Crappy Product Placement
Well, it didn’t take long. Product placement has officially hit online video. In the most recent episode of Lonelygirl15, Bree (the main character) is about to have a piece of icebreaker sour gums. Her friends beg her for a piece but she only has four left (and there’s only three of them hanging out). Rather than share, she pops them all in her mouth and laughs. Her friends are disappointed, and you can almost imagine a cheesy jingle in the background as Bree talks about how sour the gum is. This was the worst thing I’ve seen in my life. This scene even started with a character off camera asking, “Hey, what is that?” in which Bree replies, “Icebreaker Sour Gums”. Then she holds up the package for the camera to see. This was so blatant I started laughing. I’m looking forward to the backlash when this video hits You Tube. On the other hand, Lonelygirl15 targets a younger audience so they may be more forgiving. But man, that was some crappy product placement. I hope they got paid well for that.
Hmm… all of a sudden I’m in the mood for some sour gum.
The thing I found most interesting is that the LG15 creators actually polled their fans before they made this move. So I give them props for at least interacting with their audience beforehand. Also, I just want to be clear that I understand what it’s like to be a filmmaker who needs to pay his bills. So I’m not against product placement in online series, TV, or films. People need to make money. I get that. I just don’t like the execution of the product placement in this recent episode. Product placement needs to be integrated seamlessly into the storyline or at least be executed in a subtle manner. Otherwise, it takes the viewer out of the experience and can potentially lead to backlash. Just my 2 cents.
Product placement at 3:30.