Stealth Advertising

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?”)

bush.jpg

How about some great moments in history? Everyone needs crackers…

There were crackers on the moon right?

moon.jpg

What’s a war without crackers?

iwojima.jpg

You can go great places with crackers!

hitler.jpg

And my personal favorite.

911.jpg

Tasteless? Well, yes, but since we’ve already turned anything artistic into a commercial, what’s left? Just the news.


advertising, internet advertising, humor, funny, stealth advertising, george w. bush, bush, news, entertainment

Kopi Luwak, Paperweights and URLs

paperweightAfter 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.

Troy responded:

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!

funny, coffee, kopi luak, kopi luwak, luak, luwak, poop, animal coffee, food, dining, gourmet, gourmet food, entertainment

Has anyone else noticed?

Mmmmm... Spam.Has anyone else noticed that if you’re looking at your Spam folder in Gmail there is a link at the top for a Spam recipe?

Google typically places a web clip from a popular news site at the top of the mail view, but in the Spam folder you’ll get a random Spam recipe from RecipeSource.com.

Yup, Spam. Not gag recipes either! Legitimate recipes for things like Spam Breakfast Burritos, French Fry Spam Casserole, and even Spam Primavera.

So if you’re sitting around wondering how you should prepare that Spam you bought for dinner, remember Gmail has the answer.

spam, gmail, email, internet, entertainment, cooking, recipe, food