Posted by: brian | September 1, 2007

Buy stuff. DO IT!

“Product placement” – a nice little euphemism for “advertising disguised as something else” – has gotten so pervasive, and it’s really starting to annoy me. I suppose it’s inevitable in a society of the money, by the money, and for the money, but at what point do people say “ENOUGH!”? (I am intrigued by Adbusters, but what impact have they had?) I doubt I can just stop buying everything that annoys me with its marketing. (Although A-1 steak sauce is off the list, and I won’t really miss it. I actually don’t even like the idea of subjecting you, dear reader, to that ad, but I must share the annoyance!)

I’ve bitched about this before – ads in menus, 3 minutes of ads ahead of the trailers at a movie, name dropping on TV programs (e.g., T-Mobile (regularly) and Home Depot (recently) on The Closer – otherwise one of the best shows that’s ever been on TV), designed into clothes, ads being transmitted into our dreams – oh, wait – that one’s not real…yet.

I’m surfing the internets and the TV is tuned to the Science Channel. And there’s this show about building stuff – they’re talking about roller coasters tonight. The show starts out with the host doing a voice over about how after he graduated from college, he wanted to “learn the stuff you don’t find in books” or some such. During this voice over, wherein he uses words that connote rugged masculinity, they show him walking across a desert landscape backed by towering mountains, toward his black Toyota Tundra. Then he takes off, leaving a trail of dust, and the camera zooms in on the Toyota emblem on the grille.

Ben pointed out: Hey, at least Toyota’s sponsoring a program about science/engineering, rather than some “reality” tripe. Which is a valid point, yes. But why can’t they say “This program is sponsored in part by Toyota blah blah blah”? Why the conceit of an ad, with all its psychological bs? (Is it ironic that Toyota is also listed as a sponsor for The Closer?)

Oh, then, just to piss me off a little bit more, he comes to Minnesota, to look at some bigass roller coaster at Valley Fair… IN A SNOWSTORM. WTF?!? COME ON!


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