Never doubt Darwin’s theory, for even in Hollywood evolution continues. Gone are the careless days of 60-second commercials and a market saturated with “Pocahontas” hair clips and lunch pails. New alliances between advertisers and producers have increased each other’s product visibility, while actually giving viewers a less obtrusive advertising and merchandising presence. The concept is most easily described as precision target marketing. The result is a whole new breed of retail tie-ins.

The best example of this is fresh out of the oven. While the movie “Fame” brought forth a fashion frenzy of torn sweatshirts and leg warmers, “Fame L.A.,” the new television series produced by Trilogy Entertainment Group for MGM, delivered unto its audience a parade of tangible, worthwhile products, and to its advertisers a highly desirable, demographically exact market.

Hansen’s Sodas, Freeman Cosmetics and MCI saw the potential of a television program tipsy with a young, attractive, culturally diverse cast. MGM knew the power of an alliance with products that, statistically, their audience was already using. Randy Smith, vice president of national promotions and corporate sponsorships at MGM, says that for all parties, “One plus one can equal three or four if this is done the right way.” According to Jennifer Adams of MCI, they selected “Fame L.A.” for its 1-800-Collect campaign because “their youthful audience demographics fit our product’s image perfectly.”

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