Product placement that’s part of On the Lot will extend beyond the show itself and into the films produced by the contestants. Sponsors “Verizon and Ford have a rare opportunity to be prominently featured not only in a TV show but in the films produced by the contestants aspiring to win a $1 million DreamWorks development deal,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
DreamWorks exec Darryl Frank says that this is what happens in Hollywood, so it should also happen on the show. “We’re trying to find the next great Hollywood director, and this is not dissimilar to what professional directors have to do on big-budget films. If you’re a working director in Hollywood there are situations where you need to integrate products seamlessly, creatively and organically into films. We think it’s terrific that our contestants have the same opportunity and challenge to find ways to successfully work with brands,” he said.
That may be the first time reality show product whoring has been referred to as an “opportunity and challenge,” but at least Frank says that it is also an “opportunity” for the two companies paying for their products to be inserted into the show. “We think this is a unique opportunity for both of our key sponsors because we have the reality portion of the show — the behind-the-scenes moments where the contestants can be seen using products — but we go one step beyond that because we have scripted films each week where the brands can be integrated in a more organic and creative way,” he said.
Executive producer David Goffin says, “It’s the real world, and that’s what is hopefully going to make this show successful. Whether it’s product integration or making a film, it’s just what the contestants are going to have to do to make it in the real world.”
However, he also said that the sponsors’ “brands want to be integrated in a seamless way as well. It’s really a two-way street to try to do this the right way.”