Friday, July 2, 2010

My Name is Wawa

When I was married, my wife would often complain about my penchant for watching television. While she viewed it as a boring past time, I saw it as a learning experience. I told her I don't watch television the way most people do. Every so often I get the chance to explain that concept:
I was watching a My Name is Earl episode called "Cost Dad an Election" on CW Philly tonight and noticed something strange. During the episode, there is a wide shot that shows the sky. In the background was a Wawa billboard, which I found odd. Wawa is too regional a brand to show up in a Hollywood-produced show, so what's with the billboard?
Since I have the DVD, I popped it in and voilĂ , no billboard. CW Philly had it added in. The photo shows the DVD version, with the blank sky. I wish I had the presence of mind to rewind the show while I had it on, but take my word for it, there was a Wawa sign back there.
And then I heard that the episode was sponsored by Wawa, so the shameless tie-in made sense. Have the producers done this in other areas with other local franchises? I'm not sure if I'm in favor of electronically manipulating programs to insert advertisements. But, I noticed, didn't I?
And that's exactly what they wanted.

10 comments:

Cliff Yankovich said...

Cool that you caught it. (Wawa oughta send you a check - )

Anthony said...

Either that, or reimburse me the thousands of dollars I've spent in their stores over the years.

dmbfan said...

I think you should call them out on it... lol...shameless... sad and funny at the same time

juniior alien said...

You certainly meant "voilĂ ", because "viola" is a fiddle or the name of a flower, respectively.

Anthony said...

HA. Thanks. There was an old cartoon show when I was a kid where the lead character used to say "viola" instead of voila. It's probably in the back of my head.

junior alien said...

Don't you think your wife had a point in that? I mean, just a little bit?

Although it can be seen under educational aspects or like "a window to the world", most of the time watching TV is just a simulation of life - impersonal, standardized (amateur) theater in lieu of your own life.
And that's the saddest of all things!

Kcoz said...

It’s called “Product Placement” and they have been doing it for years and years in the movies. Every time you see an actor drinking a brand name beer, soda, coffee, and especially a pack of cigarettes, that company paid for their brand to be in that particular movie. The product placement really took off after Reese’s Pieces were used in the ET movie, for the amount they paid to be in that move their rewards were a hundred fold in exposure…every kid in America wanted Reese’s Pieces after seeing the loveable ET eating them. There was another candy brand that was approached before Reese’s but they refused, and were kicking themselves in the ass after that one….I can’t remember the brand but they were fairly popular already and thought they were above being in this silly movie. They actually wanted to charge Spielberg to use their product.

It is the same thing here only they are making use of the advanced technology and can now focus on a specific brand in each location that TV program plays. For instance, while watching a Cub’s game one will see local advertising on the wall of the front row seats behind the batter that changes throughout the game. If they are playing Philadelphia the TV viewers there will see their towns local advertising, but at the park the wall is actually blank, usually painted black giving them the ability to computer generate any brand name they wish behind the batter….very creative!

Later…

Anthony said...

I know all about that stuff, but the difference between movie product placement and what I saw last night is that the movie isn't altered. The products are "props" and part of the original print.

What they did was artificially enhance a program digitally, and that strikes me as dishonest.

The reason the one at the ballpark has to be blank is that it shouldn't be a distraction to the pitcher, who would most certainly see a revolving ad.

Anthony said...

junior: I was reared during the 1960s when television was a huge form of entertainment for an only child in a neighborhood full of retirees.
I have plenty to do in my work and social time that I can work in a few hours of TV viewing without seeming like an escapist.

Anonymous said...

Kcos, It was that small chocolate company that goes by two initials. W&W's or something.