As the Los Angeles Times reports on Sept. 18, 2013, NBCUniversal and Lexus are partnering on a unique ad campaign that will integrate live commercials into “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” The commercials will run in two parts. The first segment will feature an improv troupe asking the audience for prompts that will be used in the live commercial. After the audience submit their suggestions via social media, the second segment will feature the improv troop acting out a live Lexus skit based on one of the suggested prompts.
This novel idea is smartly intertwining social media with advertising to get viewers excited about watching ad-based content. NBCUniversal and Lexus are also hoping to conquer the ongoing problem of viewers skipping commercials when they watch content that they have recorded on their DVR.
"We're always looking for new ways to engage consumers and capture their attention by delivering information in innovative ways," stated Brian Bolain, Lexus corporate manager of marketing communications.
While the idea of improv based commercials is new, television networks have been incorporating ads into their programming for years. When done well, ad infused programming can be entertaining and barely noticeable to the viewing audience as demonstrated by “The Office” integrating Sandals: Jamaica, Benihana and Chili's into their story-lines. When poorly executed it can be annoying and at times insulting like “Seventh Heaven's” Oreo cookie based plot. Of course, “Saturday Night Live” have become experts at inserting ads into popular skits like Kristen Wiig's Target Lady. Lorne Michaels is a producer of both “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
NBCUniversal and Lexus have recruited some of New York's best improv groups like Fun Young Guys, Magnet Theater Touring Company, and Stone Cold Fox for this new campaign entitled “It's Your Move After Dark”. Will fans be entertained by these segments or will they simply learn when to fast forward? Tune in to “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” tonight to see the first airing of “It's Your Move After Dark” and let us know what you think.