When the iPod is the real TV show star

Tech Culture

If the days are numbered for the standard 30-second commercial, as has been suggested often, then it behooves the TV industry to turn increasingly to product placements or other forms of advertising. Yet some resist the notion, as this Reuters story notes: "Hollywood producers and writers also have raised concerns about their work being turned into virtual infomercials, and consumer activists have fretted about blurring the line between entertainment content and advertising."

iPod TV

Since when, Blogma must ask, did TV studios become so concerned with artistic integrity? As for "consumer activists," whoever that is, we say: Grow up. The world is changing, and --and that will take some ingenuity, not unlike the kind that built Hollywood at the turn of the century.

NBC built an entire episode of "" around the video iPod last December, and it hardly damaged the show's credibility. In fact, it has recorded its highest ratings ever since becoming available for download on Apple's iTunes. Forward-thinking writers and producers could expand the concept of branding even further, creating a set based at a company that sponsors a show.

The point is this: Most viewers think it's OK if actors, who are pretending to be real people, use real products and go to real places on screen. Studios just have to make the shows entertaining.

Blog community response:

"There is always the option of brands actually making original programming instead of shoving their logos digitally into somebody else's entertainment content. Now, are there skills, capability or aptitude within client organisations or agencies to actually make original content that people would actively want to watch despite being made by a brand?"
--Planning on Subversion

"So here's my suggestion: The networks should go back into their catalogues of old shows (much like NBC is already doing on iTunes) and release them online with new product placements seamlessly integrated into the old content."
--Joel Burslem

"I have to admit that I'm a little less alarmed by this news than I ought to be. After all, product placement is not an uncommon practice already, and sitcoms or TV shows such as Yes, Dear, are already so unreal that using digital technologies to insert a product into the sitcom world doesn't seem that shocking. I think I'm more alarmed by the fact that 'millions' of people watch Yes, Dear."
--the chutry experiment

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