Which TV Shows Were The Biggest Product Placement Offenders In 2011?

Watching TV has turned into a game of “spot the product placement,” one that isn’t really a game because it’s all too easy to notice when your favorite characters are suddenly touting the video camera capabilities on their cell phones. So who had the most instances of product placement in 2011?

Nielsen has come out with a list of the programs with the top 10 network offenders, and it’s no surprise that reality TV dominates. Anyone who watches reality TV has witnessed the host thanking this or that sponsor for the car driving contestants around or the workout equipment helping people lose weight. That being said, seeing the sheer number of times those shows had some sort of product placement is pretty astounding.

Here are the Top 10 primetime programs with product placement activity, in all their glory, with the number of occurrences.

1. American Idol (Fox): 577
2.The Biggest Loser (NBC): 533
3. The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC): 391
4. Dancing with the Stars (ABC): 390
5. The X Factor (FOX): 312
6. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 224
7. America’s Got Talent (NBC): 220
8. Friday Night Lights (NBC): 201
9. America’s Next Top Model (CW): 178
10. The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business (CBS): 161

Check out Nielsen for more of their top trends in advertising in 2011.

Nielsen’s Tops of 2011: Advertising [Nielsen]