- Retail giant Target made an appearance on an episode of the NBC comedy "Superstore" that aired last night, March 22, per a company news release. The brand played a role as the employer of a former worker at Cloud 9, the show's fictional store setting.
- Scenes for the show were filmed inside a real Target location in Burbank, CA, and the episode featured the retailer's bull terrier mascot, Bullseye.
- Target's placement on the sitcom is part of its partnership with NBC Universal to create unique content integrations. Last December, as part of the same deal, Target helped "The Voice" contestants create holiday music mash-ups.
As consumers continue to cut the cord in favor of largely ad-free digital subscription services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, TV advertisers are more often thinking outside of the 15- and 30- second commercial box. Target's custom integrations with NBC Universal are one way marketers can embed their brand in the content TV viewers are actively engaging with, and have delivered "strong results," according to Rick Gomez, Target's EVP and CMO.
"In fact, they've proven more effective than a traditional TV spot," he said in a statement, without offering up specifics.
In September, Target became the first brand to use its first-party data to purchase automated, targeted ads on NBC networks through a partnership the broadcaster has with 4C Insights allowing for self-serve programmatic ad buys. Last year, NBC also announced a commitment of $1 billion in ad inventory to transactions based on data targeting and guarantees on non-Nielsen metrics, per Adweek.
NBC isn't alone in trying to trim down the amount of time people spend watching commercials. Fox Network Group's head of ad sales Joe Marchese earlier this month said that the network wants to slash the amount of ad time it airs to two minutes per hour by 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.
TV advertising sales dipped 7.8% to $61.8 billion last year — the sharpest decline in at least the past 20 years barring economic recessions, according to Magna Global. That plunge is directly tied to a decline in TV viewership, but even as TV ad sales have dropped, global advertising has climbed, leading to speculations that the TV ad space might never recover from its current slump.