Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Would Fonzie Sell You A Lexus?

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the flickering-images dept.

Television 181

Faux_Pseudo writes: "In an attempt to flood your field of vison with more advertising the NY Times (free reg)has an article on how "digital technology may be used for the first time to place "virtual" products in scenes of a syndicated television series." If you were taken aback by The Duke selling Coors beer you might want to unplug the TV now." This sort of digital manipulation isn't totally new, but it seems like what we've seen so far is just the tip of the reality-distortion iceberg. As xueexueg puts it, "With any luck we'll see Capt. Janeway ask the food replicator for a meal, and a personal pan pizza will materialize."

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Fucking French Bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#203427)

I don't know how anyone else feels, but I am particularly offended by those Alcatel commercials "featuring" Martin Luther King and Lou Gerhig.

So what? TV networks work for advertisers... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#203428)

...not for you. The business of a TV station is not to entertain viewers for free, but to sell viewers' time and attention to advertisers.

If you don't want to be a product, turn off the TV, get off your geek ass, and go do something--ANYTHING. Take a look at [] sometime.

Re:You'll watch my commercial and you'll LIKE it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#203429)

Fade to black, voice over, "Fuck you. I drive a Lexus." Think they'll go for it?

I like it. But it would only make sense for their SUV model [] . Take my 14 mpg and like it, bitch!

What an outrage (3)

Tony Shepps (333) | more than 13 years ago | (#203431)

I'm offended.

And I'm not going to stand for it. I'm going to write my congressman a letter. But I'll be taking an Amtrak train tonight to help a friend do some work on his house. I'll have to write the letter on my Palm Vx; it's portability and functionality are incredible. Of course, on the train I'll have plenty of tunes thanks to my Panasonic portable CD player with 40-second anti-skip technology! And I won't go hungry thanks to Snickers. Packed with peanuts, Snickers really satisfies.

Once I get there, the chores will be quick work, thanks to my new Black and Decker cordless screwdriver, the PowerDriver(tm). It's powered by the VersaPak(tm) system, so if it runs out of juice I can just pop in the spare battery pack.

Is this post your nightmare yet? I can keep going if you like!

Connie Willis story "Remake" (2)

Tony (765) | more than 13 years ago | (#203432)

Sounds like the story "Remake," by Connie Willis. The future of television is nothing more than endless digitally-created remakes of old movies with digitally-created actors based on famous names, like River Pheonix starring in Casablanca.

Funny thing is, there were endless lawsuits about copyrights. In the story, no Fred Astaire movie could be broadcast because of copyright disputes over the image of Fred Astaire.

Isn't that what we're coming to? Endless copyright fights over the images of famous people? Wouldn't it be hysterical if all the movie houses started snapping up the copyrights to all famous people-- MGM gets the image of George Washington, Universal gets the Sta Puft Marshmallow Man, etc.

Yeah. I'd have to laugh.

Better strategy (1)

getafix (2806) | more than 13 years ago | (#203433)

Instead of getting the broadcaster or cable head end to replace an ad-image, that should be a capability of the the set top device or personal recorder. That way the you get personally targetted advertsing. And it doesnt just have to apply to an actor/actress holding a drink; you could apply it to names of shops (instead of LA shop names, you could replace it with your local neighborhood shop name [yet another form of advertising]). The ultimate would be to replace the actors/actresses on the show with ones you like - may be a little hard to get voices/accents to work properly. Personalization gone amuck... I tell you what.

Won't paid product placements be miffed? (2)

Philippe (3665) | more than 13 years ago | (#203434)

What about companies that paid for their product to be placed in the show in the first place? If Budweiser paid good $$$ to have the main character hold a Bud Light, won't they sue when the re-run shows a Coors?

Excellent.... (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 13 years ago | (#203435)

I needed a good reason to stop watching TV. This ought to do nicely. Too bad I won't've really gotten my money's worth out of the rabbit ears, though.

(I really don't understand this compulsion to stick advertising everywhere - it can't possibly be improving life or the arts, and people seemed to generally get by fine without it for millenia. But I do know that I _hate_ advertising, and will consciously avoid it and filter it out no matter how good it is, how targeted towards me it is, whether or not it's actually useful for me, or if doing so harms someone. That it's advertising at all is enough to make me avoid it.)

Good choice of headline... (2)

rodbegbie (4449) | more than 13 years ago | (#203439)

...since it was announced [] today that Lexus are joining up with Tivo.

Now, Tivo users will see an icon during Lexus commercials, encouraging them to view TV shows sponsored by Lexus.

So when you're watching The Simpsons, you see an icon during the Lexus commercial, encouraging you to watch the Happy Days marathon, featuring Fonzie selling you Lexuses.

I wanted to work in advertising, but my parents were married.


Re:Connie Willis story "Remake" (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#203442)

*ALL* big-time charities and non-profits exist to make big bucks for their board of directors. There ain't a big charity around that doesn't pay its directors into the six figures.

For a charity with low administration costs and high payout to the people it's to serve, check out the Heifer project. They ship farmyard stock to villages, which then breed the stock as a renewable resource. Best charity I've found yet.


Re:Interesting Antithesis... (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#203444)

That's almost more scary. In a sense, the blatant promotion was an artistic (if one can say that about an Adam Sandler movie) part of the movie - it was overdone because it was a parody of sports stars hawking merchandise on TV. You could argue that toning that down really changes the movie, in which case the original producers might have a problem with it.

Not to mention that if Subway paid for product placement in the movie, they paid for that placement every time the movie was shown.

On the other hand, maybe if advertisers realize that their ads in movies aren't permanent, they'll give up on the idea :)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Connie Willis story "Remake" (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#203445)

Similar copyright wars occurred in Greg Bear's Slant, which perhaps coincidentally mentioned disputes over Fred Astaire IIRC. Of course, these celebrity likenesses could walk around and interact with passersby as holograms, but it's almost the same thing :)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:This already happened in Japan (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#203446)

That's funny, I thought MLK Jr. using "I Have a Dream" to hawk networking gear was possibly the least tasteful thing I've ever seen on TV (and I sat through Iran-Contra and parts of the impeachment, too). I don't really care what happens to the images of Astaire, Wayne, or Gehrig - they were entertainers to begin with, so in a sense they've already sold their souls. But Mr. King was a spiritual leader and (in the broader sense) a statesman. If you can (in a sense) put words in his mouth, then there really is nothing sacred.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Wheezer did it (1)

IanCarlson (16476) | more than 13 years ago | (#203451)

* Sigh. *

That would be Weezer. They just came out with a new album [] . It is quite good.

This happens all the time... (1)

cygnus (17101) | more than 13 years ago | (#203452)

Product placement is big in the entertainment industry, folks. When you see someone drinking a generic soda in a movie or on TV, that's 'cause some product placement ad sales person didn't do their jobs well enough, and the program/movie didn't want to give someone free advertising.

All we're talking about here with real-time insertion is the ability to seamlessly do product placement in post-production. Aside from obscuring real things that were actually there ala the Times Square/New Year's broadcasts of last year, and anachronisms in really old movies and T.V., the ethical issues are pretty much the same.

They just can't think of anything better to do (2)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 13 years ago | (#203453)

I never cease to find amazing the fact that we have the power of six billion minds and a whole fucking planet with which to just kick ass all over the place, and the best thing a great portion of us can think to do is to figure out how to sell sugard watered to each other better.

TV has pointed out one uniquely true thing: our minds can be shaped shaped shaped easily and repeatably. But, I still think that people would spend their time on more noble and worthwhile pursuits if only somene would SUGGEST to them what to do. Solution: just mix in a little algebra with each mention of N'Sync; all they need is to realize the power of their own brains to break out of these stupid chains...

Hmm.... Marketing meets FUD. . . (4)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 13 years ago | (#203454)

(include wacko_conspiracy_theory.h)

That would explain the cancellation of The Lone Gunmen [] . After all they used LINUX (or at least Langley and Byers did. . . ). M$ obviously paid Fox to take 'em off the air. . .


Interesting Antithesis... (5)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 13 years ago | (#203455)

I was watching Happy Gilmore the other day on network television and I noticed that a lot of the product placement ads were digitial REMOVED. For those of you who haven't seen this movie, it is very funny but the product placement goes WAY overboard. For instance TWO scenes take place at a Subway(TM) restaurant and Happy wears a Subway shirt for the last 40 mins of the movie. The weird thing was that the Subway logo was digitially greyed out (correct spelling - I am Canadian :) ) most of the time as were other ads. Technology is a double edged sword ;), we just have to make sure that consumers don't get screwed out of their side of the sword by legislation.


Re:This already happened in Japan (3)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 13 years ago | (#203458)

Are you referring to Vivien Leigh?

It's been going on for a long time over here in America, too. Off the top of my head, there's been ads using digitally altered footage of Fred Astaire, John Wayne, Martin Luther King and Lou Gehrig (although the last two were tasteful, I thought), not to mention the movie Ben Hur (or whatever that famous chariot race scene was from).

Re:Dukes of Hazard (1)

Brento (26177) | more than 13 years ago | (#203460)

I'm just waiting for the day that Bo and Luke get lost and fire up the General Lee's OnStar system.

Not to pick nits, but the General Lee was a Dodge Challenger, and OnStar is a GM thing.

Comments From A Grumpy Old Man (2)

rrwood (27261) | more than 13 years ago | (#203461)

The last comment to unplug the TV is the best one.

Seriously-- I don't have cable any more and haven't had it for years now. The occasional time I do happen to see some television only serves to reinforce my opinion that it's all crap. Other people I know have commented that the longer you go without it, the less you want anything to do with it.

So, ditch commercial TV and go play some games (until product placement occurs there too), go biking, do something with your children, or do any one of millions of other cool things waiting out there.


Rights? What's the difference? (1)

Klox (29985) | more than 13 years ago | (#203462)

Critics complain there is no appropriate manner of inserting digital ad images into a TV show because it blurs the line that ought to separate editorial content from paid peddling.
Mr. Chester said he would ask the Federal Communications Commission to "examine this as to its impact"...

I don't see how this is any different than normal product placement. Sure it's not in its pure recorded form, but neither is a 2.5 hour movie trimmed to fit a 2 hour time slot. Product placement has been around for a long time. Advertisers are just keeping up with the times and "going digital". The only thing I find interesting about this is the fact that digital video editing is good enough for them to make it cost-effective to insert products in to a rerun.

The Critic's "PhillipsVision"? (1)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 13 years ago | (#203464)

This sounds a lot like the technology that Duke Phillips (from Jon Lovitz's "The Critic") wanted to use to advertise his products. Except they went a step further, and altered what the characters were saying, etc.

(It was a cross between this technology and "The Running Man.")

Life imitates art?


What's the excitement? (4)

west (39918) | more than 13 years ago | (#203466)

I'm not a free-marketer in general, but it's certainly not a right to have advertisment free entertainment. If the placed ads begin to detract from the enjoyment of the show, then it will start to lose viewers. Obviously, there's a sweet spot somewhere that maximizes revenue.

Is there any reason why the people who own the rights to the shows shouldn't be allowed to attempt to maximize their revenue? I don't see how society would suffer as a whole if the practice became widespread. Obviously the viewers lose, but that's the perogative of a seller who has what a buyer wants: in this case, entertainment.

Of course, when advertising and (theoretically) objective news mix, that's a whole different matter.

It's inevitable (5)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#203473)

Making TV programs, and movies, takes money. With Tivo and other PVRs allowing a person to skip over the commercials easily, and home video editing becoming ever easier, the old model of the 'commercial break' is beginning to fail. The alternatives are preventing, through copy controls, consumers from recording or time shifting shows, or going out of business.

The question is, how obtrusive will it be? Will it be ads on billboards in the background, or on the sides of buses as they go by. Or will it be logos on the characters t-shirts?

Re:Interesting Antithesis... (1)

maX_ (46318) | more than 13 years ago | (#203474)

Watch "Grease" (the movie). In one Diner scene the Coca-Cola logo on the menu board in the background is digitally removed. I remember that from back in the 80's.

Works for me (2)

devphil (51341) | more than 13 years ago | (#203475)

I think this would be hilarious. I'd even like to extend it to non-syndicated shows (e.g., Tom Baker's Doctor offering Davros a green M&M instead of a jelly baby), but that's the kicker with syndication. [Side note: anybody else catch the syndication joke in Spy Kids?]

The only way I could see this going badly wrong is when the television images used are recent enough that the joke isn't apparent, e.g., the Duke selling me a Coors is one thing, former Secretary of State Albright selling me a Coors is something else.

That didn't quite make sense, let me try again (2)

devphil (51341) | more than 13 years ago | (#203476)

Sigh. What I get for posting without coffee...

The only way I could see this going badly wrong is when the television images used are recent enough that the joke isn't apparent

That sounds stupid since the show in question is Law & Order. To clarify: I wouldn't really have a problem with new episodes doing this. I might have a problem watching reruns of a two-year old episode with a character drinking soda out of a cup featuring a currently-running movie painted across the cup.

Now, for more coffee.

not-so-blantant ads (3)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#203477)

Its fun to watch for subtle product placements:


1. James Bond opens up an IBM thinkpad
2. (hard to see). Near the end of the movie when the base blows up, you'll see a CRT with an OS/2 bootup screen.(I think it's a bootup screen).

But what's not to say that a movie named "Corvette Summer" isn't some commercial by Chevrolet?

This is why I stopped watching TV. (4)

solios (53048) | more than 13 years ago | (#203478)

Television is a waste of time- it requires no thought, no action, and fails on nearly every count to be mentally stimulating (excepting PBS and the BBC, but including BBCAmerica)- and to top it off, it tries to cram the thing I hate the most down my throat- ads.

The ads got to me, to the point of violence. It was interesting, when I was a kid, to tape an episode of Star Trek DS9 and come to the cold realization that out of that 60 minutes of time, less than 45 minutes of it was the program. Deduct credits and intro, and you're down to 42, if that. And probably less these days. That boiled down to three minutes of clutter and fifteen minutes of ads for beer, preparation H, and cadillacs.

I realized I was getting more out of books, computers, and talking to people that I ever managed to squeeze out of the accursed idiot box. The constant volume shifts between the incessant ads and the blase content were giving me headaches, and the pervasiveness of the marginally talented local news personalities with their overblown egos really started to get to me after I realized that nothing I'd seen on the news bore a direct affect on my day-to-day life. I haven't watched television in over a year- I've made a few exceptions for movies, mostly older films, but in general I've turned off, tuned out, peeled my ass off of the damned couch and done something with my life.

Turning on a television is a waste of energy. Watching the damned thing is a waste of your life- what's going to make for better memories- a brain full of Voyager and Buffy episodes or a brain full of conversation, creative work, and real experience that the television is never going to come close to giving you?

Kill the damned thing- it's completely opt-in, so you have no right to bitch about the fucking ads when you can turn it off and do something meaningful.

At least pick different programs... (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 13 years ago | (#203479)

It is disappointing they're looking at a show such as Law and Order for this. I think it takes away from what a quality show it really is, and will drive viewers away with such crass commercialism.

At least pick something that's more the equivalent of intellectual cotton candy, like 3rd Rock from the Sun. Those viewers are more likely to not be as offended...

Does this matter? (4)

Hnice (60994) | more than 13 years ago | (#203480)

and i'm asking, not being rhetorical. i mean, the issues relating to 'editorial content' and altered reality, i mean, these are fictional shows, so from a certain standpoint, it's all altered reality and editorial content.

as it stands, advertising already has a much more insidious impact on the determination of the content of the shows that we watch than adding a few coke cans represents. putting a pizza hut box in friends is a clear endorsement of pizza hut -- is this honestly worse for its digital fabrication than, say, behind the scenes deals to decide what they should wear on the basis of the gap's agenda, or giving plot vetos to large conservative corporations like P&G?

if you aren't going into this with your eyes open, you're setting yourself up. if you aren't watching with the understanding that TV's job is to deliver audiences to advertisers, you'll miss the point every time.

now, what if dan rather starts putting up fake billboards in 'documentary' footage? that's the real question, and i know it's been done, but what about, for example, changing all signs to read in english when reporting from other countries? where's the slippery slope here? i'm not really sure.

this is pretty effed up, tho, i'll say that much. makes my head spin a little.

Been there, done that. (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#203481)

Already happening - in reverse. Remember one of the networks digitally removed NBC from Times Square during their NewYearsEve2K broadcast?

one-way fair use? (1)

riot158 (65491) | more than 13 years ago | (#203482)

I'd just like to point out that while the MPAA would prefer to not let us own any content, ever, it's ok with them to own the likeness of a human being to use for whatever ends they see fit, for ever and ever, amen. For all we know, the Duke couldn't stand the taste of Coors. I wouldn't have a problem with them 'touching up' existing commercials and reissuing them, but the idea of owning the likeness of a human being is more than a little disturing. On the other hand, at least there's a legal history of actors winning lawsuits against studios that misuse their image -- check out Crispin Glover's lawsuit vs. the producers of Back to the Future 2.

ethical issues? (2)

mach-5 (73873) | more than 13 years ago | (#203486)

This brings some ethical issues to mind? What if the rights to a certain program were sold to another company. Then that company wished to advertise a product that was controversial in some way. The actors/writers/producers that originally worked on that program would have no say in whether they want that product advertised in their work. This would be particularly bad for the actors that are advertising a product which they do NOT really want to endorse. It could give them a bad reputation even though they haven't done anything wrong.

Re:This is why I stopped watching TV. (2)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 13 years ago | (#203487)

I thought paying my monthly bill was enough to buy me a right to watch television. Basic cable gives you only some TV-shows and programs. Most of it is crap, you pay CAD$ 40 for it and you still have to watch the ads. What do you think of that?

I was speaking of broadcast television, but I do see your point. But you're paying for more than just your're paying for upkeep of your cable system, the hardware, the reception, and the choice of more channels, regardless of what's on them. There are a good deal of problems with the current cable system (price, no competition except from satalite, etc.) My main point is that the price you pay for cable doesn't go toward the channels, it goes to your provider.

The Good Reverend
I'm different, just like everybody else. []

Re:This is why I stopped watching TV. (5)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 13 years ago | (#203488)

and to top it off, it tries to cram the thing I hate the most down my throat- ads

You can feel free to move to the Pay-Per-View model for broadcast television anytime you want. In the meantime, ads pay for your television viewing. With newer technologies like Tivo or the "VCR", you can skip them all together.

It was interesting, when I was a kid, to tape an episode of Star Trek DS9 and come to the cold realization that out of that 60 minutes of time, less than 45 minutes of it was the program.

A nitpick: Most shows, including Deep Space Nine (in it's original run, syndicators often edit more) run for 48 minutes. The end credits are approximately a minute, as are the start credits. You're only down to 46 minutes of show.

I haven't watched television in over a year...

While I'm sure you think this noble, there's plenty that local television can give you that other media can't. No matter your hatred for local news, in an emergency, they're you're best source for updates. And I'm of the opinion that if you think EVERYTHING on television is a waste of time, there's probably something wrong with your perception, not necessarily the boob tube.

Watching the damned thing is a waste of your life- what's going to make for better memories- a brain full of Voyager and Buffy episodes or a brain full of conversation, creative work, and real experience that the television is never going to come close to giving you?

Books will also never give you "a brain full of conversation, creative work, and real experience". While I understand your point, it's silly since the only way to get those things is through those things. Cooking dinner doesn't do it either, but I don't think you're going to stop eating. Television is for entertainment. If you don't find it entertaining, don't watch it. But you shouldn't go in expecting to better your life. It's a nice diversion. That's all. Don't take it so seriously, it's not meant to be.

Kill the damned thing- it's completely opt-in, so you have no right to bitch about the fucking ads when you can turn it off and do something meaningful.

Doing something meaningful is wonderful. I don't suggest sitting in front of the television all your waking hours. But "kill" your TV? It's a piece of hardware. When you want to kill plastic, glass, and electronic equipment, the fault is yours and your mental condition, not the collection of parts.

The Good Reverend
I'm different, just like everybody else. []

It's not that big of a deal (2)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 13 years ago | (#203489)

Every notice how much effort TV producers go through to hide brand-name products during the shows? How many times have you watched a TV show about teenagers, and never see any of them drink a Coke or a Pepsi? It's unrealistic. Almost all teenagers drink soft drinks, so why not make it part of the show?

Besides, this kind of advertising is limited to consumer products. Of course, this wouldn't be an issue if advertisers would make ads that people actually wanted to watch.
Lord Nimon

As always, "The Simpsons" applies. (1)

D. Mann (86819) | more than 13 years ago | (#203490)

(Thanks to []

Krusty: And all I keep seeing is dead celebrities hawking products! You've got poor old Vincent Price floating around in a toilet keg telling me about the *horrors* of an unfresh bowl!

Although the script doesn't have the joke, he also says, "I seriously doubt that Winston Churchill would eat at Der Wienerschnitzel!"

Ahh, Matt Groening... when will your show stop being so damn relevent?

Dukes of Hazard (5)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 13 years ago | (#203491)

I'm just waiting for the day that Bo and Luke get lost and fire up the General Lee's OnStar system.

You'll watch my commercial and you'll LIKE it! (5)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#203492)

I came up with the perfect one for Lexus. Check this out:

Guy's crusing along in his generic car at 80-85 mph, when suddenly a Lexus pulls on the onramp at 45 mph and cuts across 5 lanes of traffic, cutting him off. He slams on his brakes and tailgates the Lexus and tailgates the car down to the next exit where it gets off. At the bottom of the exit ramp the light's red so the Lexus stops. He gets out of his car and walks up to the Lexus. He knocks on the window and it rolls down. Inside is a tiny old woman who can't see over the steering wheel. He says "Excuse me, you cut me off back there..." She looks at him, gives him the finger, and says "Fuck you! I drive a Lexus!" and then floors it. Fade to black, voice over, "Fuck you. I drive a Lexus."

I want to pitch this to Lexus. Think they'll go for it?

Re:Don't forget (1)

nublord (88026) | more than 13 years ago | (#203493)

Not to mention more suspenseful than anything else on TV. Even the most creepy, spine tingling, scare you to death movies aren't half as bad as a real guy going "Look! The most posionous snake in the world! He's mighty pissed at me for distrubin' him. Let's have a closer look!"


StefanJ (88986) | more than 13 years ago | (#203494)

Well, enough of that then:

Screw advertising, f**k mass media, and start treatng commercial culture for the lowest common denominator, compromised crap it is.

Stick with Do It Yourself media:

Read a book. Travel. Get together with friends and trade stories. Stalk squirrels in the park. Get a border collie and train it to herd Aibo bots.

And then enjoy a 16 Oz. bottle of cool, refreshing Moxie.


** You see?

Everything Old is New Again (1)

bill.sheehan (93856) | more than 13 years ago | (#203495)

I recently heard an old radio drama interrupted with a conversation by a grizzled old cowpoke and a smooth-talking announcer about a remarkable car battery that only required refilling four times a year (under normal driving conditions). Call Western Union and ask for Operator 80 for the location nearest you!

I wonder if, fifty years hence, today's high-tech product placements will seem just as artificial and funny as the old radio car battery and Jello tapioca pudding placements are today.

And now, another thrilling adventure with Tom Mix and his Ralston Straight-Shooters!

Absolutely absurd! (2)

AJGriff (94198) | more than 13 years ago | (#203497)

What's next? Digital characters doing ads for real products? Next thing you know Lara Croft will be doing an ad for Pepsi! Oh wait...

Article: "Testing Ground for Digital Insertion" (3)

zurkog (96881) | more than 13 years ago | (#203499)

Make your own doctor/latex glove joke...

Silly crypto-ascetics WAS Re:Personal preferences (1)

Jart (100459) | more than 13 years ago | (#203501)

The temptation to exchange freedom for security is huge. To play a component in the machine. To take root in the corporate titty. It's called the job scene. The temptation (meme? dream? programming?)is so overwhelmingly huge in fact that it blinds us to any possible alternatives. The promise of security and possible (heh) profit is a relative sun to the relative horrible black abyss of the threat of unemployment. We see no other way, so we stick our balls in the vise... But I hate the vise. I hate the machine that made this vise. I hate VISE COMMERCIALS. I hate... my balls? My flesh? A knife is cheap, in fact I have one right here...

War, death, horror, etc. (2)

Jart (100459) | more than 13 years ago | (#203502)

Right now we have commercials and entertainment. Commercials serve business (farmers of humans); entertainment serves the people/cattle. People invest max attention in entertainment and min attention in commercials. Business does the opposite of course. Obvious so far? In the name of grabbing more cattle attention, commercials are made more entertaining and entertainment is made more commercial. Natural convergence, yes? In the golden future there will be no commercials, just great entertainment that pushes the business agenda 100%. Pure dreams of wealth and security. Cattle squeezing efficiency will approach 100%. Commerce is war. It's wasteful, ugly, etc. If you have a job then you collaborate. Money grubbing cowardly foolish weakling that you are. Will drugs save us?

Re:It's not that big of a deal (2)

Jart (100459) | more than 13 years ago | (#203503)

I think they hide the can of coke or whatever because the baring of the brand is a heavy deed, to be done intentionally or not at all but never never casually. If the coke logo is to be shown then the coke company wants total control over the context. Otherwise showing it is logo infringement or trademark dandling or some shit like that.

You won't see (1)

skwog (101252) | more than 13 years ago | (#203504)

Janeway do shit after the series finalie!

Re:This is why I stopped watching TV. (1)

scotch (102596) | more than 13 years ago | (#203505)

Don't worry, I taped "Friends" for you.

Why is this news? (1)

Orange Julius (104064) | more than 13 years ago | (#203506)

Advertisements have been digitally inserted into baseball games since the beginning of the 2000 season. Those billboards you see up against the backstop, and in center field? They might not be the billboards that are displayed at the ballpark, if there even are billboards.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Revisionism, sooner or later. (1)

kezdeth (108971) | more than 13 years ago | (#203507)

This idea bothers me simply because sooner or later it leads to the possibility of revisionist history. I know this may sound paranoid, but think of this: in the 1920's & 30's some Germans who had been paying attention were trying to warn folks.

All right, this is nowhere near that dangerous a situation, but we still need to pay attention to this just to be certain that it is used responsibly.

Re:Absolutely absurd! (2)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 13 years ago | (#203509)

When I first saw this ad, I thought it was strange as the Lara Croft character (or a close replica) has been advertising Lucozade (an energy drink) in the UK for some time now.


Re:Rights? (2)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 13 years ago | (#203510)

People have rights, dead people are just lumps of meat in the ground.

It sometimes seems like there should be rights for dead people but once you start having rights for the dead, you run into huge problems. Not the least of which is the inability of people to waive those rights.

I mean it's already bad enough that copyright extends past a copyright holders death. I mean, how is that supposed to benefit the creator.

Many of us think that this is a big problem with giving corporations the same rights as an individual, that individuals have an expiry date wheras corporations can continue to monopolise parts of our shared cultures indefinitely (if the politicians keep extending copyright the way they do)

And anyway, in this case, the thing to remember is that the rights to the actors image is owned by the people with the rights to the image. Sure, the actor may have had a contract for recompense for use of that image but the image itself is not the property of the actor


Re:Connie Willis story "Remake" (2)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 13 years ago | (#203511)

Isn't that what we're coming to? Endless copyright fights over the images of famous people? Wouldn't it be hysterical if all the movie houses started snapping up the copyrights to all famous people-- MGM gets the image of George Washington, Universal gets the Sta Puft Marshmallow Man, etc.

A company (a charity) in the UK recently tried to copyright Princess Diana. Not specific images of Princess Diana but all and any images of her.

Their claim was that they wanted to protect her image from being debased by being associated with cheap souveneirs (read the directors wanted to sell expensive souveneirs and buy big cars and houses).

I think that the british courts told them where they could stick it. Noone has the right to control images of a dead person (other than that they own the copyright on specific images).

All this just further fed into my rising suspicion that most charities, despite any actual good they may do, are largely set up to provide a nice comfortable salary for their directors. This to the extent that I won't donate to any charity unless I know that all expenses (including salaries) are kept to a minimum (i.e. I haven't donated anything in a long time).

I mean, take a look at that box of girlscout cookies. It's made by a company somewhere. Do you think the director of that company is driving around in a Ford Escort? Is that really what you wanted your money to go towards? Do yourself and the girlscouts a favour and just cut them a check for the money you would have spent (unless you really dig the cookies)

Anyway, gone off at a tangent a bit there.


Re:From the "Pizza in spac" story (2)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 13 years ago | (#203512)

What I want to know is, can they invoke the "if it takes longer than 30 minutes, it's free" rule


Re:Been there, done that. (2)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 13 years ago | (#203515)

Just a factual correction: it was NBC that was doing the digital work, and they were using it to replace lots of the actual ads in Times Square with ones of their choosing.

Rights? (1)

$lacker (127735) | more than 13 years ago | (#203517)

Don't the actors have any rights, even in death? Who is responsible for making sure the images of the dead aren't used inapproprately? Nothing would really stop some company from putting Marilyn Monroe and JFK in a porn together, which isn't cool at all if you're the family.

Re:It's inevitable (5)

NumberSyx (130129) | more than 13 years ago | (#203519)

If I were an Ad Exective, I'd be looking for a way to advertise to people who use the fast forward button. The obvious way is to have static signs in the background which are easily read even at FFwd speeds. A clever producer however could come up with a long slow gesture done by the actor, which may or may not be meaningful at normal speed, but when viewed at FFwd speeds takes on a completely different meaning, or the meaning becomes obvious.

Jesus died for sombodies sins, but not mine.

Oh, the horror! (1)

Electric Angst (138229) | more than 13 years ago | (#203520)

Oh no, this would be such a bastardization! It would be horrible if Lexus© did this. Why would Lexus© want to mess with our programs? Just to hawk their exciting, impressive, luxury vehicles?

Perhaps this is really the new scheme- since customers won't watch commercials anymore, we'll make the commercials somehow newsworthy, including them in the print and broadcast news media. Best of all, those who are least likely to want a commercial in a show will be the ones who examine the in-news commercials most. Damn smart of them, too bad /.'s a pawn in it. (Of course, I stopped crediting this site with intelligence some time ago...)


This is old news... (2)

Seeth42 (138589) | more than 13 years ago | (#203522)

A few years ago I read an article (probably in Wired or another similar mag) that discussed this type of technology and some examples of use.

How weird will it be when there is a big Coke logo in the center of the World Cup championship match field? It won't be on the actual field, but it'll be there on the 'ole TV screen. Will we find it odd that your favorite friend on Must See TV is drinking whatever soda the syndication advertisers dictate? Coke on one channel, Pepsi on another? (personally I'd love to see someone drinking Shasta Orange!)

I guess I view televsion advertisments similar to a computer virus. They come up with new and effective ways to infect our thoughts and we come up with ways to avoid those new methods.

Just like not downloading something from the internet is a sure-fire way to avoid a virus, so is not watching TV or reading any magazines/newspapers (or leaving your house or looking outside) a sure-fire way to avoid advertisments. Unfortunately this method tends to leave you isolated and alone.

Personally, I like analyzing ads and attempting to figure out how they are trying to infect my thoughts. It's a fun hobby. ("And knowing is half the battle!")

The day will probably come when the Futurama inspired "Dream Advertisment" will come to pass. I just hope that they use cool colors when they do.

Your product here! (1)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 13 years ago | (#203530)

If it can show a different product in each market, smaller businesses could afford to have their products shown on popular TV shows. Not only would it be good for small businesses, but it would be fun to see local products used by famous people.

Re:Famous people using local products (1)

yukihime (167081) | more than 13 years ago | (#203531)

has been done before, obviously. major example: WKRP in Cincinnati was filmed in California, broadcast nationally, and had imported LaRosa's pizza boxes & Graeter's ice cream quarts flown from Cincinnati.

Pizza (1)

squeegee-me (169687) | more than 13 years ago | (#203533)

Captain Janeway: Computer, I would like a personal pan pizza...

Computer: What would you like on your Tombstone?

Captain Janeway: Vulcan Mushrooms and Peperoni...

(Whirring noise)

Captain Janeway: Oooh... saussy...

Not really diferent from the movies (1)

chaidawg (170956) | more than 13 years ago | (#203534)

Movie producers get money to make their movies (some of it) from brand placement. Wayne's World spoofed this wonderfully. This is not really different. So instead of the actor actually holding a coke, he's holding a virtual coke. Big deal. Most of the time we laugh at it in the movies because it is so obvious. I doubt that it will catch many people, most will notice it for what it is and disregard it.

This already happened in Japan (2)

Milinar (176767) | more than 13 years ago | (#203537)

Almost a year ago now, I was over there when they ran a commercial features a 40s actress (from Gone with the Wind, i can't remember her name) drinking what I believe was Iced tea. It was quite well done, actually, from what I could tell they used a stand-in for the close ups, and in the long shots just replaced something else that was in her hand.

As I recall, this seems like the first and perhaps only commercial I've seen where the person is made to directly endorse something.


Personal preferences (1)

wytcld (179112) | more than 13 years ago | (#203539)

I miss my childhood in the '50s when brand identity was secure. I'd like my favorite shows to show my television buddies drinking only my brand of beer, washing with my brand of detergent, &tc. I'd gladly sacrifice privacy to let these good companies displace despised brands from my home theater. How soon can I have this?

Alternately, can I set my Tivo to only record shows with desired brand placements?

mmm... orbital pizza... (1)

bigmaddog (184845) | more than 13 years ago | (#203541)

I wonder how they market it... 10 days or it's free? Is there a disclaimer for weather related launch delays? If the rocket explodes after takeoff, will they send you a new pizza? These are all important questions that need to be addressed before orbital pizza becomes a reality...

Re:This is why I stopped watching TV. (1)

DigitalDragon (194314) | more than 13 years ago | (#203544)

In the meantime, ads pay for your television viewing.

I thought paying my monthly bill was enough to buy me a right to watch television. Basic cable gives you only some TV-shows and programs. Most of it is crap, you pay CAD$ 40 for it and you still have to watch the ads. What do you think of that?

Don't forget (1)

DigitalDragon (194314) | more than 13 years ago | (#203545)

Discovery Channel and Frasier! I can tune in to Discovery anytime and enjoy a view of a snake biting that Australian dude in the nose.. or crocodile trying to bite of his leg.. that's educational and is well worth my hard-earned bucks. :)

Wheezer did it (1)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 13 years ago | (#203547)

and it was a damn cool video(probably the only worthwile bits of code on my Win95 cd, god knows it's the only reason I keep that CD around). I'd only have a problem with it if they do it poorly. The Duke selling beer was a poor commercial, they tried to take him out of his time frame and put him into our world. But what Wheezer did was completely the opposite, they immersed themselves in the Happy Days time frame and didn't try to change the scenes/characters too much. As such it was a nice piece of nostalgia with a modern twist. But I don't think it will work if they follow the mindset that produced the "Duke selling Coors" commercial.


From the "Pizza in space" story (1)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 13 years ago | (#203548)

"Wherever there is life, there will be Pizza Hut pizza," the Dallas-based pizza chain's chief marketing officer Randy Gier said in a statement. "If space tourism is going to be a reality, Pizza Hut pizza will make the trip even better."

I don't know if I could handle Pizza Hut pizza after experiencing about 7g worth of acceleration. Hell, I can barely stomach the stuff on earth with my ass comfortably in my recliner. God help us if Papa John's starts to deliver to orbit.


Re:Wheezer did it (1)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 13 years ago | (#203549)



Re:Wheezer did it (1)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 13 years ago | (#203550)

?!? I misspelled the name of the band and two people have commented on it. The first one was polite and even pointed me to their new album which I may check out. What "research" need I have done pray tell? It was a simple case of me mis-remembering how the band spells their name.

If we consider your comment on the Win95 cd and Cyborg_Monkey's comment on the CD, then two people have flamed me for my comment on how I place no value on it except for the value I place on having that video available.

I see no need to justify my position on Win95 to you. Even on my Windows partition on my home system I don't use Win95. I've moved on and it's just taking up space in my CD binder now. I would have thrown it away except for the fact that I like watching that video occasionally. For me that CD is worthless except for the video. Note that I said "the only reason I keep that CD around." Note the use of the first person here. Not every Slashdot reader bashes Microsoft at every opportunity, even though they give us plenty of reasons. Quit reading between the lines, it makes you look like an idiot when you do it wrong.


Re:Wheezer did it (1)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 13 years ago | (#203551)

Thank you. I've always been bad at remembering who sang what. In this case I was glad that I remembered the name of the band at all, even if I did misspell it. The new album looks cool and the reviews are good, when I get home I'll sample some of the tracks.


Intrusive advertising (2)

KeyShark (195825) | more than 13 years ago | (#203552)

I think that we will be getting more and more intrusive advertising. Banner ads are getting larger. Just look at ZDNet's advertising. On any article there is an ad for Compaq or IBM that takes up most of the page. This is just coming in on TV now. I don't have a solution, but god help the day that push webpages actually happen.

Pizza Hut/Taco Bell (1)

irn_bru (209849) | more than 13 years ago | (#203558)

Interestingly, in the European version of Stalone's classic (ahem) Demolition Man [] , Pizza Hut was the only fast-food chain to survive the transformation to utopia. I guess they figured we wouldn't know what Taco Bell was (though there did used to be one on Kensington High Street, London)

There were a few bloopers in the film though. I guess they could have done with this digital editing technique to switch the logos in all of the scenes.

And despite Pizza Hut having pretty low credibility over here, I don't think their reputation is anywhere near as bad as TBs (although saying that, if they continue to use They Might Be Giants [] songs without permission [music.tmbg] in their latest UK adverts, who knows...

Re:Excellent.... (2)

agentZ (210674) | more than 13 years ago | (#203559)

Without the dollars generated by advertising, there wouldn't be any good television programs. M*A*S*H required lots and lots of money: actors, sets, lighting, directors, editors, etc. You can't get something for nothing in the art/entertainment business.

Sports (2)

un_eternal (212665) | more than 13 years ago | (#203563)

In sports especially baseball they already do this. The next time you watch a baseball game on tv keep in mind that some of those ads on the fences and backstop don't really exist.

Colorized Movies (2)

OCatenac (218161) | more than 13 years ago | (#203567)

This strikes me as the same sort of distortion of an artistic product as the colorizing of black and white movies a few years back. And it will probably be just as obvious. I can't wait for them to start digitally dubbing in dialog. I can just imagine it:

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. But if I did, I'd suggest that we go to see Dr. Marvin Monroe, Marital Counselor."

"We'll always have Paris where we can visit EuroDisney and have a great time with the family!"

Onorio Catenacci

"And that's the world in a nutshell -- an appropriate receptacle."

Re:It's inevitable (2)

MCZapf (218870) | more than 13 years ago | (#203568)

Here's what I want: I want advertisers to pay me to view ads directly. And I will pay the tv shows I watch directly. That way, I can much more effectively "vote with my dollar," and I don't have to put up with ads that I'm not interested in.

Imagine this. The next time you want to purchase, say, a new car, you go to an ad agency [website] and they pay you $100 or something to sit through commercials for cars. Then you go to a dealer and take a closer look at cars that interest you.

Not the first time a commercial has had this done. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#203569)

Remember that commercial where Christopher Reeve stood up and walked around?

Better use! (3)

Spackler (223562) | more than 13 years ago | (#203570)

"With any luck we'll see Capt. Janeway ask the food replicator for a meal, and a personal pan pizza will materialize."

With any luck we'll see Capt. Janeway ask the food replicator for a meal, and Seven of Nine's cat suit will digitally drop off!
That would be some freakin product placement!

Re:Dukes of Hazard (2)

canning (228134) | more than 13 years ago | (#203573)

I can't understand why they welded the door of their CDRom closed. Those crazy Duke boys.

Murphy's Law of Copiers

Demolition Man (1)

lastninja (237588) | more than 13 years ago | (#203578)

Isn't this what was done in Stallone's Demolition Man, if I recall correctly all the refereces to Taco Bell was changed to Pizza Hut in the European versions, they even dubbed Stallones voice in one scene (really poor lipsync by the way). FYI I live in Sweden were movies are subtitled instead of dubbed.

How to avoid your own product placement (2)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#203579)

And, there's even a non-registration version of the story [] to be found here [] .

Somehow I doubt Janeway'll order a pizza tonight, since it's the series finale, but maybe if she does a dream sequence, she can order lots of branded food.


man_ls (248470) | more than 13 years ago | (#203580)

Subliminal messaging, only more obvious?

I might not notice products in a show, but I'd certainly notice it without really seeing it. Just another money making idea that will reduce the realism of television programs.

Creative license... (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#203581)

What offends me about this is that some aesthetically-challenged geek is going to modify movies and television programs in a way that may be totally offensive to the show's creators, actors, and director. If, for a hypothetical example, Steven Spielberg chooses not to include Volkswagon cars in his movies because of VW's ties to the Nazis, some marketing dweeb should not be able to command that VWs be digitally added to scenes in Jurassic Park or The Color Purple.

This is wholly different than a creative person agreeing to a "product placement" deal with a corporation. This is butchering something after it has been created. While we can all laugh at this being done to shows that we consider less-than-artistic, I don't want to see quality programs (MASH, ER, The Sopranos, or even The Simpsons) subjected to these heavy-handed edits.

Before any of you Young Republicans start spewing the 'capitalism is good' speech, art is better. Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, and Schindler's List won't be improved by digitally adding products to the scenes and their impact could be lessened on an entire generation.

Aaayyyy! (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 13 years ago | (#203583)

Joanie could sell me a car any day.

Dancin Chachi

Re:This is why I stopped watching TV. (1)

iluvpr0n (306594) | more than 13 years ago | (#203586)

I agree with you on several points- tv is mostly useless and just about everyone I know would probably be better off watching less of it. That having been said, I don't think it's all evil.

First off, I've seen things on tv that I'll never see in real life (from historical footage to the bottom of the ocean). Also if you live in a fairly remote area, tv (and the internet and movies) can provide at least a hint of what else is out there. Is it skewed? Yes. Can you read books about these mysterioius outside places? Yes, but they're still just as skewed. Moving images can be an excellent compliment to reading about somewhere or something though. So what if it takes flipping through all kinds of crap in order to get to the good stuff; often it's not worth it, but in those instances it is then it makes up for it.

So yeah, your average 3 hours spent watching major network television on a weeknight is pretty much a waste of time- the dramatic and comedic elements aren't the greatest or most original, however hidden behind all the crap there's some decent stuff out there.


Are Ad Execs Lawyers? (2)

tb3 (313150) | more than 13 years ago | (#203588)

From the article: "We're always looking at ways to leverage our viewer relationships for marketers, in an appropriate manner"

That's one of the most convulted pieces of double-talk I've read since... yesterday. "Appropriate manner" my ass!

Sorry xueexueg (5)

Obliqueness (321184) | more than 13 years ago | (#203589)

But under the DMCA, use of the food replicator would violate Pizza Hut's intellectual property rights to the recipe of Personal Pan Pizza.

Or maybe not, if it's used for liscensed, official marketing purposes.

Where is she? (1)

jahjeremy (323931) | more than 13 years ago | (#203590)

On can only HOPE that the 'Where's the Beef' (tm) lady gets her long-deserved come-upance!

Re:They just can't think of anything better to do (1)

jahjeremy (323931) | more than 13 years ago | (#203591)

y = x + [your product here]

Bogie in Reservoir Dogs (1)

neilio (410670) | more than 13 years ago | (#203592)

I have heard from several sources that the giant stars of yesteryear are going to be starring in full length movies very soon! There are 2 scheduled for release next year.... creepy. neilio

Just another Commercial Abuse (1)

stuccoguy (441799) | more than 13 years ago | (#203593)

I am no more or less offended by such virtual product placements than I am by following a news link on /. just to find out that I have to give away personal information to register to read the free article.

Tough questions (2)

6EQUJ5 (446008) | more than 13 years ago | (#203600)

At what point is it a lie to do such a thing? At what point is it legally fraudulent? How can we make laws to protect consumers, without resorting to a "Ministry of Truth" in Washington that decides what reality is OK for people?

news (1)

zoombah (447772) | more than 13 years ago | (#203604)

It's really not that bad. Sure, many posts say that this intrusion is inevitable. As long as the quality of the show I am watching does not go down, then in show advertisements would not matter to me. Advertisers will cross traditional boundaries. This doesn't bother me. If they are too lazy to think of creative ways of introducing their product inside the show, then there is a problem. If the plot and genuine nature of the show remains intact, who cares?

on a side note, this probably won't be happening for a while, don't treat it like impending doom.

It was my idea (1)

DigitaLunatiC (452925) | more than 13 years ago | (#203607)

I talked about doing this years ago. However, I had no idea how to implement it. I also began to think that this was wrong. The only way I would support this would be if it meant no more commercials. I don't know how many people saw "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," but if they start advertising the way they did in that movie...TV is going to become a very sad thing.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?