"The Price Is Right" Has Place In Marketing History

Much is being written this week about “The Price Is Right” in conjunction with Bob Barker’s retirement, including this complete and frank piece by Mekeisha Madden Toby in the Detroit News.

Bob Barker is getting his due as an excellent broadcaster and legendary TV talent.

But one story isn’t being told. “The Price Is Right” introduced a form of marketing that is becoming more common and more effective – product placement. This was among the first highly-rated shows, if not the first, where advertisers could place their products into the “storyline” for visibility and branding more powerful than in a traditional TV spot. When the show was over, you wouldn’t remember the contestants but you would remember Rice-A-Roni, Calgon and whichever make was offered to the potenial winner of “A NEW CAR!!”

Bob Barker has been the icon. But consumer products have also had a starring role – a daytime innovation that has crept into prime time and movies in a significant way.