Stephen Colbert Cuts Commercial Break with Google Sponsorship Bailout

AP Photo
The Associated Press

On the March 27 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Google will sponsor a commercial-free segment entitled “More Show Presented by: Google’s Nest Hello video doorbell.”

The tech behemoth hopes that the world’s preeminent member of the #Resistance will be able to sell their brand without actually selling it, using a method of advertising that is only just gaining momentum. Rather than cut to another commercial break, “More Show Presented by: Google’s Nest Hello video doorbell” will feature exactly that, “more show” with fewer commercials.

While there is no word on what specifically the additional runtime will be used for, CBS Corp Chief Advertising Revenue Officer Jo Ann Ross is already feeling optimistic. “The entry into ad pod takeovers featuring sponsored original content with ‘The Late Show’ is just the beginning,” she said. “We will continue to work with the show, and across all of our dayparts, to innovate and expand on what we offer our advertisers.”

It is not precisely the beginning, though. Already this year Procter & Gamble bought the actual content of an episode of Disney/ABC television series Black-ish in order to promote a short they created called “The Talk” addressing racial issues.

And in-line program advertising has already existed at CBS for some time. James Corden’s own late-night broadcast has featured a bar sponsored by several different alcohol companies over the years while featuring McDonald’s and Coca-Cola in his ever-popular “Carpool Karaoke” segment. Even Colbert himself has already participated in a similar experiment, with a sketch in which he is mesmerized into advertising Sabra-brand hummus.

As technology corporations continue to wither beneath the growing scrutiny of their customers, giants like Google and Facebook will need to find louder ways to champion their respective brands.

“Big tech is the biggest threat to free speech at this moment in time, and there is no fiercer advocate for the first amendment than Breitbart News,” said Alex Marlow, Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart. “Never has so much power been concentrated in the hands of so few people, and Silicon Valley elite have, thus far, been able to operate with virtually zero transparency. The Masters of the Universe are unfathomably influential, secretive, and they are surveilling all of us right now, stockpiling our data for their own purposes. It’s time we broaden the discussion.”