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October 7, 2015

Product integration "parodies" on 30 Rock are real

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 28th 2007 10:19AM

30 RockNBC's 30 Rock makes fun of the network, television in general and, in at least a few instances, product integration. Product integration is the new way to get advertising money that's becoming more and more popular. The Office blatantly refers to real corporations like Staples all the time and football has John Madden's scribbles sponsored by someone now. Well, on a recent episode of Rock, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin blatantly praised Verizon Wireless in a brief exchange before Fey turned to the camera and said directly, "Can we have our money now?"

Funny and lucrative apparently, as Yahoo! reports today that this was a real case of product integration, with Verizon paying for the "commercial" which at the same time was making fun of the very thing they were doing which ... wow, this gets confusing.

While 30 Rock can get away with such tactics, it will become a lot more problematic when Jack Bauer is on a tense stakeout and suddenly his Mom shows up. "When my boy is on a stakeout, nothing feeds his spy-sized hunger like a bowl of Campbell's Chunky Soup."

"Mom, what the hell--"

"Eat your chunky soup, Jack. You haven't eaten in the past 21 hours, 17 minutes and 28 seconds. A mother knows."

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This stuff has been going on since TV been around. Lucy, B. Hope & D. Martin shows advertising product during the shows. I'm not old enough to have seen those shows first hand. I've seen old retrospective with actors of that time pushing some products during the show. This is just the modern day version of that act.

November 29 2007 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh, i thought you made love like an ugly girl...

November 28 2007 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jack Bauer doesn't have a mom or a belly butten

November 28 2007 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KIrsch's comment


I think you might have to go back a little earlier.
There was a film called "Return of the Killer Tomatoes" or maybe it was "killer Tomatoes Strike Back"... anyway, the one that had George Clooney in it (yeah, I'm sure that's on his reume)

One of the plot points of the film is that the filming company runs out of money half way thru and has to resort to blatant product placement in the second half of the film to get the money to finish it.

November 28 2007 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt W.

NBC seems to be the king of product integration, and not surprising considering its low Nielsen ratings. 30 Rock is the most egregious because it is the easiest show to slip GE products in to thanks to the fact that GE is basically a "character" in the show.

However, it doesn't end with 30 Rock. If you watch Heros, pay close attention to the celphones. In the second season, all phones are Sprint models, with the logos clear as day -- at least in HD. Additionally, our Heros often drive Nissans. Last season it was Hiro shouting about the Versa, and this season Noah Bennet (HRM) giving Claire the Nissan Rogue. Additionally, Suresh and Sylar traveled the country in an Altima, and the Bennets drove an Armada. Also notice how the bad guys rarely drive a Nissan.

November 28 2007 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Matt W.'s comment

I wouldn't say NBC is the king. You probably notice it more because you watch NBC more. It is just as blatant on other networks. It would be interesting to see what studios actually make the shows though.

November 30 2007 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Every other show on television does this now. At first it was funny. Now it's as annoying as the ads during the commercial breaks.

November 28 2007 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

30 Rock, as a premise, is actually really brilliant, because it's basically an NBC (and GE) infomercial that has its own commercials that they can sell, too.

Greenzo goes on the Today show, "SeinfeldVision" shows clips from Heroes, Law & Order SVU, Deal or No Deal. They have product integration during the show and then NBC gets to sell ad time for "actual" commercials.

They'd be insane to cancel that. Right?

November 28 2007 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I forgot to add the first person to do this, I believe, though in a different artform--Mike Meyers in the first Wayne's World did a hilarious riff on product placement covering multiple products. Of course, he is an SNL vet, so the six degrees back to to Tina are more like 1 degree.

And yes, 30 Rock IS the new AD. Couldn't agree more. And would ALWAYS rather have 21/2 seasons of AD or 30 Rock than 10 of a lesser show.

November 28 2007 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Once more proving that "30 Rock" is the new "Arrested Development", except, hopefully, with enough viewers to make it for longer than 2 1/2 seasons. Since NBC does sometimes have a clue about how to nurture and grow a comedy series, I think the odds are higher than "AD" at Fox (which did stick by it for quite a long time, considering).

November 28 2007 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scott's comment

Amen, brother, amen.

AD, 30Rock and Curb are some of the best things that TV has ever given us...

Oh, and Flight of the Conchords too :D

November 28 2007 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll buy anything Ms. Fey tells me to buy. See? This is why God should never make people this hot. THEY HAVE TOO MUCH POWER.

November 28 2007 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tina Fey's no fool. Her show doesn't get great ratings, so being willing to cooperate with the network however possible helps keep her show on the air. Not only is there nothing wrong with this, I find it admirable that she's willing to find ways to work around the system to keep a great show going.

November 28 2007 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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