It’s been hitting us in the face lately. Product Placement is getting worse and in some instances, it borders on propaganda.
We all saw the Oscar selfie. While that was an egregious use of product placement that arguably impacts the credibility of the awards (were they really so hard up for cash that they had to sell skits like that?), it doesn’t do the things President Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns did.
Let me say this: I consider myself a democrat. I believe in the Affordable Health Care Act. I even really like Between Two Ferns. I have no problems with either of them. The problem I have is the bit. It’s advertising. There is no way in hell Obama goes on there if it isn’t the message he wants to get across. No way. Doesn’t that disrupt the ethical credibility of the program they are on? I know, BTF doesn’t give a shit about ethical credibility – they want views. The White House’s product was the health care act and their propaganda was the video.
The test run for this video was a couple of weeks earlier in Michelle Obama’s video with Will Ferrell. The First Lady was plugging her Let’s Move program and got Will Ferrell to appear in a cute video with kids talking about being active. While the video didn’t get the hits the Between Two Ferns video did, it showed the concept could work. It didn’t hurt that Ferrell is a co-founder of Funny or Die (which houses Between Two Ferns).
I love that the White House is doing all they can to reach a younger demographic. It’s cool and inventive. The issue is it ruins the creative credibility of the show you are watching. If you are watching an hour-long drama and the show constantly eats at Subway, doesn’t that have an effect on the show? I’m looking at you Chuck,
and Hawaii 5-0
and Man of Steel.
(I could keep going but I think you get the gist. BTW Subway is a whore.)
Maybe no one cares about the purity of a creation and I am just out-of-place. The advertising spectrum for entertainment is shifting because of DVR technologies and companies need to infiltrate programs so their products can be sold. The question is should programs let them? Is the television/video viewer so akin to these situations that they disregard them from the content?
I don’t know. What I know is simple. They bug me.