Jimmy Kimmel is bringing back live commercial spots
The live ads were fairly commonplace on TV up until the 1970s. I recently watched an old episode of The Garry Moore Show -- 1962 -- which included live ads where Garry lit up a cigarette and espoused the merits of smoking that brand. Johnny Carson used to do them, and they are still popular on radio. For many advertisers, having the host read the copy for a commercial -- basically endorsing the product -- is a valuable plus. On New York's WFAN radio, for example, on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show, you can hear the hosts Mike Francesca and Chris Russo doing spots. And advertisers pay more than they would for a taped spot.
However, there are few examples of live spots of late. A year ago, Garmin showed off their car navigation system in a live commercial on The Tonight Show. It was the first such ad in 14 years. And the research showed that people were "engaged" (that's industry talk for making their point) by the commercial.
The bottom line is that product placement, integration and sponsorship is creeping into every aspect of television viewing. Perhaps we should be glad that the Jimmy Kimmel Live set doesn't have a Campbell Soup sign over his head, or product logos plastered on his suit, a la NASCAR drivers. I'm willing to see what Kimmel does with the live spots. If he can come up with "I'm fu*king Ben Affleck," I put nothing past him (and his writers).