Escape Routes: Fun Reality Show or Shameless Product Placement?


“Escape Routes,” airs on Saturdays at 8 pm on NBC starting March 31! The show features a cast of six teams of two competing in a series of “real-world” challenges during a road trip to major cities. To avoid turning the show into an infomercial, though, Ford agreed to turn over creative control for “Escape Routes” to eight-time Emmy Award-winning producer Elise Doganieri.

“Marketers have been trying for the past decade or so to go beyond the 30-second commercial or two-page ad in a newspaper,” said Matt Van Dyke, Ford’s director of U.S. marketing. “It used to be you could pay for product placement. Now with the advent of social media, it’s an opportunity to leverage the convergence of TV and interactive media. People can be entertained and it can also be participatory. They can engage, follow along, vote, and influence the results.”

It’s like American Idol on steroids when it comes to participation.  It’s not just as simple as texting your votes in, it goes way beyond that!  You actually join a team and help them along by participating in challenges online or reportedly on the show.  Each week, the pairs of contestants will earn points and compete for prizes (including a 2013 Escape) by doing things like flying over the ocean with a jet pack, swinging on a trapeze or speeding on a zip line course. Viewers can play along, and vote for their favorite teams online.

The teams have BIG personality.  So, it looks like this is going to be a fun reality show and may change the face of reality TV by upping the ante on the level of viewer participation.

Check out this teaser to get you ready for the premiere; it’s just 10 days away!

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