Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pet Peeve #2

Take a good look at the image below. This is the future of broadcast and cable TV. Actually, it's pretty much the present. I made this illustration in Photoshop, but the more I tried to exaggerate the assemblage, the more true-to-life it became.

As if it weren't bad enough that the ratio of editorial/advertising has changed so dramatically over the years, TV commercials are now invading the shows themselves, overlapping and elbowing their way onto the screen when they're not supposed to be there. Network greedheads are actually allowing their viewers to suffer the ultimate distraction: logos, pop-up ads for other shows and bottom-screen crawls that tear our eyes away from the dramatic, unfolding action of their own series. Are there any viewers out there who actually don't mind this bullshit?

I can't finish this diatribe without complaining about the state of affairs at the movie theater. You plunk down $10 per ticket, plus another $8 for popcorn and a soda...and then you're forced to watch 15 minutes of TV commercials before they even get to the 15 minutes of movie trailers. Even worse are the anti-piracy ads that feature a stunt man who pleads with us not to download movies over the internet because it's killing the industry as well as his livelihood—after all, he puts his very LIFE on the line for movies. Hey, pal! Why the hell are you bitching to ME? I PAID TO GET IN HERE! The people in this movie house are not the problem. The real culprits are home, watching the bootlegs! These ads make me want to get up, go home, and download movies out of spite.

What recourse do we have? How long before they start interrupting feature films with commercials?


dUgE k said...

Man Brett, do I ever agree with everything you said. I basically don't go to the movies anymore. Between the commercials, the trailors, the "Pleading Stunt Man", and the unbearable TALKING that people engage in DURING THE FILM, I can't take it.

The logos and crawls that show up during television shows drives me completely bat shit. That's why TV shows on DVD are so appealing to me.

Great rant Brettster!

Melissa said...

In a way movies are already doing that, because product placement in film is getting more and more ridiculously obvious each year. I swear the entire film Castaway felt like one long FedEx commercial to me.

Anybody remember the film Repo Man, when they hid all the beer and product labels with generic blue-and-white stickers (that looked a lot like the album covers to PiL's Album)? Remember when it used to be a little weird seeing somebody drink a Pepsi blatantly in a movie and show the logo and everything?

dUgE k said...


Yes! I also remember when all beer cans had the same fake label. Sort of a parody of the Budweiser label. I believe you can see them in the old All In The Family reruns.

Trivia: In the 1974 film Thunderbolt And Lightfoot (starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges), they are always drinking Olympia Beer, a popular California pilsner. Why do I know this? I collected beer cans as a kid, and always took note of what brand brew was being consumed in the movies.

You're correct. product placement is out of control and way too intrusive these days. Remember Reecees Piecees (sp?!) in ET?!

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