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So… Again.

October 18, 2006

I seem to be finding things to talk about in CSI a bunch, recently.

Today, we featured the SuicideGirls, which was pretty damned cool. I was a fan. But it also marks an incrasingly corporate view to the CSI franchise. More and more of their plots, especially the NY ones, are being based around a specific product or organisation… I mean, in the beginning of the series, there were very human reasons and devices, a few uber-deviant ones, and the occational big-business, using fictitious companies. Now, we have two in as many weeks – edoclaundry.com in last week, SuicideGirls in this one…

So we’re using real companies, real products. Why? Because it pays damned well. And why is that, you may ask? Because of the increasing media-literacy of the current generation of Television Watchers. Conventional advertising has almost no effect on the Millenial Generations, (X & Y, essentially), and less so with every year and every generation that follows it. Sure, the conventional 30-second spot will never fully die – it’s a necessary tool for getting a name and a brand out, but the clever marketing ploys may be getting cleverer, but they are also losing any effect beyond name-spreading faster than they get clever.

So in came product placement. It was clever for a while. Then we caught on – suddenly, any item in a show distracted you from the action – you were too busy conscously filtering out product placement to catch the action. Why do we filter? Because advertising is by nature manipulative, and no-one wants to feel manipulated. So, in order to prevent ourselves from being played by clever marketing execs, we filter. Millenials have gotten so good with conventional advertising that it happens automatically. Not so with placement – that one’s still too new.

Now, we have a new trick. When whatever is being placed becomes a key plot concept, not only does it not feel as much like placement, but it fills the entire show, and becomes near impossible to filter without missing the story.

So, what started as a discussion about how sweet it was to see the SuicideGirls on telly turned into a marketing/pop culture lecture, but whatever. That stuff’s cool too.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    October 19, 2006 9:00 am

    Damndamndamndamn. I cannot believe that not only am I missing House AND CSI, but I missed one with SuicideGirls.

    …can you tell me what it was about, at least?

  2. October 23, 2006 11:22 pm

    House starts soon. Not yet, though.

    Un, one of ’em gets offed, and they go through the full team trying to find out which one done it, and then have to piece back together one of her tattoos to get the suspect… Uh. Not really that brill a episode, other than that the suicide girls were in it.

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