Corrie Residents Get Nationwide Cash Machine

‘Twas only a matter of time before ITV”s iconic soap Coronation Street saw its first product placement deal. And in the end it”s a pretty smart one. Instead of causing outrage in the national press by replacing Newton and Ridley bitter with fancy London lagers, ITV has allowed building society Nationwide to brand a corner shop cash machine.

The partnership was brokered by media buying agency MPG and is believed to be the first primetime product placement deal involving ITV1 since media regulator Ofcom relaxed rules in this area last February. To date, ITV1 has limited its activity to earlier slots in its programme schedule.

Some analysts expected there to be a rush of product placement activity after Ofcom”s rule change. But this didn”t happen for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because media owners and advertisers have been careful not to create unrest among viewers with OTT deals. Secondly, because the advertising airtime market has been strong in 2011, meaning that there has been less pressure for broadcasters to ramp up product placement.

The Nationwide deal starts on November 14 and will also see a branded sign appear outside the corner shop, owned by Dev Alahan. As stated above, it”s a smart deal – because viewers are so used to seeing branded ATMs that they are unlikely to feel anxious or unhappy about its introduction. And once the machine is in place, it will become easier for ITV to start introducing other appropriate brands to Corrie.

If there”s a downside risk to the deal it”s that real cash machines don’;t change very often – whereas this one may have to be switched every few months in order to reflect backstage commercial realities. Switching of brands, rather than the presence of brands, is most likely to alert Corrie audiences.

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