Sunday, November 2, 2008


I have no qualms against product placement, so long as it's done with wit, style, and it plays under the radar for the most part. The biggest transgressor this season has been the (ab)use of Degree anti-perspirant in 'Eureka'. Its first appearance was cute, as it seemed to acknowledge that product placement was fast becoming "in yo' face" in TV shows. But then week after week, its intrusion became more noticeable, to the point that it finally became an actual plot point, the deus ex machina that saved the day in fact!

But recently there were two examples, both for upcoming movies, whose placement was much more subtle and therefore more effective, since they didn't turn away the potential audience.

On 'Entourage', the trailer for "Max Payne" was playing in the background on the monitor in Ari Gold's office. This also served as an in-joke since "Max Payne" stars Mark Wahlberg, who is the executive producer of 'Entourage'.

The other example was also an in-joke and perhaps even more subtle in its placement. On 'Mad Men' executive secretary Joan Holloway was at home with her fiance Greg and they were watching "The Day The Earth Stood Still". A new version of that sci-fi classic will be out soon, starring Keanu Reeves... and co-starring Jon Hamm, who plays the lead role in 'Mad Men', Don Draper.

Klaatu Nikto BCnU!
Toby O'B

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