Canadian bank, CTV team for product integration

Interviews will be conducted on iconic green chair on sets

TORONTO -- If you come upon a green comfy chair on the set of "American Idol" or "Lost," it's not a scene change.

It's the latest foray into product integration by top Canadian bank TD Canada Trust in partnership with Canuck broadcaster CTV.

CTV cameras have secured access to Los Angeles soundstages for on-set interviews with Hollywood directors and writers and other creative.

The kicker is everyone will be seated on TD's iconic green chair, which has long featured in its TV commercials, as part of CTV's new product integration campaign for the Canadian bank.

U.S. shows signing up for the Canadian bank tie-in include "CSI," "Grey's Anatomy," "Desperate Housewives" and "Dancing With The Stars."

CTV has also signed up some of its own Canadian series and platforms for the TD branding campaign.

TD's green chair and banking products earlier showed up on three homegrown Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) TV series, "Being Erica," "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and "Heartland" as the public broadcaster traded product placement for much-needed funding.

Canadian broadcasters like CTV and CBC have lagged their American counterparts in introducing product placement and full-on brand integration with storylines.

But the Canucks are fast playing catch-up as they look to make up for lost ad revenue and government subsidies during the economic downturn.

And that appears fine by the CRTC, Canada's TV watchdog, which earlier removed removed restrictions on non-traditional advertising like product placement and virtual ads to enable new revenue streams and domestic broadcasters to connect with fragmenting audiences.