The penultimate season of my favorite TV show MASH is due out on DVD May 23, 2006.
Just when I thought I had enough reasons to hate the entertainment industry they come up with an idea like this.
From a recent Reuters article on Boston.com:
A breakthrough in television advertising debuted without fanfare last spring as a brand-name box of crackers appeared on the CBS sitcom ”Yes, Dear” for about 20 seconds, seen but hardly noticed by millions of viewers.
Unbeknownst to them, the image of Kellogg’s Club Crackers had been digitally painted onto the top of a coffee table after the scene was filmed, launching the latest advance in a marketing practice known in the industry as product placement but derided by critics as ”stealth advertising.”
This is worse than the advertisements which now seem to frequent the bottom third of the screen as you’re trying to watch your favorite program. At least when Shrek started popping his ugly head into the frame you knew you were seeing an advertisement!
Now when you see a box of crackers, pop-tarts, a box of trojans, a bottle of Coke, or a BMW in a series you’ll never know if it was put there by a careful writer, a skilled set dresser, or just a network advertising department who has no interest in the artistic integrity of the show.
Now I’m not naive enough to think the entertainment industry hasn’t been taking payoffs for putting brand name products in their shows, but at least it was part of the original composition, not an afterthought. There can be some give-and-take between the advertisers and the writers and, while advertising is inevitable, at least there are some checks.
So where does this end? Well, my bitching probably won’t get them to stop placing ads in more and more programming, so I’d like to offer this suggestion for the future of “stealth advertising.”
Advertising in the news. That’s right, the news. Try these on for size…
Would George W. like a cracker? (or should that be “Is George W. like a cracker?”)
How about some great moments in history? Everyone needs crackers…
There were crackers on the moon right?
What’s a war without crackers?
You can go great places with crackers!
And my personal favorite.
Tasteless? Well, yes, but since we’ve already turned anything artistic into a commercial, what’s left? Just the news.
Well, the coffee has been ground and is just about done brewing. Soon it will be ready to be consumed… again.
Yup, that’s right. This coffee’s already been eaten by a cute little critter called the luwak. For more detail on that, check out my article The Straight Poop on Kopi Luwak
AnimalCoffee.com specializes in this rarest of all coffee and was nice enough to send me a sample since I’d never tried it.
The out-of-the-box experience on this coffee is unbelievable. It shipped from Indonesia packed in bubble wrap, cardboard, then paper. The entire package (as pictured here, click on the thumb for a larger image) comes in a sharp looking wooden box with a Luwak Coffee plaque, a lucite paperweight, a card describing the Luwak Coffee process, and a package of the coffee. The whole experience tells me I’m about to try something very exclusive.
The smell of the bean was earthier than other coffees. There’s a complexity to it which I hope is an indication of how it will taste in the cup.
Well, the coffee is brewed and it’s tasting time. I’m trying it with half-and-half and sugar. The flavor is strong and complex, but without the bitterness usually associated with coffees that are this rich. There is a pleasant earthy flavor I cannot quite place. I can honestly say it stands apart from every other coffee I’ve ever had.
The bouquet has a lot to do with the flavor of this coffee. While I’m at a loss to describe it, it is very plesant and quite unusual. I’m trying it black now, and even in the absence of sugar there is not even a hint of bitterness.
The aftertaste dissipates quickly much like a pure Hawaiian Kona. It’s a smooth finish with a slight nuttiness to it. The perfect finish to the perfect cup. Both with cream and sugar, as well as black this is an outstanding cup of coffee.
This is one of the best, most unique coffees I’ve ever had. If you or someone you know are the type of person who seeks out the best coffee in town, have tried dozens of mail-order coffees and are always on the lookout for something unique, AnimalCoffee.com has just the treat for you.
With the steep price this will no doubt remain a rare treat, but with gift boxes starting at $20 this is the ultimate coffee gift. With a great presentation, outstanding flavor, and bragging rights for trying the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world it’s the perfect gift for the coffee connoisseur.
After writing about Kopi Luwak Coffee and specifically AnimalCoffee.com and their sweet paperweights and Luwak Coffee gift boxes I got an email from Troy Davis of AnimalCoffee.com thanking me for the exposure and graciously offering to send me a sample of Luwak Coffee.
I naturally accepted and offered the suggestion that he should put his site name on the paperweight somewhere.
I did consider having the URL of my site put inside the paperweights and key rings however both are made in a tiny hut in a fairly remote village in west Sumatra.
I kid you not.
If you had any idea of the time and trouble I have been through just in getting those items as they are now, of a standard that is acceptable to me; I am loathe to further complicate things. It is difficult for me to explain to the people in the village why I want to collect cat poo, have it encased in resin, and insisting it be done neatly. They think I’m insane but I pay well.
I am very amused. I suppose these are the challenges you face in the cat poo business.
Yesterday I received a small package from Indonesia. Inside a layer of tape, paper, cardboard and bubble wrap I found a wooden box with a metal plaq on top. Within that was a card with the story of Luwak coffee, a luwak coffee paperweight and a quarter pound of Luwak Coffee. What a great presentation.
I’m holding off until tomorrow (Saturday) to try this so I can enjoy it while I’m not driving, but the coffee smells fantastic. Thanks for sending me the coffee Troy!
- a) too much time on their hands
b) a warped sense of humor
c) a perverse affinity for vintage games
d) a warped sense of foley
e) all of the above
Thanks to Tom for passing this one on.