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TV Sure Loves Its [Insert Product Name Here]

Wednesday's Modern Family was all about the iPad—Phil really wanted one for his birthday, so Claire volunteered to wait in line and get one for him. Multiple family members got dragged into the iPad drama, and it shaped up to be a pretty solid episode. Still, after a while, the dialogue started to sound like, "iPad, iPad, iPad, iPadiPadiPad [tech word]." The blow was softened when we learned that Apple didn't, in fact, pay for the love; Modern Family's writers simply thought the storyline would make for some compelling comedy (and it did). But other shows don't have that luxury. Invasive product placement isn't just part of television's cashflow-restoration solution, it's the only solution. To wit, some egregious examples from recent memory:

Lost

Crime: Tuesday's episode ran a V countdown timer in the lower right hand corner, which marked the minutes until the alien invasion series returned from its winter hiatus... to the delight of almost no one. It remained there for the entire episode, and signaled not only the beginning of V, but the end of the week's (certainly not grade-A) installment of Lost. Because if there's one thing Lost fans love, it's constantly being reminded that the experience is going to end soon.
Would have been worse if: One of the aliens actually came onto the island and said, "Hi guys, the secret behind this show is that we're all aliens. Or are we? Lost." It's true, though. You heard it here first. April first.

Chuck

Crime: A couple episodes ago, Big Mike tried to train Casey to be a civilized manager-type. But first he needed his strength, courtesy of the neighborhood Subway sandwich shop. Ever heard of it? They actually used the line "Subway can soothe the tummy and the soul."
Would have been worse if: Subway hadn't single-handedly saved Chuck from cancellation last season (maybe). I think that qualifies for a lifetime pass.

Bones

Crime: Devoting an entire subplot to the greatness of the film Avatar. The characters even waited in line to snag sweet opening-weekend seats. It was a lot more than that little indie flick deserved.
Would have been worse if: The show had included a special 3D shot-by-shot homage to the film's deleted sex scene. Seriously, read it and weep.

Heroes

Crime: Besides the entire show after season one? Well, there are plenty of invasive uses of Sprint phones, especially last season when Bennet and what's-her-name-the-blond-one were tracking Claire Bear. The phone screens: so clear.
Would have been worse if: They had given the phones to the carnies for a series of dumb "Slow Burn" ad spots. Wait...

American Idol

Crime: Yesterday's entire opening sequence was this odd American Idol-Clash Of The Titans mash-up that didn't even make sense.
Would have been worse if: They had done it… through song!

What's the most obnoxious product placement you've noticed on TV?

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adverts and product placement keep tv alive and anyway normally it's not annoyingly obvious and put in but doesn't fit so get over it - i do ...
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Subway can throw there name as often as they want on Chuck, I don't mind I'm just happy they saved the show. And as for the Avatar sex scene.....Now that give me a good laugh!!!!
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You realize ever girl on Heroes (except for Claire's friend) could be reffered to as "the blonde one" X)
Anyway I agree, especially with Chuck, they've been very forward with how much they love Subway for a while, but considering they were the ones that gave us this season, its okay really.
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Subway saved Chuck from cancellation?? Heck, put more Subway in I say. Honestly though, that didnt distract me at all. That's just Big Mike.
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Sorry about the double post! Just wanted to add, that the Sienna-vert in Bones last night was very obvious, but again didn't bother me...I just chuckled.
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Mike's Subway line in Chuck suited him perfectly! There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. I actually didn't even notice until later when someone else brought it up.
As for the Avatar/Bones thing, I thought it was funny, especially once I saw the episode again, after seeing the movie. I guess I just don't let myself get bothered by all of that - its useless. I don't watch Lost, and will not be watching V but I can see how the countdown would be annoying ...especially if it was on the entire episode.
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Does anyone remember the 80s and 90s when they never had brand placement and in fact created generic names for products. Lol, like If they wanted cola they wouldn't get coke or pepsi they would get some generic name like "cola."
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Because if there's one thing Lost fans love, it's constantly being reminded that the experience is going to end soon. So true, though I either didn't notice the V timer or it wasn't on my *cough* legal*cough* download of it. I just saw that Bones episode with avatar and it really annoyed the crap out of me at least Lost doesn't center it's whole episode around a single annoying movie. Also I don't watch Chuck but if Subway has saved one of my favorite cancelled shows like Firefly for example, I wouldn't care how much they praise it or if Mal suddenly started eating Subway sandwiched in every scene, I'd just be grateful that it's still on
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The car one is tonight's Bones was so obvious too.

I don't mind the Chuck and Subway. Big Mike has always loved a good footlong so it's not that obvious product placement to me. I mean, i know it'd product placement, but it doesn't bother me. The scene in Bones tonight just made me facepalm.
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Oh Edward Nigma i feel ya on the stride gum episode of smallville...my first thought was seriously?? I also hated the avatar one on Bones, although the waiting in line scenes were kind of funny, it was the principal of the thing. Season Four of One Tree Hill was filled with Sunkist product placement, including Peyton wearing a Sunkist t-shirt. Why dont we leave all the advertising to commercials, shall we!!
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I hate product placement when it's done badly, really obviously, and out of character. But other things I just do not mind at all because normal human beings go see Avatar, eat Subway, use cell phones, get excited about Apple products, etc. I actually think it's weird when ppl on shows and movies don't ever reference products because it's just unrealistic. But some bad product placements? When a show zooms in on a cell phone logo. That Veronica Mars episode years ago where she extolled the virtues of Venus razors. Ugh.
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hockeyrick, the reason shows are split into fall premiere, fall finale, spring premiere, spring finale is so that they can sell the DVD sets of half a season before the second half of the season even starts. I've noticed a trend that more and more DVD sets are half-a-season instead of a whole one.
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I hated the Avatar ep of Bones. I know it happened cause Fisher's character was in the movie and it was such a sell out.
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I will say this about the Chuck Subway placement: It was SO Big Mike the way he extolled the virtues of Subway, so it's not like he was going out of character.
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Can't ever forget that amazing STRIDE GUM Smallville episode. What a great way for past series regular Pete to break back into the Smallville scene!
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so what? I watch Lost Chuck and Heroes and I know exactly what you're saying about each one...but...oh well that's life. Horrifically obvious Product placement to save your shows from cancellation...it's the new fad
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I thought that the Avatar thing on Bones was well done. It was a little odd but was amusing and fit since the characters who were going to go see it were the nerdy guys.
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i really dont care.
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To be fair to Bones, that episode was a Colin Fisher epsiode, and the actor woh plays him, Joel Moore, played Norm Spellman in Avatar. Still a big, stupid plug, but a plug for one of the actors on the show.
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Sprint in 30 Rock..the funny part was Liz turns to the camera and goes on to say -' Can we have our money now!!'
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What is with TV nowadays! The schedule is so haphazard, but that cool coz there are good shows in the summer, not like days of yore!
BUT---- do we need season premiers, then winter Finales, then spring hiatus premiers, then REAL season Finales???

It like we can't live now if we don't have the TV season split into 2 parts and have to cliffhanger/Finales!!!!
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