Earlier, I posted how A9 got a mention on The OC. Ask Jeeves got an OC-related plug on TV this week, as well.
OK, it wasn't the hip kids of The OC talking about Ask Jeeves but instead the crazy family of Arrested Development -- also set in Orange County's Newport Beach, that mentioned Ask Jeeves. To be specific, it was family lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn (actor Henry Winkler), even better known to many people as The Fonz from Happy Days.
Paid product placement? Nope. Instead, Ask Jeeves senior vice president Jim Lanzone emailed me to say a good college friend of his is the agent of the creator of Arrested Development. He uses Ask Jeeves, so that's apparently worked its way higher. No money was spent, and the mention was a surprise to Ask Jeeves.
"We didn't know about it in advance. We sent them some T-shirts to say thanks," Lanzone said.
All in all, a good opportunity to try out new Google Video (aka Google TV) service, as someone over at InsideGoogle did when commenting there on the A9 mention. Here's a rundown. First, the Ask Jeeves mention:
It's a private Stock, so you cannot just buy up the shares unless someone is willing to sell. Are you sure? That's what they said on Ask Jeeves. All right, who's the majority shareholder now?
The A9 reference is here:
Why, why happened? Did he call you? No, but I a9.Com'd him last night, and according to the O.C. Weekly, he's pretty much everything that's wrong with Western civilization, all wrapped up in one Guy..
For the record, A9 told News.com that it didn't pay for the mention:
"We didn't even know it was going to air," A9 Chief Udi Manber said. But "it shows people like...A9...and that they are telling their friends and family."
Meanwhile, how common is "googled?" Only three mentions: Conan O'Brien, Carson Daly and PBS. But extend it out to Google, and there are nearly 100 mentions of the company. Most are news realted, but looks like Regis is in the "did you Google that" camp.
Yahoo has many more mentions, but many of those see ads for the SBC Yahoo access service. Ironically, Yahoo is the most aggressive of all the services in terms of gaining product placement mentions. None of the above services has ever claimed to pay for these. Yahoo just struck a deal to get it into reality shows of The Apprentice and The Contender.