Chalk up another one for the Sneak ADtackers:

The Promercial, described here by Time’s Techland blog:

You’ve seen commercials, you’ve seen product placement – but have you seen the “promercial” yet? That’s when broadcasters run commercials to let viewers know about upcoming product placement in their favorite television shows.

And here’s how they work, according to the New York Times Media Decoder blog:

The promercials started out like typical network tune-in promotions for “Cougar Town,” outlining plot points of the episode. Then an announcer said that “Cougar Town” was “unbelievably satisfying, like Diet Dr Pepper.”

On screen, the words “unbelievably satisfying” appeared as if written in carbonation bubbles like those found in a can or bottle of Diet Dr Pepper. And the background was colored like the soft drink, too.

The promercials were followed by regular commercials for Diet Dr Pepper . . .

During the episode of “Cougar Town,” Diet Dr Pepper was mentioned during a chat between two characters. Also, one of those characters wore golf clothing bearing Diet Dr Pepper logos. And a can of the soda was opened on screen, too.

Ha! Just what Dr. Ads might have ordered.

But wait! There’s more! Check out the “unbelievably satisfying six-part webisode series” here.

Me – I’ll stick with this spot from an era when you knew what was advertising and what wasn’t:

Wouldn’t you like . . . oh, forget it.


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
John R. Carroll has 303 post(s) on Sneak Adtack