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?
Are they being entertained?