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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Would you swap TV commercials for product placement?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (20270 points ) January 30th, 2011

Would you acquiesce to having product placement in your TV series and sitcoms if it meant less commercial breaks or no commercial breaks at all? If the main character meets her beau at a Denny’s or a Starbucks or at his office at Geico, etc means you have to suffer through less commercials or none at all would you be put off by that?

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10 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

No. Not me, I hate product placement. I want my advertising right up front in my face, separate from the story, from the news, separate from everything, where I can see it for what it is but that’s just me. I want my advertising clearly, very clearly identified as advertising. I don’t want the lines blurred. Those days, even already, are kind of over, product placements everywhere, viral advertising or whatever you call it, and I think it’s dangerous in many ways and I don’t like it.

Sunny2's avatar

I think that’s a great idea! They could very cleverly work them in. Of course, there would have to be more scenes in the bathroom, You know, hemorrhoid creams, make-up, remedies of all kinds. Working in all the kitchen products might be easier. And the insurance the characters would have to have is kind of daunting. On the other hand, all the pills for maladies of the psyche might enhance story lines. Or maybe not. How many neurotic characters can you have? And they would somehow have to label every floor and carpet with either its maker/installer or cleaner. Well, it might get a bit intrusive, but I still think it’s a good idea in theory.
Ah, but think of the mute button. It would fall into disuse and despair. Another plot feature?

seazen's avatar

I loved The Truman Show when it came out and saw that it was good, Big Brother, i.e. I am totally for product placement – they are there anyway – may as well make a few bucks and stop the fucking advertisement interruptions for @@@@^&*% sake. Sorry.

FutureMemory's avatar

I despise commercials. I would be in favor of anything that reduced or eliminated them.

marinelife's avatar

There is already product placement in TV shows. The advertisers would not swap it; it is an ancillary revenue stream.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Sunny2 I don’t think it has to be that saturated but 10 to 12 well placed highly conspicuous items ought to do it, and since space would be limited it would go to the manufacturer who paid the most to place their products. The lead woman gets to tell her sidekick how well her new ___________ drives while she goes to ___________ after picking up a new blouse at ______________, and the world gets less or no commercials. Though it might make it harder to go take a leak or snatch a snack from the kitchen without missiung anything.

Sunny2's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Re your last comment… Another fly in the ointment! I do use commercials to do little chores or get a bit to eat or run to the bathroom. If only they would announce how long the commercials will be so I’d know how long I had. Commerce being what it is, if we had product placement, we would still have the ads. It isn’t either or, it’s both and.

@seazen The Truman Show was a wonderful case in point. Funny, but scary.

aprilsimnel's avatar

As long as they don’t do it in the way it was done on Martin Kane, Private Eye (brought to you by the United States Tobacco Company, ca. 1949–1954).

It was set in a tobacconist’s(!) and when ANYONE would light up a cigarette or fill a pipe, the floor camera would suddenly switch to the overhead cam, which held on the cigarette or tobacco packet so the viewer could get a good eyeful of the brand.

I saw this in one of my history of American TV classes and we laughed at the obviousness of the product placement. I’m shocked anyone bothered to solve a case, the time they all took to have a smoke. But in those days one company would sponsor a show. I’ll take the commercials. One advertiser could ruin the artistic vision of a show if the story interfered with their marketing goals, like what happened to Rod Serling and his stories.

lillycoyote's avatar

@aprilsimnel Thank you! I’m with you.

And, if ya’ll don’t like commercials, why are you so willing to have a television program you watch become, what would essentially be, one long commercial? What would Lost have been like if everyone on the island had been drinking Cokes and eating Lunchables and Keebler cookies, and wearing Dockers or Calvin Klein’s, and Nikes, and had iPads and the Dharma Initiative had stocked all their stations with Ikea products?

And does anyone else but me think that there might be some danger, something wrong, some problem with blurring the lines between what is advertising and what is not, even more than they might be blurred already?

Sunny2's avatar

@lillycoyote I love the visual image I got reading your response. Everybody’s clothes would have to have the labels showing. I think that not only would there be blurring of what’s story and what’s ad, it would slow down any action so viewers would be able to read all the little signs and logos.

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