I know when companies are trying to sell me. I can also tell when TV shows and movies go far out of their way not to.
And I usually don’t care. Bills need to get paid, and when it comes to events, websites and tons of TV shows, advertising pays them well. I’m so okay with advertising that I’d honestly rather see product placement than most ads. Product placement isn’t anything weird or intrusive and it’s far more like real life, where we say “Coke” and “Kleenex” instead of the generic alternatives.
Morgan Spurlock, of Super Size Me, makes a living pointing out obvious things just like this. His “movies” do much to point of the hypocrisy of the American public and force us to either accept or change the man in the mirror.
Most advertising sucks
His new flick, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, looks to hit an industry that’s been besieged by reduced spending, has seemed stale for years now and really hasn’t figured out how to make product placement feel unobtrusive. Most ad agencies seem to have two settings: high production quality with poor story telling bordering on crappy sitcom or poor production quality with amateur plot lines that results in content that’s barely fit for YouTube.
Are ads obsolete?
Maybe they’re running out of ideas, maybe they just don’t care or maybe advertising agencies just refuse to accept that brands aren’t really sold the same way they’ve always been. Maybe interruptive advertising is on it’s way out. Maybe we’re starting to take more cues on what to buy from what those around us use and endorse.
Social media will (not) save the day
This is not to say that anything like social media will save the advertising industry. Hell, using social media likely won’t save any industry. But the ideals that make social media great – sharing between friends, low publish barriers and conversational attitudes – can help the advertising industry pivot from an interruptive model to an immersive one.
You are what you…wear?
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold looks like a movie about what it’s like to make a movie about ad agencies while being funded by loosely associated brands. That may very well be what it is, but I do hope that most people look past the gimmick and into the real message: SAYING you’re advertising to someone is a lot more normal than pretending you’re not, no matter how obvious it is.
Friends would tell each other if they’re endorsing a product. Friends would trust each other to recommend they use products that they themselves like.
Isn’t it time we admit that movies should be like that too?