Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In Your Face

What with the inflation and collapsing economies, we increasingly find it hard to live our life without advertisements and sponsorships1. Product placements seem to have penetrated every aspect of our visible life2.

But the product placements we see in everyday life can go two ways (like songs in Indian movies) : subliminal messages blending the ads with the content seamlessly, or in your face marketing.

Recently I came across these two different approaches in two TV serials:

Scenario 1: Eureka is a township housing the best of the best scientific minds in US, working to push the boundaries of science, in a military contracts company. In one episode, the head of the company is in a video conference. When he finishes the conference, the screen shifts to the logo of the phone manufacturing company3.

Now the fact is that logo belongs to a real-world company working in telecommunication and software field, and you just watched a highest-security-clearance video conference taking place on the phone by that company (or at least, using the software by that company). Clever? Oh yes. Subtle? No doubt. Now that's what I call genius4...

Scenario 2: In every episode of CID on Sony channel, you get at least one instance when someone, mostly Fredericks5, gives you the "Coming Attractions" on Sony in as subtle manner as Peeves' practical jokes6.

I am not comparing Hindi vs English serials, or Indian vs American advertising here. I mean, perhaps the best ads I have ever seen are the Fevicol and Feviquick ads on Indian television, while I am still wondering how a caveman who parties, uses airports, has access to news channels and psychologist, and knows the words like "existential meltdown" is different from a modern man. What I am saying is, many times, in your face marketing gets opposite results than intended (telemarketing, anyone?).

I have just come across a product placement in a book. A character (maybe main, I haven't gone that far in the book) thinking that shifting to Mac from PC has changed her life for better, reducing the booting time. What do you think of that? Subtle? Jury is still out on that.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken...

Quote of The Day:
I LIKE ads. It's not that we don't like ads, we just don't like ads when they are out of place.
- Bill Barnes, How to Blog for Money by Learning from Comics

1. In unrelated news, have you seen the Amazon search box in the right sidebar here? And the google ads?
2. I still haven't seen anybody putting company logos on the underclothes for advertisement, but I cannot be entirely sure here, can I?
3. Something like when your Dell laptop has Dell desktop image as default originally when you buy it.
4. But then, you swing a microbe and hit 10 genius in Eureka, but that's for another post.
5. The guy seems to have been added to the cast for comic relief. As if the other goings-on were not humorous enough...
6. For the ignoramuses, these include statues falling on your head and suchlike.


Ashley said...

If you comapre foreign and Indian ads, I think we sure have much nicer ones. The ones I saw on UK television were the worst.
And about advertizing products in visual media such as TV, movies is very common. It is still newer in our coutry where we see Tv programs promoting other shows on channel or movies promoting a rand here and there.
Somewhere I read about a car manufacturer (BMW or Toyota, I guess ) had forced to alter a movie scene where the car is crashed becaue it would project wrong image for their brand!
It's need of the hour you see !

Fleiger said...

@Ashley: Oh yes, I seriously think that advertising is one field overdue for outsourcing.

And I don't have anything against ads / sponsorship through product placement. I don't mind to see that every person watching TV in any Sony serial is watching Sony channel (and most are watching "Aahat").

What I take issue with is Fredericks talking about Aryan in the middle of criminal investigation, just because "Dhoom-2" will be aired sometime later.

Keshi said...

Fleiger u hv no idea...MOST of the Aussie ads SUCK.


Cuckoo said...

No wonder why you have so many ads on your blog. But I agree with you. I too love the ads. :)

And btw, your blog is too slow to even open. And this is my age old complain. Many times I came and had to go back w/o commenting. :(

One of your tags is done today. Phew !!

Fleiger said...

@Keshi: Care to share? We love mad ads, if only to crib about them ;)

@Cuckoo: We love ads... we love mad ads.

Got any recent Indian funnies? I don't have access to Indian ads that much.

And yes, I am not very happy with the layout of this blog, and a complete overhaul is long overdue. Incidentally, notice anything different in layout?

Anonymous said...

Yeah,I agree with your thoughts and another thing I believe is ads sometimes even turn an ordinary product into an extra-ordinary one, isn't it!

Fleiger said...

@Kalyan: Welcome...

Well, you know what they say about advertising. Good to best, best to extraordinary/brilliant. "Bad" just goes with the flow, right? ;)

SiD said...

arrey where has my comment gone???

Keshi said...

one example is a car ad...where 2 engineers mould a car (a male and a female) and its done like they r making love...with all the noise and the excitement. And voila a car is made! LOL it suxx big time!


Fleiger said...

@Sid: Did you comment here after (or during) the recent nightout?
Anyways, once more...

@Keshi: Hmm... that could be interesting (I am trying to imagine the ad).

Anyways, main point of this post was to write about the product placements in TV serials and movies. Got any funny ones there, too?

Keshi said...

o I dun think I can contribute to that cos I dun watch TV serials :)


Cuckoo said...

Oh Oh... I can see many of readers following your link !! :P

Lol@Your comment for SiD. Good one !!