Thursday, October 14, 2010


It's a sad fact of life in Toobworld that product placement intrusions into our TV shows are here to stay. I accept that; I just don't like it.

But if they have to beat us over the head with these stealth ads, the least they can do is make them entertaining and not obtrusive.

Within the first ten minutes of this week's episode of 'Chuck' ("Chuck vs. The Coup D'Etat"), we were offered up two examples of the current trend. First up, here's a good example of bad product placement:

(I have no delusions about clips from Hulu. This could disappear at any time. If it does, it was a scene in which Ellie pointed out that her hot husband had gone overboard with the protective daddy mode by driving a mini-van. Devon responded that it was an "Awesome" mini-van and then proceeded to deliver clunky dialogue about the Toyota Sienna. Or Sierra. I'm not sure; I blanked on what he was saying.)

But just a few minutes later, the show redeemed itself with a bit of product placement that was actually pretty funny. They played on the relationship the show has had with the corporation that just might have saved them from cancellation the first time around.....

(And again, just in case it's deleted too quickly: In promoting the safety of the country of Costa Gavras, the Colonel mentions that they now have Subway franchises.)

'How I Met Your Mother' had the perfect example of product placement. It was just there in the scene; "make of it what you will" seemed to be the mood:

No real harm in that. People need to use search engines all the time. However, as a Toobworld caretaker, I wish Ted used Finder-Spyder........



Jack said...

Hey man, HIMYM's placement was a lot worse than just the one screen. Every time it showed the map with the characters' faces running around the city it said 'bing' in the corner. Ted's computer clearly had a Windows logo on it. One scene with Marshall and Ted outside a store showed both the new model Xbox 360 in the window and another laptop like Ted's. It was shameless, the whole episode was basically an ad for Bing's map feature.

Toby O'B said...

Really. I didn't notice all of that. I guess I was too fixated on those heads running down the street....

Thanks for pointing it out, Jack!