December 8th, 2008
Sprint, Garmin have role in Fox's '24'
By Dave Hayes
Kansas City Star
Whether we like it or not, product placement is taking on a larger role in commercial TV production.
Sprint Nextel and Garmin International are both product placement veterans, and Fox’s “24,” which officially begins its seventh season in a month, will feature both prominently.
Sprint and Nextel phones already had a heady role in Fox’s two-hour movie, “24: Redemption.” The movie, which aired last month, showed star Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer talking on a Sprint phone to a former Special Forces pal, who appears to be talking on a Nextel phone.
The episode, which takes place in Sangala, Africa, doesn’t explain the technological fine points of this seemingly impossible conversation. Sprintees, after all, often comment they can’t even get a signal on campus in Overland Park.
But that’s TV. Sprint will be a sponsor, both in traditional commercial and product placement, throughout the season, which formally begins Jan. 11.
In the meantime, Olathe-based Garmin International is taking up sponsor duties for 24:Dossier,” a Webisode series currently airing on the Net. Garmin’s products show up in cameos in the Web series, which chronicles the government’s investigation of Jack Bauer’s alleged misdeeds as a CTU agent.
Garmin today is expected to kick off a contest giving consumers a chance to win tickets to see a sneak preview of the first 24 minutes of the show at the Garmin Chicago retail store in January.
And the company has designed a couple of vehicles to download to your Nuvi to replace that boring old coupe directing you to Grandma’s house this holiday season.