Most people can tell the difference between a television show and an infomercial made to look like a TV show. More subtle is advertising within television shows or movies, such as when a product is shown casually on screen (“product placement”).
A TV program that aired last week pushed the concept of product placement to a new level. Here is a 30-second clip from Modern Family, where one of its main characters, a real estate agent, laments being outclassed at career day at his daughter’s school by a periodontist.
Click play button
What 99 and 44/100ths percent of viewers don’t realize is that spiel by actor Ty Burrell was actually an advertisement.
That’s right, at the end of the program, about three seconds before the screen goes black, viewers learn that the National Association of Realtors paid ABC for that little explanation that not all real estate brokers are “realtors.” (See story.)
We don’t know much ABC got paid for including that in their program, but it frankly seems a bit manipulative of the audience to have subtle advertising masquerading as program content. What do you think?