Placement of Products

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"Uncreative" and "lazy"

Some people REALLY hate product placement. More than I really thought was possible, actually. I’ve heard people complain about how it’s ruining the art of entertainment, but the owner of the blow www.productinvasion.com has taken to chronicling the “evils” of product placement.

By far the most fascinating section on this site is the “Behind the Scenes” page. These are actual true stories from disgruntled people who have worked on television shows and had their producers demand to place specific products into the show. This is a tale from the story producer of The Swan—the reality show that made over women with plastic surgery and diets who were unhappy with their looks:

”Jenny Craig was a major sponsor of the show, so the women were all supposed to be eating Jenny Craig packaged food. The trainers didn’t want them to eat it. We had to pretend like the women were all still eating Jenny Craig food, even though they weren’t.”

So it does become an ethical dilemma for those who are editing these sequences. It does seem to be all about the money. But then again, you would be hard pressed to find many people who felt that the entire concept behind The Swan was entirely moral to begin with.

The writer of this site calls product placement an “uncreative” method of advertising. However, I believe she should view this as a challenge rather than a burden. She is now being pressed for her creativity to seamlessly fit a product into the show. To me, it seems as if she can’t deal with the dynamic environment of the entertainment world. Product placement, whether she likes it or not, is the future of advertising, and therefore, the future of television. It’s something that needs to be adjusted to.

However, if you can’t accept this, just like this woman cannot, you can click on the “Aliens Unmasked” section of the website and send an email to advertisers and media buyers reading:

I hate to bother you, as you are probably very busy writing voice-overs for your products but I have a point I would like to make - reality shows are boring when they become more about the products than contestants. You assume that our demographic is too stupid to notice that you have hijacked our shows, but we have and it's dull.

Please return the writing of our shows back to Hollywood creative types, and we will continue to TiVo through your commercials. One solution is for you to produce more entertaining ads, like the Tiny House commercial, and we will happily tune in.

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