USA Network marketing guru Chris McCumber calls them "promercials."
The 30-second spots, which started running on the top-rated cabler in January, feature the stars of USA comedy series "Psych," James Roday and Dule Hill, both in character, doing their usual bickering in front of a new Optima built by series automotive sponsor Kia.
Already one of the most aggressive product integrators in the TV business, USA is now putting its series into its clients' commercials.
"We've worked with Nielsen on this, and our studies have shown that the viewer retention level is very high with these spots," says McCumber.
Indeed, the top-rated cable network routinely ranks among the top 10 in "C3 retention," which measures how much of the audience watched the channel's commercials. - read the rest on Variety.com
While I didn't love the approach used by USA Network for including its characters in the spot it aired during the Super Bowl (because out of the over 100 million people potentially watching it, most had absolutely no idea who some of those characters were!), but in ads featuring its advertisers and its characters on its own network? That's pretty cool, pretty creative and also seems to work.
C3 are the ratings for the actual commercial viewing live and with three days worth of DVR viewing. C3 is used by the advertisers to figure out how many people actually watch the commercials (and therefore how much to pay). The top-ten C3 retention ranking above doesn't mean they were among the 10 most-watched commercials, but rather among the 10 most watched commercials when it came to people recalling that the saw them.