TV v JT Episode 2: Product Placement

This week's episode of TV v. JT we take a moment to look at product placement in shows: both good and bad. As usual, we commend shows like White Collar and Mad Men while we chastise Hawaii 5-0 and others.

The best examples of product placement include the item as a part of the narrative of the show. Obviously, a show like Mad Men--which is based upon a group of people who work in advertising--can get away with great product placement without losing touch of the story. Most other shows, however, have a much more difficult task ahead of them, trying to balance the integrity of their show with the longevity offered by whatever product they need to integrate into the story. NBC is notorious for being able to do just that with programs like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Community.

This also leads into why certain genres of shows are picked up by networks in the first place. For instance, Game of Thrones would struggle on a major network simply because there is no opportunity for advertisers to claim a stake in their mythology. The story would have to be broken by commercials, which would destroy the flow of story. Future-based sci-fi/fantasy, however, can get away with this by utilizing "future" product (where are our hoverboards?).

On our recurring segment "A Word On Our Sponsors", we send a hats off to So Co for their regular AMC spot. Afterward, Andrew gives a lively description of the hypersexualized version of French thirst quenching.

Thanks for tuning in, and see you next week!