Product Placement: Who’s the Biggest Pimp?


With the advent and prevalence of online viewing and DVR/PVR usage, traditional methods of promoting products through commercials have lost their impact. Since then, both companies and network executives had to come up with new ways of selling their products- enter product placements. As each year passes, the number of in-your-face product placements have gotten ridiculously out of hand. Sure, sometime it works but other times it’s so awkward it detracts from the actual story being told- especially with scripted series.

So who’s the biggest offender SLASH pimp? Surprisingly, even with those coke bottles conveniently placed on the judges tables and cheesy Ford group numbers, American Idol isn’t number one this year. In fact, they’re at a distant fourth place. Proving his foray into primetime isn’t a complete failure, Jay Leno stands atop everyone when it comes to this competition.

According to Nielsen’s ratings which takes into account both intentional plugs and “accidental” brand appearances, The Jay Leno Show reigns supreme. Nielsen clock’s Jay’s show with over 1,015 product mentions, giving him a substantial lead over 2nd place “WWE Monday Night Raw” with 787 mentions. Rounding out the top three is another NBC show “The Biggest Loser” with 704 offenses.

  • “The Jay Leno Show” (1,015 mentions)
  • “WWE Monday Night Raw” (787 mentions)
  • “The Biggest Loser” (704 mentions)
  • “American Idol” (553 mentions)
  • “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (483 mentions)
  • “The Celebrity Apprentice” (428 mentions)
  • “Top Chef: Las Vegas” (412 mentions)
  • “America’s Next Top Model” (380 mentions)
  • “Project Runway” (350 mentions)
  • “Dancing With the Stars” (331 mentions)

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the top ten is made up completely of reality shows. With their production costs far inexpensive than scripted shows, coupled with the ease of product placements, reality TV isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  • Funny you wrote this as I was thinking the same thing last night when I watched “Heroes.” At one point Noah Benson’s colleague tells him “not to worry, we’ll plug the address into Google Maps.” “Heroes” along with “Desperate Housewives” even have separate plot lines/mini stories that revolve around their Sprint phones.

  • Colby

    How is 30 Rock not even on the list? I mean, the show is awesome, and the product placement is done in a hilarious way, but it’s pretty in-yo’-face!