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CBS orders new Mark Burnett-created 'Jingles' reality competition


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/01/2007 

Mark Burnett has reportedly combined elements of The Apprentice and Rock Star to create Jingles, a new CBS reality series that will see contestants concocting commercial ditties for real products.

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"It's a very organic way to give advertisers what they're looking for," Burnett told Daily Variety in a report published Monday. "It's totally family-friendly, it's noncontroversial, and (the product placement) is very organic. It's not about pushing something that doesn't belong."

Each episode of Jingles will follow a team of contestants who are given weekly advertisement-writing assignments and then have to perform the catchy campaign they created in-front of studio audience, according to Variety.  Home viewer votes cast following each broadcast will then determine a weekly winner, whose jingle will be used in and actual commercial.

"A team could be anything from a sole singer-songwriter to a brother/sister team to a hip-hop group or a barbershop quartet," Roy Bank, Mark Burnett Productions' head of development, told Variety.  "[Jingles will combine] a lot of things that are currently working on television: fun, high-energy performances mixed with competition and a more pointed purpose."

Burnett has reportedly begun to approach advertisers about working with the show.  However due to the successful use of product placement in other Burnett-created reality shows, from the short-lived The Restaurant to Donald Trump's The Apprentice, advertisers apparently aren't being sheepish about participating in Jingles.

"Mark has a tremendous track record with product integration," Jon Harris, head of communications for Sara Lee baked goods, told Variety.  "The initiatives really help a brand cut through the clutter of the marketplace and help put your brand and company front and center."

Because inappropriate advertisements wouldn't work for potential advertisers participating in the show, Variety reported companies will have on-camera representatives judging the contestants' creations and letting home viewers know if a jingle doesn't work for a specific product.

While Jingles will feature weekly winners who have their ads appear in actual commercials, Variety reported a grand prize winner will also be chosen at the conclusion of the show's eight-episode run, landing a cash prize as well as a job at a major ad agency.

No premiere date was given for the tentatively-titled series, but Variety reported Summer 2008 "is a possibility."  Jingles is executive produced by Burnett, Bank, David Hurwitz and Paul Cockerill.

(Photo credit CBS)


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