If you were too engulfed into the episode, you most likely didn’t catch the 15 or so product advertisements. From publicizing the Harry Potter theme park to The Food Network to LifeAlert and Geico, the product placement was everywhere.
However, 30 Rock took a little spin on their product investors. It wasn’t a Coke bottle in the background with an actor standing next to it. 30 Rock did a little bit more and addressed the product in a comical but truthful way. For example, in one scene Liz Lemon is sipping water when Tracy approaches her to sniff her hair. She turns and exclaims, “Come on! This is a woman’s blazer from a very expensive shop called “Rico’s”, telling him to back off to not mess it up. The writers play around with the advertisement and jokingly poke fun with the fact that indeed, they are advertising a blazer. However, it isn’t overbearing where it pulls the audience away from the story. If anything, it adds humor to the story that this IS an advertisement AND we’re going to have fun with it’.
Looking at other shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, every product that’s showcased in the remodeled house is broadcast to the audience with its’ large logo showing; sometimes coming with a hands-on demonstration. Sometimes the show even gets a spokesperson from the company to speak about their product. This gets annoying for an audience to see a product thrown in their face, especially when they’re watching the program for most likely another reason (not to hear some guy talk about a fridge).
With 30 Rock, they put their advertising into the show with a funny twist. Not so it annoys its’ audience but to poke fun at the fact that it’s a necessary piece of television entertainment. It’s sly, quality writing with some funny humor added to it. If 30 Rock didn’t add this entertaining twist to all of the products they showcased in this episode, then after the 5th one it would be overwhelming and would irritate the audience.
You don’t want to irritate the audience…