This isn’t a typical review. In fact, it’s not a review at all. Officially, this is a topic up for debate, a discussion among peers, an intellectually stimulating argument. But it’s more like a rant.
Okay, so some movies and shows are sponsored by certain companies. Now, just having ads during the commercial break isn’t enough. No, they have to send subliminal messages to you during the show, that will slowly pick at your brain until you say, “Hey I’m gonna buy one!” (for example). The producers will casually slide their Nikon camera in the scene, and add a line that says, “Let me four times optimal zoom with my new Nikon DS38” (I just made that up but it sounds legit), and they attempt to slip in there in such a way that it will be in your head but you can’t make a remote connection to as where you heard it. However, I am on a mission. I am recognizing advertisements, and I am nitpicking at how blatantly they advertise. I mean, have these companies no integrity? These movie people think they are so clever and sly but they make it so obvious to anyone who pays attention. I have a few examples.
Man of Steel – Nikon & Nokia
Lois is climbing some mountain or whatever and they switch to that scene, but first they zoom in and focus on her camera she’s holding, which clearly reads, Nikon. And then later she shows pictures to someone on the camera, and it vividly displays the Nikon D3S. I mean how evident can these cameos get??
Later, someone is on their phone and it focuses on the Nokia logo, and then when Zod takes over the computers and stuff, the agent woman lady basically says, “Oh no, he took over my Nokia smartphone with all these high tech capabilities!”
Pretty Little Liars – Camry & TRESemmé
I swear, like, half the characters in Pretty Little Liars own Toyota Camry’s (is it Camries?). They’re always showing the GPS system and emphasizing different features.
In a few episodes, TRESemmé is prominently shown. And at one point Cece says “Hey use this TRESemmé dry shampoo, you’re not the only one who didn’t shower” or something along those lines. It wasn’t that advertise-y, but you could still tell. This is actually one of the more efficient ways to advertise.
White Collar – Ford & HP
HP isn’t as deliberately shown as some of the others mentioned, and I commend them, because literally slipping it in a scene is pretty effective, because it’s in your head subconsciously. All the computers in White Collar are HP, and they focus in on the logo occasionally, but nothing more than “setting the scene”.
Ford… Oh jeez. They ALWAYS advertise Ford. More specifically, their Ford Taurus with self steering and some other great features. Peter in one episode almost causes a fender bender, and he’s like “Don’t worry, my car takes care of that with its special sensors”. They constantly show the GPS and other aspects of the car throughout the whole series. In another episode, Elizabeth is parallel parking and she makes a translucent display of holding her hands up and not touching the wheel while the car parks itself (how does it do that anyway? See, things like these are just going to increase the risk of a technological takeover).
The Vampire Diaries – Samsung
They always so all these nifty perks of Samsung phones. In one episode, Klaus doodles the words “I will” on his phone and sends it to someone in response to a text. I will admit, my poor, media-prone sister fell prey to it, and said “Whoa that’s a cool phone!” and looked it up right away. Yes, yes, one of my own succumbed to the persuasive, mind-boggling ways of marketing. First of all, why would you send someone a picture when you could easily just type it in? Second of all… that’s all I got. But, it was a pretty good point, you have to admit.
There are many more examples of ads within our favorite shows and movies, and let me tell you why they bug me.
TV SHOWS: In a show, they always have the bare minimum. If something doesn’t directly have to do with the plot or a character, they get rid of it. That’s why they barely have small talk or other regular things. With these ads, the producers try to casually insert it into a scene, so people can’t think twice about it, and it doesn’t interfere with the show, but they still please their sponsors. However, then you got people like me, who are vigilant and notice these meek attempts at discretion. You see, if I wanted to have an ad within my show, this is what I would do. I would not try to do it casually, because there is usually nothing else small talk-like in the show, so why would I try to have it now? No, I would try to emphasize my ad, but have it actually tie in with the plot. For example, in White Collar, they can have an episode centered in on a stolen car, with some apparent value. Then, call it a day, because for the rest of the season you don’t need an ad, because you had a whole dang episode dedicated to the product. In Pretty Little Liars, when Detective Wilden had his car stolen, they could’ve shown some features or whatnot.
MOVIES: You’ll notice movies are more sly with their ads. In reality, they aren’t. They are brandishing as much as the TV people do, it’s just that it fits in with the rest of the movie. You see, in movies, they have to fit in characters, setting, plot, and more in three hours or less. In shows, they have already established everything, so there is no small talk. In movies, however, they rely on small talk to show how the characters interact, and develop the setting and plot. That’s why advertisements aren’t as obvious, because the whole movie is filled with little things that aren’t really relevant to the conflict.
Oh, gosh I sound like an English teacher. This won’t do. Darn my exceedingly cultivated vocabulary.
Oh, well, stay tuned. I think the next review will be The Lion King.