May 16th, 2008

Lord Yupa

Product Placement done wrong.

Wow.  Product placement advertising has really gone to a new (bad) level these days.

I was just watching the season finale of My Name is Earl and at two different points in the show did they feature a Klondike Ice Cream bar.  The first time it was the central feature of a series of scenes, while the second time was briefer.  However, in both scenes the Klondike tagline was repeated at least once.  And in both cases, immediately following that show segment, there was an actual Klondike commercial.

Now, to be honest, I don't mind much if there are products or advertisements featured in a show.  It's not that big of a deal. . . provided it's unobtrusive.  Have a character drinking a Pepsi, or eating lunch at a McDonalds, or whatever.  Not a big deal.  But having a scene in the show that is specifically written around a placed product, and then followed with product commercials?  It just feels sleazy and dirty.  Like the whole show is one big commercial.

Note for advertisers and script writers. . . keep it subtle.  When you stuff annoying and blatant advertisements into regular programming, it's annoying.  As it is, this was enough to turn me off of My Name is Earl some.  I'm not saying I'm going to boycott it, but I don't think I'll worry as much about whether I catch it or not in the future.  And if I see something like this again, I probably will stop watching it.