The Coca-Cola Column About Product Placement

Back when I cared about ‘American Idol,’ there was one person/thing that continually interrupted my viewing pleasure. Surprisingly, I’m not referring to the radio successor of Rick Deez, Ryan Seacrest.
No, even more annoying were the Ford Special Features brought to you by Coke, which would often involve the final 10 or 12 contestants singing in, on, around or under a shiny new Ford.
After the very special diversion from what millions of viewers actually wanted to watch, cameras would focus on the man who created the catchphrase ‘Seacrest, out.’ But what do we see behind the lovable ‘Idol’ host? Framed pictures of the latest offerings from Ford. The only space not contaminated with shameless and incessant product placement was the stage itself.
And why stop short of the stage? Who knows how much money FOX could make if it required every contestant to sing while sitting on the roof of a new Fusion sedan or dance in the bed of an F-150 truck while holding a bottle of Coke so that the label was visible to the cameras?
More and more it seems that television shows are weighing the importance of quality programming against the importance of staying out of the red