Beware branded telly

It was pretty obvious last week when a KFC boss was busy telling us all how how wonderful his company was on Celebrity Apprentice.

But at least it tied into the storyline in which celebrities had to operate a store for three hours.

Last night some bloke from Nokia decided to tell us all about how simple and sleek his new phone was -because the celebrities had a challenge that required them to create artworks.


Together with all those Yellow Brick Road plugs (a company in which Nine Entertainment Co. owns shares) it’s becoming very clear that Celebrity Apprentice isn’t shy when it comes to branding opportunities for clients.

Sure, this isn’t new. We’ve had furniture stores on The Block, kitchen products on MasterChef,¬†airlines and hotels on drama shows, even Armed Forces recruitment on So You Think You Can Dance. Seven is blatantly plugging the fact it can CGI an advertisement into Packed to the Rafters or Winners and Losers scenes for clients in post-production.

Commercial TV is, after all, commercial.

Look at all those weekend afternoon shows that masquerade as entertainment when all they really are is a way of pushing a product. Football Superstar on Foxtel could have been called Kelloggs Superstar.

But when there are cars driving through the Celebrity Apprentice car wash loaded up with sponsor signage, and cheques thrown about if a product is endorsed by one of the competing celebrities (that would be you, Pauline Hanson) are viewers really watching a fair contest?

Not really.

Are they being entertained?



  1. David: I’m guessing you’ve missed that everyone is using the new Nokia N9 as their phones ?

    Even one shot where they cut away to show a clock (time running out), it was the clock on he phone …

  2. ooh that explains something. I wasn’t watching this show, but I saw maybe a scene in passing and there was some guy with a phone and some unshapely plastic cover for it. I figured that made it look a bit like a Nokia N9, but all I could think was why would someone have such a stupid phone cover. Now I know…

  3. It is the sly branding that irritates me, such as all the phone and computer products on Neighbours, which even go so far as to feature trivial text messages on screen.

  4. The kfc ep was so in your face, it was all about kfc and I dont think it worked as a challenge as demonstrated by the relatively low profits. Was it on Guren Planet last week that they said product placement needs to be subtle? I liked that nokia didnt claim the whole show and I would agree that ‘beautifuly simple’ fits their products. Im really enjoying this trash tv as a break from what was 7pm project. I was having news overload. Anyway, hope Diva Deni goes, although every reality show needs a bitch…

  5. Where is the story? Product placement and branded television has been around since pretty much the start of television. Sure its done with less and less finesse but it isn’t anything new and hardly shocking to see.

  6. i didn’t mind the product endorsements and yes I was entertained by last night’s episode. Didier really is a cry baby though, I think he’s such a princess although I do applaud him for supporting a very worthy charity… last night’s money raised for both charities were great, congratulations to both teams for their best effort to raise that amount of money…

  7. Whilst the premise of Clebrity Aprentice is entertaining, 9 has just made this show soooo boring. It doesnt need a daily show, and the blatant advertising and product promotion have made me switch off. I watched week 1- all 5 episodes.Have come to the realisation all I needed to watch was fridays review show. It gave me everything i needed to know. Will be IQing this fridays version and ill be upto date. 9 again a disgrace.

  8. That’s why the British version of the format is probably the best. The US version had some ridiculous product placement tasks too. I’m sure that is why Nine decided it was worth the risk to try the format again.

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