Products show net worth

Cable trails placement pace in '07

Product placements in primetime network programming rose nearly 19% in the first half of the year to 17,371 occurrences in the 10 most-heavily integrated primetime shows, but placements in primetime cable series fell nearly 14%, according to Nielsen's product placement service.

Still, placements in the top 10 ad-integrated shows on primetime cable far exceeded those on network television, with 92,925 occurrences, down from 107,792 in first-half 2006.

Annie Touliatos, director of product development and marketing at Nielsen Product Placement Service, attributed most of the rise in network placements to the new ABC show "Fast Cars & Superstars."

"This program is an example of the increased value placed on product integrations and the resulting relationships between brands and producers," she said. "Product placement is being viewed more strategically and more frequently woven into the story line to achieve a maximum and lasting impact."

In the first half of the year, "American Idol" had the most placements on network TV with 4,349, followed by "Fast Cars" (3,231), CBS' "Amazing Race All Stars" (1,894), the CW's "Pussycat Dolls Present" (1,347) and ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (1,274).

Among the top 10 brands integrated in the first half of the year were Coca-Cola with 3,054 occurrences (the vast majority of those on "Idol"), Pussycat Dolls Lounge Nightclub (750) and Nike Apparel (511).

On cable, TLC's "American Chopper" led the way with a whopping 29,476 placements, followed by A&E's "Dog the Bounty Hunter" (12,321), TLC's "Miami Ink" (10,892) and "Overhaulin' " (7,556) as well as A&E's "Driving Force" (6,436).

"The majority of cable network product placements are on reality-based series, and there are less story line integrations," Touliatos said. "However, we consistently observe four to five times the number of occurrences on the networks tracked compared to broadcast network programming."

On cable, Nielsen monitors placements on A&E, HGTV, MTV, TLC and Bravo.

Nielsen Product Placement Service is owned by the Nielsen Co., parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.