Monday, May 17, 2010

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I have reluctantly accepted a level of product placement/integration in shows these days. It’s just part of the system now. The Subway tie-in on Chuck was silly and in your face but I didn’t mind too much since the show is part comedy and I can actually see those characters having a meeting in a local Subway. But some shows lately have taken it too far.

Bones has now given me two automobile product integration episodes. And they have to reach to fit it in the storyline. First I have Angela and Daisy in a Toyota and Daisy wants to know why Angela drives a minivan. “Ooh, because the Sienna has all this space for my artwork!” Seriously! Nothing important happened in this drive sequence – it was just there to talk about the car. Although here’s an article that believes it actually worked.

And then we had Angela and Hodgins in a Toyota Prius that beeps at them when Hodgins is so distracted by what Angela is making him look at while he’s driving (way to go Angela) that he veers out of his lane. “What’s that beeping?” “That’s the Prius telling you you’ve gone out of your lane.” Thanks for that built-in commercial guys! That’s exactly what I was missing in my fictional television drama!

This brings me to 24. This past week Chloe and Arlo are so upset that they can’t help Jack Bauer because there is too much security in CTU – so they set up their own mobile hotspot with Sprint’s new device. Are you kidding me? If it’s so easy to set up your own system (in 3 seconds I might add) that can bypass firewalls and security issues at a government facility, don’t you think that would be happening all over the place? Terrorists pay attention – just use your Sprint mobile hotspot and create your own network to steal info from CTU. Who knew it was that easy.

Because it really is just that easy to bypass security, enhance a picture taken by a crappy surveillance camera, and figure out the exact location of a hostage based on blurred building shapes seen through a window (thanks Castle). Just press a few buttons on a keyboard with intensity and voila! But only if you’re using your “insert brand name device here.”

Here’s a collection of awesome TV moments using their technology to "enhance."


Chad said...

No question some people pull it off better than others. The Chuck stuff worked for me also.

Courtney said...

oh yay i'm going to read now that i know you have a blog!! Shaun and I couldn't believe the sprint plug in that 24 was only our second time watching the show, and it made us wonder if we wanted to continue (so cheesy!!).

Lindle said...

Let's not forget one of the best movies of all time, Bladerunner. Of course, it's set in the FUTURE, so maybe their enhancement techniques can be acceptable. There's a photograph of a runner in a tub in a hotel bathroom. There's a mirror with a snippet of a person's image, and the enhancement is able to prove she has glittery fish scales on her body, which links the Detective Harrison Ford to a dance joint in downtown LA, and well, you know the rest by now--he gets the guys eventually. Ahead of its time.

Your observations about Chloe and Arlo's Sprint mobile hotspot device was spot-on! Now, I want to know how a data disk covered in blood and stomach acid can instantly work in a cell phone, and what idiot would answer a former president's personal phone line with such specific I.D. as "You have reached the personal phone line of President Logan." I mean, really?

Mil said...

This is frightening that they've gotten so blatant. I remember Minority Report going crazy with ads when he goes shopping at Gap, etc. They insult us when they bludgeon us with product inserts. Wish I got some of these shows so I could know more what you're talking about. But you do a good description so it's almost like being there. Glee sounds like a fun show. I don't know if they'll be able to translate it here. Should leave the songs as they are. Are you recovered from Lost now?