Campaigns Edging Onto Prime TIme

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Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama both appeared in taped messages on the Lifetime drama series Army Wives last night.

As part of the series' second season opener, the presidential candidates each appeared separately to offer their support for the sacrifices that real-life soldiers and their spouses face every day.

McCain even went so far as to say his wife Cindy makes him watch the show each week. (While she's preparing Rachael Ray's rosemary chicken?)

Here's Obama:

This is the latest attempt to lure support from fans of entertainment shows. Back in April, Obama, McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton each taped pieces for American Idol. (Obama said his "two young daughters" were "big fans.")

And let's not forget their appearances on WWE Smackdown and countless late-night comedy cameos.

The logical next step would be for the campaigns to appear within the story lines of the shows themselves. It may sound far-fetched but as viewers watch more TV on ad-skipping digital video recorders like TiVo, networks are looking for new sources of ad revenue by going beyond the long common practice of product placement toward integrating advertisers directly into the characters' lives. (NBC is already trying it out on the Web.)

So could McCain get paid "endorsements" from characters on say, The Bill Engvall Show or My Name Is Earl, series that may appeal to the blue-collar voters who previously supported Clinton, while Obama shores up support among the yuppie media elites on 30 Rock?

Stay tuned.