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October 4, 2015

The Brought to You by TV Squad Award nominees

by Jen Creer, posted May 30th 2008 8:41PM
tvsquadawards053008jenI was honestly surprised by the number of responses we got to the call for nominees for The Brought to You by TV Squad Awards. It turns out that a LOT of people are as irritated by blatant product placement as I am. Hurray! Is this the wave of the future? And if it is, can we get advertisers to eliminate commercials? Because if I have to endure ads tucked within my shows, then I don't want even to have to speed past them with my TiVo. Let's have one or the other, shall we? Because I'd hate to start boycotting Krispy Kreme and Stride gum just because I've been bombarded.

As it turns out, there were four stand-out nominees; I will tell you who they are after the jump, and then you will have a chance to vote for the Reader's Choice winner (which, in this case, is actually an obnoxious loser). But I did want to mention two runners up: 30 Rock gets an honorable mention for its mention of Verizon, but it doesn't quite make the cut because of the humorous way it handles the mention, and the show's ability to poke fun at itself. The other honorable mention goes to Ugly Betty for its hour-long ad for Wicked, but it still didn't quite make the cut.

So, the nominees for the most obnoxious abuse of product placement within their episodes are ...

mickshirtless0530081. Moonlight. Mick and Josef, we love you, but if we saw one more damn iPhone or Dell Computer (hello, those products are not even compatible!), we were going to have to cut off your blood supply. Not to mention obnoxious, repeated references to Krispy Kreme donuts, which make viewers fat just by watching (or jealous, if you live in a town Krispy Kreme donuts are not available). Moonlight had enough problems without turning itself into one long advertisement for the young, beautiful, and wealthy.

heroesnissan2. Heroes. Again, a very good show (okay, I've only seen the first season and I don't hear great things about the second), but with a cloying Nissan habit. Between Hiro exclaiming repeatedly that he had to rent a "Nissan Versa," and Claire buying a Nissa Rogue, you'd think Nissan was sponsoring the show or something! Wait... The only thing that would have made the repeated car company references worse would have been if they had been rented or purchased with a VISA card. Maybe Johnny Smith from The Dead Zone could have put in a special appearance, and touched someone while he was at it. Speaking of which ...

deadzone0530083. The Dead Zone also gets a nomination because of the way the show seriously jumped the shark at the end by becoming an infomercial for Visa. When Visa gets not only close-ups, but its own references in the dialogue, it practically becomes a character on the show. It was a sad, desperate attempt to save the show, when perhaps good plots and a return to sharper writing could have been tried instead.

4. Smallville is our next nominee, for building an entire episode around Stride gum, and even saying its motto during the show. Smallville edged out 30 Rock and Ugly Betty for sheer number of mentions and irritation cited by readers in the call for nominees. I have to admit, though, of all of the products in all of the shows we have mentioned so far, this one is the only one that makes me actually curious about the product. Has anybody tried Stride gum? Is it any good?

So, who should we give the award to? Which of these offenders has done the most criminal act of selling out and commercializing while pretending not to?

Who should win the Brought To You By TV Squad Award?
Moonlight169 (25.6%)
Heroes237 (35.9%)
The Dead Zone73 (11.1%)
Smallville181 (27.4%)

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I don' know if this award is only for scripted shows, because, if not, you really need to take a look at Project Runway! The Bluefly wall, the L'orial hair and make up room, the hershey's chocolate challenge...It's so overboard that its a joke.

June 02 2008 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I honestly cannot cast a vote for this category. I only watch two of these shows (Heroes, Moonlight) and I didn't even notice the product placement. How can I be irritated when it took someone else to point it out?

Amrican Idol is the show that constantly irritates me with its non-stop product placement!

June 02 2008 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh wow, I totally forgot about Smallville, but their product placements are HORRIBLE! There was also the one where they spent like 10 minutes focusing on Lois' new Ford, to a point where I forgot what the plot of the episode was even about. Pathetic.

June 01 2008 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think that the iphone placement add in Moonlight was bad at all. I wanted one because of it. and I've always liked Krispy Creme donuts...the best!

June 01 2008 at 8:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't mind use of a product as in Moonlight. What actually bugs me more is when someone in a film or TV show is using a product like a Dell or Apple laptop and they have something silly taped over the logo.

Hero's I didn't mind for some reason people have to drive cars, but the one episode in season two that had the same Nissan commercial in every break, repeated over and over really bugged me.

I havn't watched the Deadzone so no comment there.

I voted for Smallville, the Stride episode was just to much for me. At least they made the gum evil. Well contaminated anyway.

May 31 2008 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to darryl's comment

For the most part I don't really have a problem with product placement, although I do see that there's the possibility of it being overdone. It brings in revenue for the shows and networks. I usually find it more distracting when I see these no-brand products in cabinets or refrigerators of TV shows. To me when there are recognizable brand names, it adds to the illusion that this is supposed to be the real world as opposed to no-brand name products which scream this is all fake.

June 02 2008 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, I was also looking for One Tree Hill to be in the list. The blatant references to Sunkist and Starburst really take you out of the moment when watching the show.

May 31 2008 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I think of advertisement in shows, the first show that comes to mind is One Tree Hill. Do you remember when Sunkist invaded the show? and there were some other company as well... a basketball game was sponsored, as mentioned in the dialogue, but some company. yeah, it almost made me stop watching it.
In this list, Moonlight gets my vote. I watched the first episode, but stopped when that iPhone came out. ok, it was the shutter effect on the iPhone that made me stop watching, but it was still the iPhone's fault. I think 30 Rock does this very good, and Las Vegas had that ad a few years ago where the show continued seamlessly into a us snowboard olympic team ad, so good it was actually in the scene rip of the show. I'm all for ads, but some people really need to learn how to do it without putting off the viewer.

May 31 2008 at 5:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You've got some great examples here, but for me the worst is in CSI:NY, where they are now always having meetings using Cisco TelePresence. Yeah, I'm guessing a city-funded office can shell out $30k+ to have a CSI person dial in to a 2-minute meeting. And I just cringe when the "meeting" starts and eithr Gary Sinise or Melinda K. says "Thanks for attending this TelePresence meeting". GACK!

May 31 2008 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Product placement annoys the hell out of me, unless it's done naturalisticly/as part of the furniture (for instance 24 would visually name-check Cisco a number of times, but only once or twice was it above noticable). I've said before that I'd rather purchase a Divx of a show, without ads or placement, rather than watch with breaks for free, altho I know that won't work for everyone.

I know nothing about Stride except they are sponsoring a petition to keep Uwe Boll from making films, so they can't be totally evil.

I'm not voting on this one as I don't watch any of the shows, but as an aside, the 30 Rock placement annoyed the hell out of me - basically because the joke: "Can we have our money" was lame and cringeworthy, rather than smart. It just seemed very lazy from a show that's generally clever.

The best product placement ever was Burger King in Arrested Development:

Carl Wethers: "Do you know you can get free refills?"
Narrator: "It sure is!"

Later the Fonz goes for breakfast at Burger King - the one and only time the show jumped the shark!

May 30 2008 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 30 2008 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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