How TV is foiling ad skippers
Think you have the commercials beat? Television programs are finding new ways to sell you stuff.
Take this week's "New Girl," which should should have been called "New Awesome Ford Fusion." The episode featured Zooey Deschanel's character Jess stumbling around for two minutes trying to model at an auto show. All the while, an announcer raved about the features in Ford's (F) new Fusion. (You can see a short clip here.)
Ford could have bought two minutes of commercial time, but we would have skipped right through it. How many viewers skipped through that segment of the show? Not many, I'd guess.
So viewers came out knowing much more about the Fusion -- which, by the way, also sponsors features on the "New Girl" website.
It's one of the more in-your-face examples I've seen from the generally cheeseball product placement business. And we'll see more going forward as advertisers explore ways to force their products upon captive eyeballs.
My colleague Jason Notte pointed out the ridiculous advertising placement for Toyota (TM) on "Bones." Check out this YouTube clip showing an awkward scene in which Emily Deschanel's character explains her Prius' intelligent parking. "The car guides itself into the parking spot," she says. "Wow, look at that," responds her co-star. What is it with the Deschanel sisters and product shilling?
Entertainment Weekly has more examples, including the proclamation on "90210" that "drinking Dr. Pepper is practically a requirement" on road trips. Ugh.
Product placement is pretty much a given now, and audiences for the most part seem to accept it. Usually, however, it's more subtle and artfully executed (unless it's "30 Rock," which takes the idea and smashes you over the head with it). See this roundup for more examples.
But television shows may be able to wring more advertising money from more blatant promotions, like the Ford Fusion gag. So expect to see more of these in-program stunts. It'll be enough to make you pine for the days of 30-second commercials.
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I actually do not mind product placement advertising. Certainly beats the current system which adds a stench to commercial TV. Number of spots interjected between program content is outrageous.
Counted 14 at one point. Recall one of the arguments made to bolster the concept of paid cable TV was the elimination of advertisements. What happened to that?! Oh, yes, of course, G R E E D.
Can actually skim the channels for long periods of time without hitting any program content. All
ads. Hey, advertisers: Most of us don't watch'em or pay any attention.
Got’ta admit, I also hate TV commercials - with a passion, BUT guess what - every now and then I do enjoy watching certain commercials. One of my favorite right now is that very funny “BMW Vet” commercial - the one where Mom and daughter are preparing to take the family dog to the vet. Seen it countless times and I still laugh.
Here, check it out.
If done well and creatively, and limited, I'm not to concerned about it and doesn't bother me. However, if it poorly done and blatently obvious that they are trying to fit this in then I have a problem. I see it this way, if you are going to do it, at least work with the show context and try but also don't get greedy with number of placements and time they take, either.
I also agree with another comment about reducing the traditional commercial time. If they are insert it in the show then the inbetween time needs to be reduced (should be regardless).
As a whole I'm sick of the increasing commercials and the increasing lack of decent programming. I do feel unless something changes the networks are going to be in for a rude awakening when people finally do say enough is enough.
I think its time
I thought we paid for cable to avoid annoying commercials. Seems like cable is the worst offender. Ever seen those ads that take up half the screen DURING a show or movie? Talk about obnoxious! And everyone has some kind of guide or menu function--so why beat me in the head with a 1 minute promo of the show that will be on in 30 seconds?
Every time there is an interesting plot-point, a visual cue, or even just a hot girl--its immediately obscured by a huge banner add or insert ad that completely drowns out the show you're trying to watch. How long before they just zap commercials into our heads without permiossion?
who watches commercials anymore....
i record everything....and watch it the next night....
i can watch 4 hrs of shows in 3 hrs....
each 1/2 hr "sitcom" is about 20 mns....
each 1 hr show is about 40 - 45 mns....
each 2 hr movie on cable (usa, lifetime, etc) is about 1.5 hrs...
i haven't watches a show "live" in years even before i got my dvr....i still recorded everything on vcr....
the only thing i watch live is racing and everytime they go to commercial break i switch to something i recorded (usually a movie) in which for a 3-4 race, i can get a movie watched....as each commercial break is 2.5-3 mns...
but more to the point...NO ONE is forcing you to watch the commercials......
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