Product Placement Gone Mad
Today, we can't seem to get away from the topic of product placement. We received a link from Terry Heaton of Donata Communications who, last night, saw an episode of the USA alien abduction show, The 4400, in which Budweiser had a blatant placement Heaton thought went over the edge of credibility.
On his blog, he describes the scene, writing, "Following the funeral of one of their Korean War buddies, a group of guys head to a local pub to lift a few and remember the fellow. A story is told where one of the guys 'returned with three cases of Budweiser,' whereupon one of the guys lifts a can. The camera takes a tight shot. The guy says, 'Look at this can. It's just like it was back then.' Cut to a wide shot that shows the table is full of Budweiser cans."
While Heaton is one man, others certainly reacted as he did. "The writers of this show must have had a fit over writing this. Here's an entire scene in a drama that was created to sell Budweiser beer. Frankly, it ruined the show for me. An essential part of good drama is to draw the viewer into the story. That'll never happen again for me with this program."
If product placement generates this sort of reaction, it's not the sort of marketing tactic that'll stick around for long.