Product Placement or a screen-grab from an Exorcism Movie? Sometimes it’s hard to tell!

You know what takes me right out of a movie or TV show or even a commercial? When someone tries to sell me something. I know the whole point of a commercial IS to sell me something. BUT you can’t argue that the best ones are the ones in which you were so moved that you forgot you were watching a commercial.

In contrast, most movies and TV shows aren’t trying to sell you on something except the movie or show itself. But to have gotten to the point of either playing at a theatre or airing on your television (laptop, smart phone, holographic projective implant), they’ve had to sell themselves to financiers. And those financiers make requests for their product to be featured on screen. This isn’t news. It’s product placement. We’ve all heard of it. We know it exists. We recognize when we see it. The point is: audiences aren’t stupid. So it’d be wonderful is we weren’t treated like we were.

Financiers, please STOP making actors hold your product in ways so that the audience can clearly read the name of your product. The reality? We’re not looking at your product. We’re looking at the weird disjointed alien claw that holds your product while we think, “no one would ever hold a burger (pack of gum, coffee cup, phone) like that!”

Are you afraid we won’t recognize the iconic red can with the cursive white writing unless we actually see the whole name? Or does being on two corners of every intersection make the store with the green and white mermaid logo not ubiquitous enough? So you make Sandra Bullock awkwardly turn your logo to camera. And now the actor is trying to rationalize why her character would love tall nonfat white mochas (270 cals) and yet still meet Hollywood’s standard body size. She’s not in the moment. I’m not in the moment. And I’m definitely not all of a sudden hankering for $5 coffee. The fact that I am about to order something from said establishment has everything to do with the fact that I am cliché incarnate and I write in one.  Nothing, I repeat nothing at all, to do with the fact that Sandra makes them look oh so fuckin’ good. But seriously, I love her and I’d buy whatever she’s selling, weird disjointed alien claw or no.