Throughout 30 Rock's run, the NBC comedy mocked brands while taking their product placement money, from Snapple to Verizon to Kraft. "Advertisers seemed happy to keep feeding the mouth that bit them," says Brian Steinberg. He adds: "A decade later, NBC is betting marketers will take heed of the program once again – with one notable difference. In its original run. 30 Rock was an NBC show that helped call attention to a wide array of commercial messages. On Thursday night, 30 Rock will serve as a commercial message for a wide array of different NBC-affiliated shows...The show represents a bid by NBC and its corporate owner Comcast to jump-start what has been characterized as a moribund session of the annual talks held each year between advertisers and the TV networks to sell the bulk of commercial time for the fall season. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing cutbacks in consumer spending, travel, and movie production, some groups of advertisers aren’t exactly feeling the need to let loose of their purse strings. Indeed, many are calling for the industry’s annual upfront to be scuttled entirely in favor of a new system. NBC intends to air the special without commercials, even as it hopes to prove to would-be sponsors the value of running ads in its programs. But 30 Rock will also serve as a commercial for commercials. NBC plans to use the special to highlight new types of advertising formats it wants to sell to its clients, like commercials that augment the programs to which viewers originally tuned by using content, hallmarks and even actors from the series."