Stephen Colbert insults T-Mobile, while being paid by T-Mobile
In a segment on his show, sponsored by T-Mobile US, Colbert suggests that its phones be inserted up rear ends to alleviate constipation. Now that's a product endorsement.
Product placement. Native advertising. Sponsorship.
It's all the same thing. It's shoving a product into the sort of limelight where it wouldn't normally be terribly welcome.
How refreshing, then, that Stephen Colbert decided that, despite being paid by T-Mobile US, he would recommend that its phones be returned to the darkness.
Last week, in a segment on his show enjoying the T-Mobile sponsorship, Colbert decided to introduce the brand into a discussion about a new mechanical constipation remedy.
Before push even became shove, Colbert made a link between the fact that the Vibrant constipation remedy vibrates to mimic a certain natural, internal pushing and shoving -- and T-Mobile's phones.
Because Vibrant isn't yet available, Colbert suggested: "I recommend you put your cell phone on vibrate and shove it where the sun don't shine."
"And while you're at it," he continued, "why not make it a top-0f-the-line smartphone from T-Mobile."
One can imagine that executives less relaxed than T-Mobile US's John Legere, might have tightly clenched several areas, if it was their brand being discussed. Oh, perhaps he wasn't too comfortable either.
Colbert, after all, went on to suggest that this scatological mobile solution was appropriate for the whole family.
Colbert claimed that T-Mobile had no idea what he was going to be saying about its phones. "All their marketing team asked is that I not position the brand in a negative light."
He explained that he was suggesting the brand be placed in no light at all.
I wonder, though, what softer marketing brains would have thought of the tagline Colbert came up with to end his segment.
I'll leave it for you to digest yourself.
Updated 6.55pm: In a tweet to CNET's Roger Cheng, T-Mobile CEO John Legere saw the funny side: "@RogerWCheng @StephenAtHome He was dead on! While @Verizon continues to clog up the industry, @TMobile is here to help keep it moving!"