As broadband Internet access becomes all-pervasive, more Americans are turning from the tube to YouTube—and Madison Avenue is taking notice. The New York Times looks at the advertising industry's foray into online television, eager to get their products in front of the young, male, affluent audiences of Internet channels like Blip.TV or Blame Society. The technique is different, with product placement at the heart of the strategy.
Advertisers are adjusting their messages for the savvier, more critical young audience online. McDonald's, for instance, has bought product placements on The Fantastic Two—and overlaid them with the caption "Shameless product placement." The learning curve is steep, admit ad execs, but the payoff can be huge: with the coveted 18-to-34 demographic increasingly elusive, the ad agencies are willing to take a chance.