Thursday, May 26, 2005

Governator for Sale 

Update 2: Wow. Beat the big boys on this one. Eschaton and Slumdance only just caught onto this one...

Update: Swing State Project has more on the product placement brouhaha, and encouraging numbers that indicate we may not be stuck with Governor Bozo much longer.

Either he just doesn't get it, or someone isn't paying attention -- but Der Gropenfuehrer's latest political ad is rife with product placement:
The TV ad, released in May, features Schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad...

"Schwarzenegger has turned the governor's office into a vending machine. It is inconceivable that Schwarzenegger didn't know that Pepsi and Arrowhead were in his commercial, or that the free air time and lucrative association with the Governor of California would benefit them. The governor should return their quarter million in campaign cash, and repay the state for misusing his office as a corporate spokesman for his political donors," said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate with FTCR...
Rather tasteless and appalling, isn't it? But, hey, that's what happens when those damn liberal conservative actors get involved in politics. And how dare AhNOld give away the secret that most politicians are owned by major corporations, anyway.

I wonder if the trend we've seen in stadiums will carry over to government as well. Hey, it could help reduce W's $7 trillion deficit. I can see it now -- The Glaxo-Wellcome/Blue Cross Capital Building. The Lockheed-Martin Senate Office Building. The Halliburton White House. The possibilities are endless.

You can see the Governator's ad at www.JoinArnold.com -- although hurry up, because I have a feeling the negative attention will make them pussy out and pull it quickly.

I have watched the ad, and on first glance, it may seem totally innocuous. The thing is set up to look like a spontaneous "Ahnold chats with the students" moment. Yes, there are identifiable product labels visible frequently, but they appear to be just incidental background items. I say "appear to be," because an unfortunate shot of one of the extras nodding in agreement with Arnold gives it away. This moment was completely staged, obviously; ergo, nothing that appeared in any shot was accidental or casual. The crew could have quite easily turned the labels away from the camera, or used non-brand mock-ups. In fact, TV crews do this all the time, and if you watch carefully, you'll notice that you rarely see actual brand names or labels in most TV shows. The exceptions, of course, are in cases of obvious product placement, in which case Det. Smith will aim that Pepsi can right at the camera as he stands in front of the Pepsi machine and talks to a colleague.

But, anyway -- again, while what you see on screen appears harmless, it definitely was carefully planned. Whether as an intentional and consensual payback to Arnold's donors, or a little tactless nod by the governor, I don't know. But it should never have happened, and Arnold needs to be taken to task for this.

Remember -- he hates the spetzial inteerists. Unless those special interests are his wealthy, deep-pockets, corporate donors.

What a fucking sell-out he's turned out to be.

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