Follow TV Tropes



Go To

Not every ad is for just one product — or even those of just one company. No, high-profile movies will always attract companies looking to cash in on it. Or, sometimes, two companies are just trying to keep costs down (TV time's expensive), perhaps because neither company could afford to advertise on its own. For whatever reason, you end up with a Dualvertisement: a Crossover in adspace. More formally known as Cross Promotion, this trope's been in existence for at least as long as McDonald's has been giving away licensed toys.


While this has some pros, the cons often outweigh them; rarely do the two items/shows/etc. mesh, and the commercial can end up less interesting and more surreal as a result, or even result in straight up Fridge Logic. Often a part of a larger promotion/marketing campaign, since it takes a lot of effort for two companies to get together.

Compare Commercial Switcheroo, where you lead in with a fake commercial then bring in the real one, and Product Switcheroo Ad, where you open with one product then bring in the actual product later to show up the first one.



  • As mentioned above, kids' meals often come with toys themed after a big-name intellectual property. The fast food joint inevitably makes sure everybody in the country knows. Not every chain engages in these shenanigans, though.
    • McDonalds turns it Up to Eleven by sometimes including toys themed after two intellectual properties. The one buying the meal usually only gets one of these, though (they get a choice of which one they want).
    • Parodied in an episode of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, when the burger bar rep and the film company rep can't figure out which of them is supposed to be paying the other for this.
  • Speaking of fast food, Burger King/Hungry Jack's created the Iron Man Burger around the release of Iron Man 2.
  • Advertisement:
  • Sometimes convenience stores will have Special Edition branded cups; annoyingly, these are seldom insulated.
  • The American furniture chain Furniture Row has multiple brands which allows a customer to shop their four different brands in the same building in different stores, saving advertising and rent money aplenty. It also makes it very easy to dump a fad furniture trend without closing an entire store (they started out as a waterbed retailer and when that went belly up, they just dumped it and moved on to other brands).
  • In 1985, there was an Italian TV ad where a man drives home a luxury car, checks the hour on a luxury watch, pulls the dress while casually showing the tag (with the name of the stylist), and then enter his home, where a party is going on. It's a spot for Barilla, a brand of pasta (as in spaghetti, rigatoni, etc.).
  • In the 2010 NBA playoffs, you saw this one a lot—there were ads for the new Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie, interspersed with shots of basketball players doing manly things.
  • There was a commercial (probably featured on one of those "best commercial" shows) that started out as a Haagen-Dazs ad, complete with a passionate couple in bed with the yogurt. At one point they run out, so the guy goes to the refrigerator to get more... and his attention turns to the Fosters lager near it. Next thing you know, he's drinking beer and watching the game.
  • VISA made a number of entire commercials for real life vacation resorts and such, then noting at the end that said location doesn't accept American Express, so be sure to bring your VISA card instead. They do the same with the Olympic Games as they really do not accept any other type of card at the events.
  • On a more local level, an Austin, Texas, bodyshop had a commercial with a local roofing company owner, where he'd talk about the bodyshop, then move to shilling his own company before being fussed at by the director. Both were advertising hail damage repair.
    • Carlos and Charlie's always makes a point to mention its next-door neighbor, Just For Fun watercraft rental. Lampshaded when one of the spokesfrogs started with the latter name instead of the former.
  • Fittingly considering the series, a lot of ads for the live action Transformers movie doubled as ads for the vehicles that the Autobots transformed into. They even sold a special Ironhide and Bumblebee editions of the real life vehicles that included the visual modifications they had on screen. (which, sadly, did not come with rocket launchers or turn into an alien robot).
  • One of the Old Spice Man YouTube responses was a Cross Promotion for the Gillette Power-Glide razor... only it wasn't, because that would be in poor taste.
  • Lampshaded in an Old Spice ad that simply has to be seen to be believed. (It starts with a woman talking about Bounce dryer bars before the Old Spice Man suddenly interrupts the advertisement.)
    • Then again, invading a Charmin commercial:
    • All the above products are under the Proctor & Gamble family, who were enthusiastic when their ad agency came up with the idea of the crossovers.
    • Tide's Super Bowl LII ads involved a running gag of everything being a Tide ad, even if it wasn't (clean clothes are the common bond). Most of the ads were pastiches of other common ads seen during the game (including cars, movies, prescriptions, a beer ad with clydesdales, etc.), but a previous Mr. Clean ad, as well as the original Old Spice Guy ad, were also hijacked in this manner.
    • Tide proceeded to also plug Bud Light, Wonder Woman 1984 and The Masked Singer during its saga of ads during Super Bowl LIV.
  • Goody's and BC, two brands of powdered headache medicine, have started doing cross-promotional radio ads; the two formerly competing products are now both owned by pharmaceutical conglomerate GSK.
  • Rhode Island family-owned furniture chain Cardi's self-produces its local ads. When other local companies use Cardi's production services, the Cardi brothers will have a cameo in those ads as well.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 frequently does promotions in-game featuring items and events for other Sega products and anime.
    • One of the first and most well-known examples is a cross-promotion with Hatsune Miku: players could earn Miku's costume and hairstyle, and monitors in the lobby would play a music video for The MMORPG Addict's Anthem from Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, featuring Miku in PSO2's shop lobby wearing a FOnewearl costume.
    • At a fan convention in 2016, cross-promotion was announced with another popular MMORPG: Final Fantasy XIV. This includes costumes based on the Miqo'te race and a boss fight against the iconic Final Fantasy summon Odin.
  • Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F is a song 'Tell Your World', which includes a stylistic rendition of how Vocaloid has spread globally. The original use of the song was for a Google Chrome advert that advertised how Miku is a global phenomenon, almost as a love letter to the same fans who, years after its first use, brought the game to the West.
  • Power Rangers: Legacy Wars has cross-promotion with Street Fighter V in the for of playable characters such as Ryu, Chun-Li, Cammy, and M. Bison, in addition to an Original Generation character: Ryu as a Power Ranger, the RyuRanger.
  • Final Fantasy XV has special promotional questlines for some games, including:
    • Assassin's Creed, where Noctis and his party dress up as Assassins, complete minigames around Lestallum, and assassinate some imperial troopers with hidden blades.
    • Terra Wars, where Noctis teams up with Sarah to protect the Hiso Aliens from the destructive Eroders.
    • Final Fantasy XIV, with Noctis and company teaming up with a miqo'te to thwart the summoning of a primal.
  • Raytheon Sarkos had a press conference showcasing the XOS 2 exoskeleton on the date of the DVD release of Iron Man 2. They even invited Clark Gregg, the actor who played Phil Coulson in the movie, to the demonstration.
  • Dodge once did an ad for one of their vehicles...which also somehow became an ad for two different video games and several other things (I seem to also remember an MP3 player, a computer and a TV).
  • Dodge's sister make Jeep plays up the fact that its vehicles are featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops.
  • A Band-Aid/Neosporin ad features puppets singing their praises and how "when put together/they work exponentially better", just in case you never thought of bandaging those wounds you put goo on.
    • The PR department may have come up with the tagline after they found out that parents put bandaids on their children without applying Neosporin.
  • There was a series of UK adverts advertising common mixed drinks such as Jack Daniels and Coke, Gordons and {Schweppes) Tonic, Smirnoff and Red Bull, etc. Possibly related to this, there was a range of pre-mixed canned drinks on the shelves which featured the brand logos for both products.
  • UK adverts for washing machines often have a short section at the end recommending a particular brand of detergent to use in them.
  • Lampshaded at the end of a trailer for The Muppets: after plugging The Green Album (which features covers of famous Muppet songs), a caption appears on screen dubbing it "blatant cross-promotion."
  • "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." This jingle was used to plug both Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars.
  • Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bars were often mentioned in the same ad in the 80s.
  • The Lorax (new movie) + IHOP; The Lorax himself is eating pancakes in the chain restaurant, and has some light comedy with his buddy. Full of Fridge Logic- why would the Lorax be eating at a chain restaurant in an industrialized neighborhood?
    • There was also Mazda's ads for their new SkyActiv cars, complete with the Lorax and his forest friends shilling for the car, also incidentally promoting the movie on top of that.
    • Denny's also did this with the The Hobbit movie, claiming to serve a breakfast special large enough to satisfy a Hobbit... at least until it's time for second breakfast.
  • Jumper + DirecTV: While playing the standard commercial advertising the shows to be had at low low prices, the main character from Jumper would leap around being mildly interested
  • A series of radio commercials for website developer consists of Testimonials from satisfied customers which also shill their own businesses. They usually have something in there like "If you like TV go to If you want a website for your business, go to"
  • There were commercials for Verizon FiOS high-speed internet featuring Michael Bay, complete with product placement for his Transformers film series.
  • An ad shown around March 21, 2012 for General Electric turbines mentions that their turbines are used by Budweiser, and then becomes like a Budweiser ad.
  • Any supermarket ad which mentions a specific product you should buy there. Or a product ad which adds that it's available at a specific supermarket. (In the UK Tesco is particularly prone to this.)
  • Vat19 often does this in their ads and even lampshades it with a short jingle.
  • A 2014 ad features the Ms. Brown M&M struggling to purchase insurance from the GEICO Gecko, because they only do insurance plans for humans, and not sentient candies. She proceeds to bump into the Hump Day Camel on her way out. Berkshire Hathaway owns both.
    • Another Geico ad features the Gecko changing mid-ad to promoting Helzberg Diamonds. Berkshire Hathaway owns Helzberg as well.
    • They also had an ad revealing that Geico customers were happier than the Pillsbury doughboy on his way to a baking convention.
    • A 2021 ad for Geico featured the Gecko imagining what things would have been like if he had been an Eternal, while promoting the Marvel film Eternals.
    • Foghorn Leghorn appeared as an example of a bad audiobook narrator (I say, a really bad audiobook narrator, son) in an ad from the early New Tens.
    • Way back when they started using the Gecko, he was shown at a talking animal audition which included the recently fired Taco Bell dog.
  • The "Got Milk?" campaign did a series of ads with complimentary products, including one where the Oreo cookie got its name because a guy in the committee meeting to name the new cookie didn't have milk.
  • An ad promoted both Google Photos and Zootopia.
  • A YouTube commercial in November 2016 promotes both the 2017 Ford Fusion and the Viz dub of Sailor Moon. A very odd choice considering Ford's withdrawal from Japan several months earlier, and also since the target demographic for Sailor Moon generally does not consist of people who would be interested in sedans, and vice versa.
  • Nissan did a cross-promotion with the Star Wars film Rogue One with its 2017 Nissan Rogue vehicle.
  • Golf Channel runs ads with golfers plugging Titleist as their choice of golf balls ... and then Golf Central as their choice for golf news (the show happens to be sponsored by Titleist).
  • DNA testing service 23andMe did a cross-promotion with Despicable Me 3, in which Gru learns he is lactose intolerant (oh, and has a long lost brother!), among other things.
  • In the UK, Sky Broadband regularly does advertising tie-ins with upcoming films from multiple companies including Illumination Entertainment, their rival Pixar and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the Captain America: The Winter Soldier version with Nick Fury railing about pop-ups worked particularly well since their malware blocker happens to be called Shield). Since Sky also have a family of subscription movie channels, this is also stealth advertising for their other services.
  • PAYDAY 2 is no stranger to promoting Dell's Alienware machines, even featuring masks here and its predecessor. With the Alienware Alpha, anyone who plays Payday 2 on this has access to the two exclusive masks. For a limited time, they also gave away the Alpha Mauler to anyone who could grab a code to download it with.
  • A December 2017 UK radio ad for a furniture store announced "Everyone can save at the DFS winter sale. Even the cast of Early Man, in cinemas from January!" This crossover worked better in the television version of the campaign (Aardman Animations, the producers of Early Man, have also made DFS' TV ads for some years, so the link-up was more logical than most.)
  • A UK advert for Barclaycard in May 2018 featured The Electric Mayhem talking about gigging in Britain, with cameos by the rest of The Muppets. They didn't actually say "And that gig is The Muppets Take the O2, tickets still on sale!" but...
  • A peculiar form has been adopted for years by Italian toy company Giochi Preziosi. Often they made commercials that were supposedly for a particular piece of merchandise (mostly for their themed school apparels, but it also happened with actual toy commercials) that also in the while featured appearances by multiple other toys and pieces of merch from that exact same licensing brand.
    • For example, their commercial for the Topps Pokémon Trading Cards begins casually with the question "Do you know what time is? It's Pokémon Trading Cards time!", just as an excuse to promote a Pokémon-branded wristwatch at the same time.
  • The Compare the Meerkat "Meerkat Movies" promotion, which offers Compare the Market customers 2-for-1 movie tickets, has several advertisements promoting specific then-recent movies that customers could go watch in theaters. A few movies, like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Last Jedi, even got tie-in dolls of the meerkats dressed as the movie characters!
  • One MetLife ad praised Colgate, Chevrolet, and Crayola for using MetLife insurance, with the Peanuts characters visiting the companies to check out the products.
  • Coffee brand Café Bustelo teamed up to promote In the Heights, playing the lyric "I can't survive without café" during its commercial.
  • An ad for Progressive released in advance of the October 2021 premiere of The Addams Family 2 featured the Progressive characters, including Flo, as "The Progressive Family," while also promoting the film.
  • An ad for Frosted Flakes crossed over to promote America's Funniest Home Videos, with Alfonso Ribeiro meeting Tony the Tiger during a taping of AFV to talk about Frosted Flakes' school sports initiative.
  • Liberty Mutual released an ad featuring its mascots Limu Emu and Doug in a Spider-Man scenario along with a promotion for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
  • In late 2021 Netflix did a promotional video that's essentially a crossover between Red Notice, Army of the Dead / Army of Thieves and Money Heist, featuring Sarah Black (Gal Gadot), Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) and Marseille (Luka Peroš) on a Zoom call reunion for thieves. Assane Diop from Lupin is also mentioned, being unable to attend the call.

Alternative Title(s): Cross Promotion