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The Rise of Live Commercials

By: Brianna Walsh    December 13, 2016

In an industry that is always pushing for the cutting edge, it’s sometimes refreshing to see advertisers take things back to a simpler time. On Wednesday, December 8th,  NBC did just that as 8.9 million viewers tuned in to watch Hairspray LIVE!  This is the fourth installment of NBC’s live musicals. While viewership may have decreased from previous shows, there was one thing that set this Live! performance apart from the others. Live advertising.

In keeping with the time of “Hairspray,” set in the ‘60s, NBC aired live commercials during the 3-hour show. Brands such as Oreo®, Toyota and Reddi-wip® partnered with NBC to air original live content.  Viewers watched as Derek Hough, remaining in character, exited the set, only to be seen enjoying an Oreo cookie and a glass of milk. This created bewilderment with viewers and kept them tuned in.

NBC was not the first, and certainly will not be the last, to attempt to engage their audience via live commercials. Viewers may see this approach continue when Super Bowl LI airs in February. For more information on the upcoming live Super Bowl ads, click here.