Microsoft, Fox Stretch ‘Lethal Weapon’ Sponsorship

Microsoft has become the official sponsor of Fox’s new series Lethal Weapon and its products are being integrated into the show over the course of the season.

The integrations include what Fox is calling “Story Stretch,” in which the show’s storylines that feature a character using Microsoft products continues into the commercial break.

“The heart of any ad innovation is the ability to deliver value to our viewers and a desirable environment for our advertisers,” said Suzanne Sullivan, executive VP of entertainment ad sales at Fox Networks Group. “Using our content in concert with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 in the ‘Story Stretch’ hits on all points and delivers across multiple platforms.”

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is used on the show by the character Scorsese, a tech-savvy LAPD pathologist played by Johnathan Fernandez.

The Story Stretch content stretches even further onto digital platforms with posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The first “Story Stretch” appeared last week. Another appeared Wednesday night. The next one airs in January.

 “We are pleased and honored to be part of one of the best new shows on television this year,” said Kathleen Hall, GM of global campaigns and brand marketing at Microsoft. “The writers and producers of Lethal Weapon were interested in innovating with us beyond traditional static product placement to deepen product experiences and content extensions that benefit both our brands. We’re excited to be able to offer meaningful content to the avid and growing Lethal Weapon fan base.”

In addition to the Fox ad sales group, the Fox Brand Partnerships unit worked on the sponsorship, with the Microsoft Brand Advertising and Research Team, the Microsoft Windows Devices Group and Microsoft agencies including Dentsu Aegis’ Empower Media and branded content agency The Story Lab.

“In the age of DVR viewing, this partnership takes in-show brand integration and branded content to a new level,” added Nate Norrish, VP of brand partnerships at The Story Lab. “We wanted to create something that extended the storyline and blended into commercial time – making it feel authentic to the show while extending and rewarding our audience’s attention.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.