40 Hours of Television

The class is over, but the discussion continues. Does the media shape reality, or does reality shape the media? Art can imitate life...and life can imitate art. "40 Hours of TV" will explore the media and its impact on us all.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Advertising and Entertainment

Everything's a commercial these days, even when what you're watching isn't a commercial. But if you look for it, you'll find the commercials placed into movies, television shows, and even video games. I own an Xbox game that has within the game world soft drink machines that dispense real-world products.

Product placement is a huge part of the whole media experience, and commercials can be used to alter reality. Take baseball. You watch your favorite team playing, and along the walls you'll notice advertising. It's not actually there, it's added by a computer. Companies pay for that blank wall so they can advertise their product.

In football, some advertisers have their products listed on the football field itself, again done by computer.

Movies and television shows often feature product placement. Maybe a character in a movie drinks a particular brand of beverage, or a television sitcom will have its characters eating food from well-known fast-food chains.

Product placement isn't limited to television and movies. You might even see it in the evening news. How many times have you watched your local nightly news where they did a piece on some product and presented it as news?

The big thing with reality shows is that the network the show runs on will have as guests for the morning news programs the contestant voted off the show the night before.

And if you're in a target demographic, you can count on lots of advertising aimed at you. Now, dig out those wallets...


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