Not too long ago, I was watching an episode of The Guiding Light and out of nowhere a character offers another character Pringles (holding the can so that the logo clearly visible and naming the product). The recipient likes the potato chips and comments that he can’t seem to stop eating them. Whereupon, yet another character laughs and remarks, “once you pop, you can’t stop.”
It used to be that shows went out of their way not to mention any brand names. Now it seems every time I turn on the TV there’s Tony Soprano talking about the safety of SUVs or some starving reality show contestant enthusing about Mountain Dew. I didn’t mind so much when it was just visuals, but I hate how product placement is now entering into the plots of my shows.
I think we have the VCR and services like TiVo and Replay TV to blame. Since people either fastforward thru or skip over commercials entirely, advertisers have had to get sneakier. Personally, I’d rather watch the commercial, knowing that it was a commercial, then to put up with this garbage.