After Chasing Jimmy Fallon On Twitter, Ford Strikes Ad Pact With ‘Tonight’

Jimmy Fallon-Stephen Colbert Divide Mirrors Leno-Letterman

Ford Motor Co. won a heated contest among Detroit’s top automakers to get “Tonight” host Jimmy Fallon to buy one of their trucks, and may have done so through an ad pact with NBCUniversal.

Automakers including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler Group’s Ram Trucks and even Nissan have lit up Twitter since March 5 after Fallon revealed on “Tonight” that he intended to buy a truck. In the first segment of the March 28th episode of the program, Fallon revealed he had chosen a Ford F-150, and that the show would spend next week showing 10 Ford dealers from around the U.S. competing to sell him the vehicle by keeping their hands on a F-150 placed on the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York City.

The contest, called “Fingers on a 4X4,” was given an on-screen graphic festooned with a Ford logo, and the automaker made its victory known with tweets posted during “Tonight”:

The promotional deal suggests NBCUniversal isn’t content to let advertisers use Twitter to attach themselves to Fallon’s antics without buying spots during the show. In recent weeks. a number of sponsors have done just that: Ocean Spray, the consortium of cranberry growers, has been using Twitter to urge Fallon to give a nod to its “cranberry sauce singles,” an idea for a sandwich-fixing Fallon has brought up on ‘Tonight.” But the company at present has no intention to buy TV ads, said Thano Chaltas, Ocean Spray’s global chief marketing officer, in a recent interview.

Perhaps NBCU views the advertiser tweets as invitations to call and try to make a deal.

The appearance of the Ford ad during the program also suggests Fallon and his producers are open doing in-show commercials. The  technique that has gained more traction during latenight TV as so-called “commercial ratings,” or measures of TV viewers who actually watch the ads, have become the measure by which TV networks get paid by sponsors. Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, David Letterman on CBS and Conan O’Brien on TBS have all embraced the idea at different times in the recent past.


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  1. What? Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is now a commercial for Ford trucks? I’m out! I predict a major ratings drop if this continues.

  2. overlord says:

    show not going last long hes no conan,carson,ed mcman,jay leno,no letterman or kimmel and arsenio hall or craige ferguson…jimmy a movie star and actor hes funny but he want hold that job long the ratings going to fall,,,everyone saw how conan was done and ratings was going up at the end but they told him to move show to later and he refused they got leno back,,,conan are to sued nbc for more why he fell down almost died i member it and andy saved his life and deserapte housewife star was there he was out it was shocking and ratings…he almost fell again if jackie chan had not caught him on tomatoes juice…but conan has his hit show on tbs now one of the highest rated on the network hes funny on tbs….well craig ferguson held his job along time since craigers the other host gave it up cause he wanted more money he was funny as hell…leno held this show a long time are to had same deal as dave letterman has a full life time show contract he can do as long he wants he said it on tv he do it forever if he lives that long he gets good ratings…alot of folks dont remember he use be on nbc also with arsenio hall he left fox went to abc and then to cbs i think nbc for a time….if you look ed mcman imdb and wikki up he are been worth a billion dollars or more cause he hosted tons of hit shows,info,and movies,he was high ranking general and was on tonight show a long time even with leno he was on for more years,,he had destination stardom then mario loppez took it over he had star search,bloopers with dick clark and he also did do ads for publishing clearing house cause american housing went out of service if you read,,,he did it for a year if someone had the ad he did by himself then publishing clearance house would say yes he did for a year,,,ed promoted cash for gold and much more…he hosted stuff like jerry lewis telephone and more not listed on imdb and wikkipedia…he are to had royalties comming in to his family and money all those hit shows…. i believe jay leno going to return soon….i heard that letterman might hired jay leno as a side host on his show to crush jimmy fallon ratings…i believe jimmy ratings will drop soon because he aint able keep big stars comming on there he got too many people going against him like craig ferguson,dave letterman,jimmy kimmel,arseino hall,others shows….i heard also leno might get a car tv show like chuck lymbo the former wwe wrestler has he get old cars and fix them up or junk them its a cool show i think leno might like something like that he can get any show he want on cable,,,,really i think carson daily are to got the tonight show but watch soon they proberly get seth myers to take the tonight show for jimmy cant keep the ratings high this long cause it will fall then the sponsor will go to another show….leno could host a movie critic show with some cool host maybe kevin smith

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