Product Placement

Yet another trend that I am sick and tired of is people who tweet stuff like: “You do know that the Lego movie is just one long commercial.” Really!?! Wow, those are some keen deductive insights, Sherlock. Let me make one of my own: You are a barrel of laughs on open mic night at the Chuckle Hut. I’ll save you a trip to your mind palace: that was sarcasm.

First off, I will admit that product can be annoying if it isn’t done properly. Case in point: the episode of Hawaii 5-0 that included what was essentially a thirty second ad for Subway.

The harsh truth is that sometimes product placement is not a bad thing. Imagine if the producers of the James Bond films had to pay for the Aston Martin automobiles. Seriously, how much would it have cost to make a film like The Avengers or Man of Steel without at least some product placement?

Even low budget films can benefit. A film that costs under $10 million to make can cost at least two or three times as much to advertise, and in a way that doesn’t make sense financially. If you have a company that is willing to bear some of the burden then maybe it can be the difference between a theatrical release and going straight to home video.

A lot of people say that product placement takes them out of the story; as I said earlier it can, if handled improperly. What often distracts me is when they use fake labels for well known items. Like on The Big Bang Theory when there is a can labeled “Diet Cola” when it obviously is a Diet Coke. And how many cop shows put black tape over the blue Ford oval on what is obviously a Crown Victoria? I know that these are fictional programs, yet they represent no reality I can think of.

The harsh truth is that everything is product placement, or at least an advertisement; from the clothes you wear, to the things you say. Yes, even tweets and blog posts. They are an advertisement for you. They say, “This is who I am, what I believe, how I think. Follow me. Add me as a friend. Give me Klout. Like my link. Share my status update.” And so on and so on.

Everyone is a living breathing billboard for themselves. We want people to like us, listen to us, and in some cases, buy into our b.s.

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