In a move that the New York Times says "could signal a new era for product placement," the March 18 episode of the TBS comedy series "Cougar Town" will be simulcast online, with viewers able to purchase items they see on the set.
It's not just Coke glasses sitting in front of singing contest judges, though: Target is a part of the plot of the episode itself, with the character played by Busy Philipps going on a shopping spree at the retailer. When selected products appear in the show, they will have a red plus-sign hovering over them on the online version. Shoppers doing the "two-screen experience" will be able to click the plus signs to add those products to their shopping cart.
According to the Times, approximately 25 products — all from designer Nate Berkus' Target line — will be featured and available for purchase during the episode.
Mr. Sgrizzi said that because characters in the show seem like the type who would be fans of the store, it was "very organic" to incorporate it into the story line both last year and in Tuesday's episode.
"We know that Target and 'Cougar Town' was a perfect marriage, so we weren’t worried about having Target as a character woven into the show," he said. "These things would absolutely happen in episodes and wouldn't seem like a stretch."
After the live broadcast, the augmented version of the episode will be available for online viewing — complete with the red plus signs — until April 15 on the TBS website.