The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Have you noticed?

I was watching one of the mindless TV dramas or comedies, or whatever it is I watch, and something began to irk me. I really hate being irked. This particular irking was caused by an embedded ad. That's probably not the right term and I am sure there is a "right" one for this (note: I understand it is called "embedded marketing"). All of a sudden, one of the main characters is praising the car choice of another character and listing off all the wonderful features in the car along with some of its attributes. Not so sure some of the features mentioned aren't options.

I guess this falls under "product placement" schemes but it seems like more. It's one thing to have certain soda bottles standing around or even offered ("Want a Coke?") or having all the cars in a street scene being various models of one car line, something some of us have noticed since the 50's. It's another thing entirely to have the characters in the course of the show start extolling the virtues of some product. It never fits within the plot line nor does it really fit the character.

We have always had product placement, I think, in modern entertainment media. It's to be expected. Usually, it's one of the sponsors' products. And, in the case of the car, that was also true. But the dialogue was blatantly stupid. Attempts are made to make the conversation seem natural but it's about as natural as people discussing stomach problems medication at a book signing.

I might mention that someone's new car is "nice" and I might ask what it cost. But I expect it would be the owner who would extol its virtues, not myself. So the ad placement within the story is both obvious and awkward.

I don't know about you but this kind of advertising prompts me to think negatively about the product and that means I would be less likely to purchase said product.

I suppose I am in the minority in that respect. Businesses do not start up marketing campaigns without the research indicating a favorable response.


Steven Scott said...

Yeah, this past season of chuck had at least two conversations like that...about a toyota minivan, I believe.

Their product placement of the Lotus Evora was much better, just showing the cool spies driving a cool car with maybe a zoom or two on the Lotus badge.

1951boomer said...

Love your title on the blog! Came across it with a google for widowed baby boomers who smoke pot. Well, don't ask me. Anyway, your post makes me feel better about having given up my TV connection. I'm now watching all the many VHS tapes I've collected over the last 20 years., some which were just from turning on the TV and recording 4 hours of whatever came on while I was away at work. It is truly mindblowing to see prime time then and now.  It's a huge change that has occurred in a relatively short time. I'm starting to get over my withdrawal symptoms from the tube and starting to get in touch with me again and my immediate surroundings. I'm beginning to feel better and better about that. Your blog is very interesting. I'll be back for more. Keep up the good work!

Douglas4517 said...

"widowed baby boomers who smoke pot"... is that a real demographic?

And even more changes from our youth when national news was 15 minutes long and there was no such thing as cable.

Tom Sightings said...

I'm with you -- when I'm drinking my Coke and snacking on some Doritos, watching a show on CBS, and I see a product placement -- oh, for a product like a  really cool Toyota Corolla or Ford Mustang, or maybe an Android with a really fast and reliable ATT internet connection -- then I make a mental note to try a different brand.  You know, maybe a fabulous Mercedes with a rich leather interior, or an iPhone with an even faster and more reliable Verizon internet connection.  Or I might even turn off the TV and pick up a copy of the New York Times (the "weekender" rate is a real bargain) , or else just step on over to the coolest, most amazing blog in the world (next to yours of course)

Oops, am I being too obvious here? Have a Bud.

Douglas4517 said...

IAs I was driving home today in my Buick Lucerne with leather interior, remote start, rain sensor wipers, and 8 speaker stereo (among other great options), I considered this comment. Speaking of that tablet, have you noticed how all the computers on TV (usually with "Dell" marked clearly on them) never have a troublesome connection? Ah, but TV is fantasy, isn't it?

T.C. said...

Given Chuck's ratings, they need to get money to stay alive. Notice the Subway ads? The Sopranos did the same thing.

Douglas4517 said...

It's all about the Benjamins...

Steven Scott said...

ha, yeah, the subway ads were super annoying, too. the show was cute for a little bit, but I was hoping this last season that it was over...tie everything up and end it before it becomes complete trash. looked like it was happening, was enjoying the last episode, then saw the stupid cliffhanger and think I actually yelled at the tv. I just need to practice giving up on shows.