The case and point topic that stood out to me most was product placement in TV shows. While in many shows it is quite obvious, some examples that come up are The Walking Dead and the brand new, bright and shiny, Hyundai car they drive during the zombie apocalypse, but this is actually very prevalent in many main stream media like movies. I previously talked about the movie the Truman Show, and while in the other post I talked about the privacy concern, they actually poked fun at the fact that TV shows and movies have product placement. During one scene in the movie, many of the characters in the “show” clearly are promoting different products such as utility kitchen knives, or entering the house with a 6 pack and all the beers are facing the same direction.
Even though they are mocking it in a way, many TV shows treat it that way so blatantly. But they have a reason for it. Product placement pays for so many of the shows and movies we watch. We like to think that we as individuals are above that, but the thing is if we needed the money to make something, we would fit it in there. When shows aren’t shown with commercial breaks, there’s no other way to advertise with them, so product placement becomes the only way. We ask the ethical issues of taking money to promote something, but in reality it plays such a small role in the film or TV show that it doesn’t matter. As a film major, if I received payment to promote a product in my Thesis, or anything else I have worked on, I would take it because the money they would give me, I would put too good use and make the film that much better.
I know I am looking at this in a different way then most, because of the fact that I am not only a viewer, but I am a creator of the media. And I am proud of that fact. Film is an art, no matter if it’s a commercial, TV show, Documentary, or feature film, and as artists, we will take any help to create our art the way we want too. If that means that a certain scene in our film will have Starbucks cup, or a brand new shiny Hyundai in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, then so be it. The point of it is too help our art be shown in a world that is driven by money. Every thing that is scene on the big screen or on the TV screen, is being made by people whose jobs are to create that. They still need to live and survive while making these films, and in this world, they need all the help they can get.
So, in conclusion, the idea of product placement, and screaming how good a product is can seem pretty ethical issue, but when you look at it through the creator’s point of view, its much more of a reason too show their creation, than to make money. Product placement is a necessary thing, and as long as TV shows and movies are relevant, which I don’t see them going away, its going to continue to be a way of paying for them and getting them to the public.