Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Slices of the Timeline:
Product Placement

As a television editor who relies on the boob tube to pay the bills, I'm not one of those "blow up your TV" people. However, I do feel responsible to educated my friends to reminded them that television is not reality. (I'll reserve my MythBusters rant for some other time. MythBusters ≠ science; MythBusters = entertainment, people!)

Today's lesson from the Timeline: there's nothing real about reality television.

Reality television lacking reality probably doesn't surprise you but try this one on:

I heard recently from another editor a tidbit about product placement in a reality television show. The show in question is not one of those reality game shows (like Survivor or Big Brother, etc.). It's a day-in-the-life show much like American Chopper or Miami Ink. One episode was partially financed by a major fast food chain. Apparently, the individuals on the show were eating lunch and, in exchange for the paycheck, the fast food logos were predominately displayed.

Even in my skepticism was astonished! They product placed on a reality television program? On reality TV! They setup where these workaday folks ate for payola?!?


Todd Camplin said...

Just like when directors of 'talk shows' goat the guests to fight each other, it looks real to us until someone digs a little deeper. I am glad someone, like yourself, continues to remind us that all TV is theater, including the news. However, armed with that knowledge, doesn't sway me to not watch TV, just make me a little more selective on the type of theater I watch.

TonyN said...

"Theater" is correct most of the time. I think some TV news is legitimate. Some. You have to really search to find it though…