireless service is just unbeatable,” Tina Fey as Liz replied.  “If I saw a phone like that on TV, I would be like, ‘Where is my nearest retailer so I can get one?’ ”

That exchange alone wasn’t out of the ordinary.  It was Fey’s next move that provided the unique advertising punch for Verizon.  After responding in kind to her co-star’s dialogue regarding the greatness of Verizon Wireless, Fey broke the proverbial fourth wall by looking straight into the camera and quipping, “Can we have our money now?”

“We talk with NBC on a consistent basis about opportunities,” Lou Rossi, director of media and sponsorships at Verizon Wireless explained.  “We had engaged them to think about some ways we could help increase our presence in the marketplace, and they came back to us with the 30 Rock-specific opportunity.”

While Rossi chose not to reveal just how much that innovative plug cost Verizon, he did however offer that aside from fees, their firm also lent marketing support for 30 Rock, via a co-branded ad in Maxim magazine, as well as promotional content on

“We want an integration to be as organic and natural to a show as it can be,” Rossi added.  “Certainly with the 30 Rock humour and writing, this type of integration just works well for them and for Verizon Wireless as well.”

-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
(Image Courtesy of NBC)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV