Most marketers looking to get their messages out by using NBC’s popular morning-news program, “Today,” figure they’ll need to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a 30-second spot. And yet Taylor Larouche and her pals were able to snag much more time than that — for free.

Larouche, a 20-year-old Penn State student, and a “street team” of other college students lined the plaza in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center at 5:15 a.m. on a cold Monday morning in mid-January. Their intent was to hold signs during the broadcast of “Today” calling attention to, a website devoted to raising money to thwart childhood cancer.

But they got a lucky break. At about 8 a.m., no less than host Meredith Vieira approached the group, talked to them and took note of their sign — all with the cameras rolling. “We made our signs real glittery and big, and we just really wanted to get our message across,” said Ms. Larouche.

The college students discovered what some savvy marketers with limited ad budgets already know. In this age of branded entertainment and sponsored integrations, NBC is inadvertently giving away tens of thousands of dollars in commercial time on its flagship morning program.

Continue Reading: “Get On NBC’s ‘Today Show’ For FREE”

Photo by Billy V.

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