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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jon & Kate Plus St. Jude

Product placement seems to be the way of the future for advertising with all sorts of consumer goods making appearances in our favorite TV shows and movies. Now it seems that charities are getting in on the act.

Recently, I came across an episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight in which the Gosselin family visited the 4-star St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I’m not sure who funded this - Kmart, where the family shopped for gifts for the kids in the hospital, Despereaux, the story that Kate read to the children, or some other sponsor – but I am sure it was a boon to St. Jude.

From the beautiful murals on the walls, to the parent’s testimonials, to the children’s smiles, to the dedicated staff, the public got to see how the hospital helps children and their families. This one show probably did more to expand this charity’s brand and generate contributions than conventional types of marketing and fundraising approaches (such as special events and direct mail appeals) could ever do. As such, I doubt this will be the last we’ll be seeing of charity product placement.

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