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Digital Tech and the Re-Birth of Product Placement

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-the-world-worse dept.

Advertising 228

pbahra writes "When you think of product placement on television you tend to think of cumbersome 1950s examples where the actor would cheesily turn to camera and hold up, say, a bar of soap—where do you think the sobriquet soap opera came from—to deliver his line. Perhaps to save all of us the artistic murder, the practice was prohibited in Europe, but recently the prohibition has been relaxed and a U.K. start up is offering digital producers the chance to inject products realistically in post production with full directorial control. The problem with existing physical product placement is that there are no clear business plans, and the process is incredibly slow. In Europe, legal constraints prohibit directors from re-writing scripts to include products, so any placement has to be done at the creative stage."

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228 comments

It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37107974)

We've had this in the U.S. for ages, and the only side-effect that I've noticed is that I can't stop thinking about delicious, delicious fast food products. I recommend that you just relax and let the placements do their work. If you try to fight it, it'll just give you a really nasty headache. Then you'll have to take Tylenol-brand pain reliever, washed down with a refreshing Coca-Cola.

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108024)

They're going to far, though. Even my 6 year old is starting to see through it. His question?

"Why would they put Captain America on a can of Canada Dry?"

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108084)

Because "Captain Mexico" would have been just what they wanted us to do.

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108114)

It gets worse than that. You get the Verizon Wireless Concert Series on the Coca-Cola Stage at the Sun Life Stadium for the Disney Halftime Show starring The Who brought to you by Carl's Jr at the Super Bowl...

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108340)

That's almost as bad as a NASCAR driver plugging all his sponsors when talking about the car.

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108544)

It gets worse than that. You get the Verizon Wireless Concert Series on the Coca-Cola Stage at the Sun Life Stadium for the Disney Halftime Show starring The Who brought to you by Carl's Jr at the Super Bowl...

you mean at the Budweiser Super Bowl brought to you by Snickers.

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108334)

Smart kid. Obviously, they should put Wolverine on Canada Dry!

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108076)

I'm reading your post, and I agree, comfortable at work because I'm wearing 100% cotton Haynes under my clothes, The Lady Prefers Haynes(TM) Just wait till we get our Haynes on You(TM)

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108390)

That's a lot of comfy ruby, and I'm sure you'd like to keep those loved items you enjoy every day as comfy as the first Sunshine Fabric Conditioner day you bought them.
I'm good at this.

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108506)

Actually it's not fine. We've had it for years and it's getting worse and worse. We now have in character discussions about products (e.g. this new car I bought parks itself) and it completely ruins the flow of a flim or television show. It was fine when it was unobtrusive and people just happened to be drinking a coke or driving a ford but it's become ridiculous in the last 10 years or so.

Re:It'll be fine, brought to you by Carl's Jr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108552)

Taco Bell, Taco Bell, product placement with Taco Bell.

enchirito nacho burrito.

Ba na na na na, Neo. Ba na na na na, Sporin.

there is always the oprah/scoble model (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108030)

say how cool something is and the cult will buy it

As you hunch over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108044)

your Macbook Pro.

Soap Opera (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108050)

I think he needs to do a little more research on the origin of "soap opera".
might I suggest a connection to laundry soap?

Re:Soap Opera (2, Informative)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108294)

And might it predate television?

Isn't bad... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108058)

Product placement isn't bad when it works with the story. For example, a horror movie isn't ruined because at a party they have a box of Pizza Hut pizza and are playing on a PS3. On the other hand, bad product placement can ruin character development, for example, showing what is supposed to be a poor family having a top-of-the line Mac in their kitchen.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108082)

Unless the main character is a petty thief.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108378)

Wait, what are you trying to insinuate about Macintosh users? Only petty thieves use Macintoshes? Or only petty people use Macs?

Either way... woo, boy howdy, are you in for a royal flaming.

Re:Isn't bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108436)

Yes.

BTW - welcome to /.

Re:Isn't bad... (2)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108086)

bad product placement can ruin character development, for example, showing what is supposed to be a poor family having a top-of-the line Mac in their kitchen.

Maybe that's why they are poor, they blew all their money on a top-of-the-line computer.

Or maybe it's a movie about Enron and they bought the computer the day before the company collapsed.

Re:Isn't bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108416)

>Maybe that's why they are poor, they blew all their money on an overpriced fruity toy.

FTFY

Re:Isn't bad... (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108754)

Very much agree with you there. I often find it more likely that people without money end up spending their money on frivolous things to make it look like they have more money then they do. It's not uncommon to see people without much money (or very much in debt) for the simple fact that they can't give up their fancy cell phone, computer, car, house or other luxury item. Think about the first expensive thing you bought with your money when you got a real job. Likely it was something frivolous. Many people don't grow out of this.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108120)

The most notorious example had to be the Mac-compatible alien technology in Independence Day. Thank god the aliens didn't go with Intel PC's, or we would've been fucked.

Re:Isn't bad... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108290)

Well at that point Goldblum and Smith could just have inserted a faulty SATA driver and they're computers would have kept BSODing.

Re:Isn't bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108382)

Well at that point Goldblum and Smith could just have inserted a faulty SATA driver and they're computers would have kept BSODing.

Is than Watt happened two you're grandma module?

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

kbolino (920292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108654)

They would have had to invent SATA first...

Re:Isn't bad... (2)

JonahsDad (1332091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108352)

The aliens will have Intel machines in Independence Day 2. Luckily, Jeff Goldblum will have a new MacBook Air, so he'll still be able to save us.

Re:Isn't bad... (0)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108384)

Where do you think Steve got the technology to build such a magical device anyway?

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108504)

Was that paid for by Apple? Or did the ID producers simply want to piggyback on Apples high tech image?

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108164)

> Product placement isn't bad when it works with the story
Unless, of course, you think subliminal advertising is a bad thing.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108296)

having a can of Coke on the table is product placement ... inserting a frame showing a can of coke every 40th frame is subliminal advertising and is ILLEGAL. because it is below your concious ability to see it and make a concious decision about whether or not to buy it.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108714)

I don't know about you, but I can clearly see a deviation on one frame at NTSC or PAL rates... and that's not something quite so obvious as OH GOD RED AND WHITE ok back to normal colors...

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108300)

Unless, of course, you think subliminal advertising is a bad thing.

Subliminal? Unless you're completely tuned out or blind and listening to the movies rather than actually viewing the picture, product placement is most obviously liminal. In-your-face style liminal. Unmistakably liminal. Superliminal.

This message brought to you by the Dr Pepper organization to add the word "liminal" to the ever-evolving Levi's brand English language.

Re:Isn't bad... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108322)

I don't get why people care so much about this. If a film or TV show is supposed to be realistic, depicting people in the same world as the viewers, doesn't it make sense for real products to be shown? I actually DISLIKE when characters go to, say, a Burger Prince and order a Thumper. It feels fake, because we know if the characters were actually real, they'd be going to Burger King. Like it or not, that sort of thing is part of our world, and trying to pretend otherwise takes me out of the experience.

A good example of what I'm talking about is the McDonald's discussion in Pulp Fiction. The characters referencing real things that we can all relate to is what makes the scene so fun to watch. So, like the above poster said, I think product placement can be a great thing to add more believability to a show. Of course, there's such thing as lame product placement, where it's totally obvious that the only reason a product is in the scene is for advertising dollars, and that's something I don't like.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108196)

Best product placement I've ever seen was in Natural Born Killers. From what I've read Coca-Cola sacked most of their product placement team in LA afterwards.

Re:Isn't bad... (5, Informative)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108220)

Natural placement of branded items isn't always a bad thing. It can make the story that much more believable. I find that the products with labels that are deliberately nothing like anything in the real world can actually be distracting. With the dialog, it's far more natural for an actor to ask for a Coke or Pepsi than to say "I'd like a cola."

But the best product placement in a movie had to be "Wayne's World". They did an entire scene about how they didn't want to sell out to advertisers. Of course, the scene was shot with as many product placements as possible while they were talking about selling out to advertisers. They even mimicked the commercials of some of the products. Garth dressed head to toe in Reebok gear saying "It's like people only do these things because they can get paid. And that's just really sad." had to be the funniest part of that scene.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108370)

I don't know, I always wanted to try a can of "BEER" brand beer, like they drank on the Rockford files. The label was fairly consistent with real labels, kind of a take-off midway between Budweiser and Miller. It wasn't plain white or generic, it looked like a product, just not one I was familiar with.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108698)

Josie and the pussy cats (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0236348/) had way better product placemeny, there was somuch it was just absurd and yet incredible, you could make it a drinking game, take a shot every time you spot new product placement.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108800)

The BBC are terrible at hiding labels. The rules say that can't advertise anything, expect their magazines, their DVDs, their books, their... So they can;t show anything.

We know it's a bottle of Johnson and Johnson washing up liquid. Why bother? Sigh.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108302)

Product placement isn't bad when it works with the story. For example, a horror movie isn't ruined because at a party they have a box of Pizza Hut pizza and are playing on a PS3.

Done right, that actually adds to the story... It's easier to relate to characters eating Pizza Hut (or Dominos, or some other national chain) because we've seen the stores, we've probably eaten the food, we recognize the packaging, and we can relate to the entire situation of having a party and ordering pizza delivery.

It doesn't work so well if you go out of your way to make something generic, and avoid branding. The pizza example isn't such a good one since there are plenty of local pizza shops with rather generic boxes and people could still relate to the situation... But when you see people drinking a can of generic COLA, it kind of ruins the immersion. Unless you've gone to the trouble of making it fit within the storyline - developing a fictitious brand with a look and feel of its own. Like the Weyland Yutani beer in Alien.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108780)

I love the generic products in Family Guy. Like a white box of "Generic Puffs" for breakfast cereal.

Apple prices make you poor! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108316)

...bad product placement can ruin character development, for example, showing what is supposed to be a poor family having a top-of-the line Mac in their kitchen.

Why do you think they're so poor?

Seriously, I knew a family where the dad was a starving graphic artist (small town, no big agencies or clients) and the wife was a teacher; naturally they had a Mac but ten-year-old cars. A cheaper PC wouldn't have saved them much.

Re:Isn't bad... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108446)

Agreed, I also hate when it's too obvious and detracts from the flow.

The first example that springs to mind was in Transformers (1st one) when the junior analyst chick at the CIA (or NSA or whatever) copies "the unknown encrypted signal" onto a Panasonic SD card... the close up shot of her hand pulling the card out by holding it awkwardly in order not to hide the logo and the 1 second pause so that we can read it, really didn't fit in the flow of the scene.

Another example of blatant product placement is in the TV show Bones when Bones was talking to Booth about how awesome her Prius was...

Re:Isn't bad... (2)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108628)

On the other hand, bad product placement can ruin character development, for example, showing what is supposed to be a poor family having a top-of-the line Mac in their kitchen.

Yep. That one ruined the Grapes of Wrath for me.

Why bother legislating it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108060)

I don't understand banning the practice. It's not like television is the pinnacle of high-brow culture, needing protection from the poisoning corruption of consumerism. I doubt it's that much different in Europe.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (1, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108124)

I don't understand banning the practice.

This is Europe we're talking about. Whenever people don't like something they have to pass a law against it, no matter how irrelevant or stupid.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108186)

Yeah, I watched American TV once.
I will take my sans advertising, licence fee funded, Ofcom regulated, BBC programs every single time.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108218)

I will take my sans advertising, licence fee funded, Ofcom regulated, BBC programs every single time.

Weird. Every time I watch a BBC show these days -- which isn't often since I left the UK -- it just seems like laughable politically correct pap.

All the best TV shows I've seen in recent years were American. Even the good ones the BBC was involved with (e.g. Band of Brothers) were primarily American funded.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108434)

I think it's a plan. You display your finest jewels against dark, innocuous material to highlight the contrast.

I think BBC is trying to enhance the glittering wonder of its true gems by playing them off against drek.

The main issue with this theory is I'm having trouble discerning which programming they intended to be gems, but I'm sure it'll come to me eventually.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108482)

I will take my sans advertising, licence fee funded, Ofcom regulated, BBC programs every single time.

Weird. Every time I watch a BBC show these days -- which isn't often since I left the UK -- it just seems like laughable politically correct pap.

That's nothing. Once, on American TV, I saw Fox.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (0)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108348)

Yes, you have the European mindset that the GP was speaking of. Freedom would be scary, wouldn't it?

Re:Why bother legislating it? (3, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108432)

I don't much like the American definition of freedom.
Freedom is for individual people. Not for corporations.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108252)

oh I see, we have a place full of symbolism-over-substance shitheads like that over here too, it's called "California".

Re:Why bother legislating it? (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108168)

Europe has far more strict rules in a lot of advertising-related areas than the US. For instance there is no advertising of prescription medicine allowed in the UK.

This is because your doctor doesn't need to constantly be asked for the next version of valium or wellbutrin or whatever the hell it is.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108284)

And all the better for it.
When adverting no-win-no-fee lawsuits was deregulated, the parasites surged forth from every hole, almost single handedly causing the "heath and safety gone mad" culture we currently suffer.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108328)

This is because your doctor doesn't need to constantly be asked for the next version of valium or wellbutrin or whatever the hell it is.

No, it's because the NHS don't want people discovering there are drugs which could treat their condition, because they'd rather spend the money on managers' salaries.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108580)

Before Reagan, not in the US, either. Today, the advertising costs of prescription exceed their manufacturing costs.

Re:Why bother legislating it? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108442)

Did it not occur to you that the reason your television is so low-brow is that it has become a delivery method for advertising?

What is the border of the creative dept? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108078)

... any placement has to be done at the creative stage

Does this mean Citizen Kane and the sled manufacturer are OK or not OK?

ET and his Texas Instruments Speak and Spell are OK or not OK?

Jurassic Park and the kid who knows unix because it has a 3-d file browser are OK or not OK?

Scene from Jurassic Park (3, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108178)

Lex: "It's a Unix System, conforming to the Single Unix Specification of the Open Group! Unix is a registered trademark of the Open Group, and not to be used as a generic term! I know this!"

Re:What is the border of the creative dept? (4, Funny)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108386)

Back To The Future, with product placements for DeLorean and Mr. Fusion?

Prairie Home Companion, sponsored by Powdermilk Biscuits and the American Duct Tape Council?

Re:What is the border of the creative dept? (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108502)

Comedy works better in threes: Powerdermilk Biscuits, the American Duct Tape Council and the Ketchup Advisory Board.

origin of "soap opera" (3, Informative)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108100)

According to wikipedia: "The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers ... as sponsors and producers." So it has nothing to do with product placement and predates TV.

Re:origin of "soap opera" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108484)

According to wikipedia: "The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers ... as sponsors and producers." So it has nothing to do with product placement and predates TV.

WTF??? It predates Television, yes, but it was definitely product placement on the radio shows. We aren't talking about music here are talking about scripted shows (stories), where the actor or actress, in character, would somehow work into the story how much she/he loves this brand of soap, or this brand of furniture, or this brand of fridge...all in character again, as if it was just part of the story. It was even more cheesier than TV and Movies product placements that came later.

photoshop it in (1)

observer7 (753034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108118)

in the creative process they can use a generic placement and then digitize any brand in later for who ever pays the most .

Re:photoshop it in (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108136)

digitize any brand in later for who ever pays the most .

George Lucas, is that you?

Re:photoshop it in (1)

observer7 (753034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108224)

if i were and had his money ,i would not be here the loser i am and posting on slashdot .

Product placement annoys me so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108146)

Look, I understand shows need money from advertisers in order to be produced, but they really need to separate a show's contents with the advertisement. It ruins the user experience when I have to see these product placements within the shows. They should just have short periods of advertisements separate from the show itself.

Re:Product placement annoys me so much (2)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108310)

SO... movies should be written with characters that never drink soda, never go to a Starbucks, never eat anything other than what they harvested out of the back yard. They don't drive cars made by real corporations, ride buses that actually exist, nor wear clothes that look like anything we, real people, wear. And they don't live in actual cities or town, indeed, they don't even live in actual nations.

Product placements are inevitable. The why is to further the story line, to derive revenue, or both. Oh, wait, movies are intended to drive revenue. There is NO OTHER REASON TO MAKE THEM.

You were hoping for art? Try focusing on dead artists who never received recognition nor revenue for their magnificent works. Lots of those. Leave the movies to those of us who seek entertainment, or indulge in appreciating excellent craft.

Re:Product placement annoys me so much (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108450)

SO... movies should be written with characters that never drink soda, never go to a Starbucks, never eat anything other than what they harvested out of the back yard. They don't drive cars made by real corporations, ride buses that actually exist, nor wear clothes that look like anything we, real people, wear. And they don't live in actual cities or town, indeed, they don't even live in actual nations.

Exactly!

Look, I don't care for your brand of fast food. A hamburger is a hamburger, and a car is just a car, and generally which kind is entirely irrelevant to the story. It took me 15 minutes to remember which model of car my mother drives last time somebody asked (and I just realized I forgot again), so believe me, I don't give a damn about who drives what in a movie.

Now, a good story, that's important.

Re:Product placement annoys me so much (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108778)

SO... movies should be written with characters that never drink soda, never go to a Starbucks, never eat anything other than what they harvested out of the back yard.

No, they should be more realistic where every character drives the newest model of the same brand of car, everyone drinks Pepsi or Coke products exclusively, every computer is either a Mac (most likely), or a Dell, and where everyone makes sure that the logo of what they're using/eating/drinking is prominently displayed for everyone to see.

--Jeremy

Rebirth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108154)

Where did it go? Come on, Transformers 2 was basically one big General Motors commercial. Product placement never went anywhere. I admire the tech behind this, but come on, why not just put the bottle on the table and get save some money?

Re:Rebirth? (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108192)

I've seen a lot of General Motors commercials. And they were all better than Transformers 2.

Re:Rebirth? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108306)

I've seen piles of steaming dog feces that were better than Transformers 2. Michael Bay needs to have his cameras taken away. The man is the most incompetent director in the history of Hollywood. Even Ed Wood made more watchable films.

Re:Rebirth? (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108408)

And I'm not looking forward to his next project [theonion.com]

Re:Rebirth? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108320)

I've seen a lot of paint dry and it was all better than Transformers 2.
I've dry-retched with my head in a toilet bowl and that was better than Transformers, too.

To paraphrase, Transformers isn't even bad.

Re:Rebirth? (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108304)

Did you only read the headline? You don't even have to read the article, just the summary at the top of the page. This is about Europe where restrictions have been in place are being relaxed. Transformers was produced in the USA where there has never been any kind of restriction.

How is this any different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108170)

...from sports channels painting ads over the billboards at the arena?

This is why, in a somewhat related matter... (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108248)

Paul Newman put a clause in his will that prohibits any "virtual performance or reanimation of any performance by me by the use of any technique, technology or medium now in existence or which may be known or created in the future anywhere in the universe."

So no Paul Newman dancing with a vacuum cleaner a la Fred Astaire.

Which is a good thing.

Re:This is why, in a somewhat related matter... (2)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108418)

That is all well and good, but his copyright will expire and it will enter the public domain at which point his desires about restricting this will become unenforceable.

Re:This is why, in a somewhat related matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108500)

his copyright will expire and it will enter the public domain

Ha! Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

Re:This is why, in a somewhat related matter... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108522)

Baring Charles Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, I guarantee you young people today do not know any of the actors of early(ish) years of movies.

I doubt anyone in 70 odd years will know who Paul Newmann was, baring a few boffs.

Re:This is why, in a somewhat related matter... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108592)

I doubt anyone in 70 odd years will know who Paul Newmann was, baring a few boffs.

That might have been a rather poor choice [wikipedia.org] when it comes to illustrating the particular point you were trying to make.

It is fine so long as it is part of the background (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108268)

Product placement happens in a lot of movies and you generally don't notice it. It just means instead of a product being generic or having the label hidden, it'll have a brand on it. Not only is it not offensive, but it can make things seem more real. An example of it being well done is Dell product placement in V for Vendetta. All that they did was not cover the logos on the computers and monitors. They are actual Dell systems used, mostly by the police, and you can see that in the background. They don't call any attention to it, the products are just, well, placed.

It is only a problem when they try to shove it in your face somehow.

Personally I think we should just categorize things differently. Product placement means having a product placed inside a show, as in there doing what it would be doing in normal life. Advertising is something being shoved in your face.

Creative? (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108292)

What can be more creative than to put a bottle of c*k* on a table of the Mos Eisley Cantina?

Cool!

Re:Creative? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108406)

don't you mean c**k or P***s?

Uh, no... (2)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108358)

Soap operas were not called that because of clumsy product placement. Yes, they were sponsored by soap companies and the content of the shows chased the housewife demographic who purchased the same. However most of them took their dramatic content far too seriously to sully themselves with the kind of idiotic product placement you describe. There were actually producers who had taste back then - just like there are those who have taste today - who would have fought to keep this kind of thing from happening.

And, in fact, if you actually look at these shows, I'd bet you'd be hard pressed to find an example of what you described. An announcer/narrator transitioning from the drama to the ad with "Now a word from our sponsors..."? Yes. A cast member in the heat of a pot-boiling dramatic scene saying something like "I wish I could wash these troubles away with the lemony-fresh scent of Palmolive Soap!" while holding up a bottle? Not so much.

You denigrate what, at the time, was as serious and professional an artistic undertaking as what goes on in dramatic TV now.

Re:Uh, no... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108554)

You denigrate what, at the time, was as serious and professional an artistic undertaking as what goes on in dramatic TV now.

Rather than making soap operas look good, that statement reflects poorly on modern television.

Inevitable (3, Interesting)

fussy_radical (1867676) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108426)

Now that more and more of us are finding ways to cut out the commercials, they have to be hidden in the content.
As others have said, I don't mind if they are done "right" (and there is a fine line of course). My main concern is that this will go the same way cable TV did.
 
First, they rationalize that they need this because there are fewer and fewer eyeballs hitting the commercials.
Next, they will find a way to enforce the 10 minutes of commercials per 1/2 hour of programming.
???
Finally, PROFIT!
 
We'll finally achieve life as depicted in the Demolition Man (was that parody or just really good product placement?)

When I think of product placement... (1)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108464)

"When you think of product placement on television you tend to think of cumbersome 1950s examples where the actor would cheesily turn to camera and hold up, say, a bar of soap—where do you think the sobriquet soap opera came from—to deliver his line."

Say what? When I think of product placement on television I think in any current television show coming from the US.

what's the problem? (1)

markhahn (122033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108468)

tech is just adding power to existing creative tools. auteurs can still produce ad-free art if they wish, and take the risk inherent in getting people to pay for it. more commercial products can customize the product for the watcher, and thus offer content at lower prices.

consumers, for their part, can be as passive as they want, or drive development of software that preprocesses content to remove what they object to (turn all those coke cans to pepsi or guiness).

where's the problem? yes, it means that watching a movie in the future might be quite compute-intensive, but so?

the most interesting consequence is that such tech will eliminate the concept of a finished, static creative work. everything's interactive, malleable, customizable. how does copyright deal with that? the current situation with licensing for sampling music clips is not a viable way forward...

Not 1950's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108494)

I don't think of the 1950's TV shows. I'm old but never watched any product placements from those shows.

I think of more modern stuff. Movies these days are rife with product placement. "I Robot" comes to mind as a particularly bad example. There were some brands quite prominent. I won't mention them here, but you know what I mean if you saw the movie.

Entertainment Weekly (4, Interesting)

ThunderCow (568538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108514)

Entertainment Weekly had an article about a month ago concerning this practice in syndicated episodes of television shows.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/07/07/how-i-met-your-mother-reruns-bad-teacher-zookeeper/ [ew.com]

From the article: If you’ve watched syndicated reruns of sitcom How I Met Your Mother lately, you might have been startled to see advertisements for very current movies such as Bad Teacher and Zookeeper in episodes that originally aired as early as 2006, long before those flicks were made. The photos here, for instance, are from the second-season episode titled “Swarley,” which originally aired Nov. 6, 2006 — more than four years before Bad Teacher hit theaters. So what exactly is going with this phenomenon? EW investigated, and here’s the scoop.

Turns out that 20th Television — the studio distributor behind Mother — has been selling promotional spots in syndicated episodes to wring even more money out of the sitcom’s already rich syndication deals. Specifically, the feat is accomplished by a partnership with a company, SeamBI, which stands for Seamless Brand Integration and is responsible for digitally altering old episodes with new products and brands.

The company’s CEO Roy Baharav calls SeamBI an “advertising technology innovator” and says that what they do — in essence, monetizing aging television shows by adding new brands and product placement into old episodes — is the future. “What we do is we insert, very efficiently, brands into content in a natural way and in a way that is valuable to advertisers,” Baharav says. “So we find the balance between not compromising the integrity of the content and, on the other end, bring a lot of value to the advertiser.”

Oh, the ambiguity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108526)

the actor would cheesily turn to camera and hold up, say, a bar of soap...to deliver his line.

Why couldn't the actor deliver his line himself? You're asking for trouble if you rely on a bar of soap to do it.

And also:

where do you think the sobriquet soap opera came from

Where do you think the phrase "condescending twonk" comes from?

Apple = #1 product placement (1)

mrnick (108356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108546)

When I think of product placement on television I think of Apple. They are the kings of product placement in movies and television

David Lynch on product placement (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108558)

("Sobriquet"? Really?)

I like David Lynch's take on product placement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4wh_mc8hRE [youtube.com]

In the future (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108606)

by 2020 actors will just be holding object to be tracked and the TV will render new skins over the top of them (objects & actor :) ). The object they hold in the studio along with the set around them will be just as fake as the industry that pumps it out. You'll never see the same ad object twice and people in different locations will see different cans of soda. It will work like google ads. If you scrub back to watch the scene again, you'll see a different can. If you do use this tech from this idea please donate money to something good and I'd like a house too. Thanks

So horrible in movies (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108630)

I don't mind when it's just a part of the set, but the shameless ads are what annoy me. I was watching Grown Ups (yes, I know, I know) and there's a shameless scene of logos-up Donut vendor cups being used as kids phones. Just add commercial breaks if you're going to go full-on whore.

Thank God Europe Banned Artistic Murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37108632)

Left them so much more time for murder murder and turning people into soap.

Bad summary is bad. (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108648)

>When you think of product placement on television you tend to think of cumbersome 1950s examples where the actor would cheesily turn to camera and hold up, say, a bar of soap

No I don't. I think of a scene with the actors driving somewhere, and one says to the other "hey, this is that new CANYONERO with that great NAVISYNCSTAR system, isn't it?" And the dialog just gets worse from there, while the camera lingers lovingly on the vehicles console for a creepily long time.

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