Big Brother, Big Brands
be more… has an unhealthy obsession with Big Brother. I embody this more than most, having twice reached the final round of auditions before being rejected for some of TV’s more forgettable characters: Johnny the fireman and cheeky builder Craig. Life could have been so different! And when Channel 4 announced that after 11 series, BB would no longer be around to fill those crazy summer evenings, my hopes and dreams were shattered.
My story* isn’t unique. Across the country thousands of hopeful contestants queued in anticipation of their five minutes of fame and an opportunity to show the viewing public a new way of opening wine bottles. But now, finally, there’s an opportunity to get into the house and onto the screen – so much for Simon Cowell’s restraining order. Channel 5 has resurrected the programme, queues are forming and contestants are being picked. Big Brother is back!
But if Channel 5 has its way, contestants won’t be the only ones forming a queue outside the Big Brother house. Following the relaxation of product placement rules for UK TV, Channel 5 has announced it is looking for title sponsors and product partners for the new series. I can imagine it now: “Brian, please pack your ultra-durable Samsonite travel luggage, you have been evicted from the Big Brother House. Don’t forget to grab a cool, refreshing can of Pepsi Max on the way out”.
The opportunities for product placement in the house are endless and naturally far more subtle than I have described (not least to fit within the law). But the point remains, Big Brother 12 could lead the way in UK product placement and make the show a real profit spinner for Channel 5.
For the first time since its initial series, Big Brother is back to being a TV experiment – but instead of being a social experiment it’s a commercial one and it’s coming your way!
*My story is sadly not true – I never could bring myself to post the form. Maybe this year…