A bit of old mixed with a bit of new: live commercials are coming to 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,' just like the good ol' days of television--only these commercials have a decidedly modern twist. 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' viewers will be invited to suggest ad concepts for the new Lexus IS in real time via social media, early in the broadcast. Then, an improvisational comedy troup will take the stage during the final commercial break of the episode, and do their very best to create a commercial out of the audience's suggestions.
The era of live commercials died out around 1970, but prior to that time, late night talk shows were the best place to house them. Ed Sullivan, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson did live commercials, widely considered just a part of the job of hosting a late night program. Back in 2008, 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' experimented with some live commercials, however host Leno stayed out of the actual process and the show's announcer, John Melendez, hosted the sketch instead. Since then, Jimmy Kimmel brought some live commercials to 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.' Now that the stigma of doing your own commercials has been lifted, advertisers see them as viable options--because they work. Live commercials are a memorable break in the usual commercial routine--and they're often funny.
Now, mixing social media, audience interaction and improv comedy into that blend, it would seem that Lexus is going to get quite a return on their investment. The commercials will run live for the next four weeks during the Thursday night episodes of 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,' beginning tonight, September 19. Each Thursday’s ad will be broadcast live from under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
Time to start brainstorming Lexus IS commercial ideas... maybe yours will make it to air?