Tag Archives: BMW

Evan and Gordon Interview: Kat, Our Newest CWR!

EVAN: Ladies and gentlemen, it brings me the greatest sort of joy to announce that we will be announcing a third Culture War Reporter to our blog. Ever since Elisa’s departure I have long wished to have a female perspective, and after a little bit of searching I was connected to Kat via one of my many, many cousins-

This edition of E&GT will consist of both Gordon and me asking Kat ten questions apiece, to present to all of you nice people a greater picture of who she is. At the end she’ll have the opportunity to ask each of us five questions, just to be fair.

You can of course find out more about her by reading her bio. Now, without further ado, I’m going to let Gordon start us off-

GORDON: You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and you see a tortoise, Kat. You reach down and flip the tortoise over on it’s back, Kat. The tortoise lays on its back, it’s belly baking in the hot sun, beating it’s legs, trying to turn itself over but it can’t. Not without your help.  But you’re not helping. Why is that, Kat?

KAT: Because I’m hungry and I plan to eat it?

GORDON: Well, we’ve determined she’s not a replicant. That’s progress, at least.

EVAN: Gordon, you are a huge nerd. Continue reading

Product Placement, and/or Wouldn’t an Ice Cold Pepsi Really Hit The Spot Right Now?

After a long day, I plan on sitting back and finally watching the last episode of CBC’s Being Erica, a show I began last summer and have yet to finish. While skimming its Wikipedia page I was reminded of Season 4 Episode 8, and the product placement that the video below accurately describes  as “egregious.”

It’s difficult to be immersed in a show that shoves advertising down your throat, and I definitely remember being disturbed by it. A car that can park itself is impressive, but watching two characters you’ve grown familiar with ooh and aah as a car salesman lists its features is not. As I watch the clip again and hear the back and forth of “No way” and “Way” it’s hard not to feel a little sick inside.

As was to be expected, the Canadian press was far from thrilled by this. An article on the National Post titled “How Being Erica took product integration too far” cites this episode as the one that caused the author to “break up with Erica.” She also referenced a the following point I had already been planning on making:

Is there anything 30 Rock can’t get away with? The clip above features product placement that is far more in-your-face than what was found in Being Erica, yet manages to pull it off. It’s both meta and very funny, and as a result as viewers we can laugh it off and even respect what the show is doing.

How much, then, can we put up with? I fully recognize that Dr. Pepper plays a fairly prominent role in the first three Spider-man films, and the ridiculous amount of BMWs in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was impossible to ignore. Phones, more than ever have gotten a good amount of screen time in music videos, with so many examples out there I’m not even going to link to one.

Product placement [or integration, which definitely has more positive connotations] has, and will continue to be around, but is this something that we should take for granted and accept? That particular episode of Being Erica sparked an uproar of sorts, with audience members feeling offended that the network would think so little of them. The message behind their complaints seems to be: You can advertise to us, but be subtle about it.

The economy’s not in great shape, and TV shows and movies and music videos can only be made if there’s money to fund them. Since we’re going to keep getting logos flashed in our faces, what should we do? Can we do anything about it? As consumers of the media we should all have standards we expect to be met, but the question now is when do we draw the line?