movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Tue Jun 23 2009, 05:48pm | 6 comments
Here’s the future of TV advertising, alas — actors shilling products in character. Here, James Roday and Dulé Hill attempt to sell you a car in the personas of their Psych detective team:
Obviously someone does not watch Chuck aka Subway presents Chuck.
Mythbusters is doing this too, with the build crew hawking Volkswagon.
And hey, maybe I’m being silly, but if every show began to do this, I might watch more commercials. I’m not really against product placement, in theory, but I prefer this much more transparent method — at least you know you’re watching an ad this way.
Yeah, I’m actually surprisingly OK with this. If I’m to be forced to watch commercials anyway (and the advent of DVR makes me suspect the commercial companies are going to be going in different directions) at least make them obvious and not completely terrible.
The fact that Chuck, which I feel is a pretty great, if not particularly deep, show is back thanks in large part to synergy with Subway…is in my opinion a GOOD thing. If beneficial ad deals keep good shows from being canceled by stupid TV execs, everybody wins.
Now, there is one caveat; if the advertising starts to make the shows bad, obviously a line will have been crossed.
Remember the McFlurry episode of 30 Rock? Not only was that tolerable, but Tina Fey did an excellent job making it a funny but integrated part of the story.
Sure Ryan, it’s great that Subway is now sponsoring Subway Presents Chuck, but did you catch those last few episodes? You know, the ones where they interrupted the flow so Big Mike and Morgan can drool over a dozen foot-longs.
And to think that just two decades ago, media critics were making a big deal because the producers of Top Gun chose to include a Pepsi ad at the beginning of the Top Gun, thus marking the first time videotapes would choose to include advertising.
Who would’ve thought that we would reach the point that that time would seem relatively commercial-free?
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