03-16-2006, 04:11 PM
That the best laugh I've gotten from Uncle June since he fell in the tub and yelled "your sister's c*nt."
I like a few seasons back when he's in the hospital and the nurse comes in with a bedpan.
"What am I a cat? I'm not gonna sh*t in a box!"
03-16-2006, 06:41 PM
No offense to you, but I don't believe that for a second...unless the camera man were being paid on the side to zoom in on all the "products" ;)
Hey, no offense taken, I'm just reporting what I read...seems pretty believable to me. Article below, from the Chicago Tribune.
Sopranos' song: Can't pay us to show products
Oh my god! What a car!" Carmela Soprano squealed as she got behind the wheel of her brand spanking new Porsche Cayenne Turbo, a pricey gift from mobster husband Tony, on the season debut of HBO's "The Sopranos."
Though Carmela did a far better job of touting the $90,200 sport- utility vehicle with its 4.5-liter engine on Sunday than the hapless spokesmodels the Gold Rush team recruited to sing the praises of the 2007 Chevy Tahoe the next night on NBC's "The Apprentice," there was one critical difference.
HBO and Porsche's advertising agency say no money changed hands for the plug on "The Sopranos." Writer Terence Winter's script mentioned the Cayenne, and the Porsche was loaned to producers.
Donald Trump's game show routinely doubles as an infomercial of sorts as a different benefactor gets a boost each week in the guise of presenting a make-work project for contestants.
Product placement has, according to one industry estimate, become a more than $1 billion annual business and it's likely to continue growing as marketers look for new ways to reach consumers increasingly sophisticated in evading traditional advertising.
And so conditioned have viewers become to expect product placement plugs after a steady diet of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Survivor," we assume if we can make out a logo and/or hear a testimonial, it must be an ad. Even if it's not.
"We absolutely do not take product placement," a spokeswoman for pay-cable HBO said, noting that this was the third such inquiry she had received since Sunday. "Everything is story-driven or character-driven. . . . We feel that since we are advertiser free, from a philosophical point, product placement is another form of advertising and we do not do it."
Similarly Porsche is among those companies with policies against pay for inclusion, which according to Jack Supple, chairman of Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch, Porsche's agency since 2000, has cost the sporty carmaker some TV and movie cameos.
"It's a more natural placement to just give them the car and see where they take it and I think they got pretty lucky," Supple said of the "Sopranos" appearance. "They really wrote the episode around it and will continue to use it as Carmela's car."
Certainly, Edie Falco's Carmela couldn't stop talking about it Sunday, only somewhat cowed when an indendently wealthy pal said she opted for a Chevy Corvette over a Porsche Boxster.
"It almost sounds too good," Supple said. "It almost sounds like too much talk about the features of the car. But that was their script. That was simply what they took off on because the brand has such a powerful badge that it takes on a life of its own."
So do "Sopranos" episodes. Die-hard fans, seeking deeper meaning, watch them over, poring over every shot as if scrutinizing the Zapruder film.
The brand name dropping only stands out more with repeated viewing. It may add to the show's finely honed sense of reality on one level, but other shows and movies have sensitized the audience to be suspect.
After a while it's impossible to avoid the Giorgio Armani logos everywhere in the store as the optician offers up a pair of Armani sunglasses with "flexible acetate frames, rimless lenses."
There were the David Yurman watches ("18 karat gold, diamond center") Tony received as a gift and his Cingular mobile phone, which conked out, plus the lingering shots of the Nesquik logo on a model train and the Philips logo on Uncle Junior's TV.
Never mind the passing glances of several car makes, Pella windows, a FedEx envelope, a Life Fitness treadmill, Post Selects Maple Pecan Crunch cereal, Ray-Bans ("classic, affordable"), a ReMax Web site and The Star-Ledger as well as Members Only, which also was the name of Sunday's episode.
It's like a trip to the outlet mall in Secaucus. But it's also advertising money can't--and didn't--buy.
HBO has been down this road before. A lot of viewers looked askance three years ago when a character on "Sex and the City" did an Absolut vodka ad and inspired a cocktail called the Absolut Hunk, which Absolut appropriated for a real marketing campaign.
"Again, that was creative-driven," HBO's spokeswoman said. "No money changed hands at any time."
It's said there's no such thing as a free lunch. What about a free drink or a free ride? Carmela was thrilled Sunday with her Cayenne, but future Sundays may tell a different tale.
"I hope it doesn't end up with a head in it or something," Supple said. "That would be too bad."
03-16-2006, 07:52 PM
Money might not have changed hands, but I bet Producer/Show Creator Brad Chase and David Grey got free Porsches, as well as other show big wigs!!! :)
03-16-2006, 09:45 PM
Junior is starting to resemble the guy from 6 Flags a little too much.
I've been saying that since the first time I saw that commercial.
"Why is Junior Soprano dancing at an amusement park?"
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