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Jun 28, 2007 10:33 AM

Commercialism & Top Chef

Has anyone else found that Top Chef this season is SO commercial?

I mean, there's the whole Gladware this and Gladware that, but I'm talking about the actual challenges. Last week was Florida citrus (and we all know how they need a boost with their hurricane woes). And the charcoal brand's sponsored bbq challenge. Now this week is all "low cholesterol" and then there's a cholesterol drug commercial!
It's all so intertwined that it's ridiculous.

Any thoughts?

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  1. I can't say I'm surprised or that this is the first time commercialism, as you call it, informs programming and editing. If you take a random issue of Newsweek, for instance, you'll see that their health section is 'surrounded' by drug ads, the healthy living section has health food ads before and after....What I find more problematic is when economics shape content, i.e., what to include/exclude from an article, news report, etc....As for Top Chef, you gotta take it with a grain of salt...of course, we'll be over-exposed to Glad products and references....last season, it was the Kenmore kitchen, I don't think Padma missed any chance to remind us that 'it is the *Kenmore* kitchen....

    1. No more so than last season, with Toyota RAV4, Sears Kenmore Kitchen, Glad products, etc. In fact, I find it LESS intrusive than last year, because Padma's not saying "Sears Kenmore Kitchen" every other sentence.

      And considering Gladware's paying for the vacation and $100K (I think they're paying for both prizes) to start their own's pretty inevitable that we're going to see their brand. TiVO allows for commercial skipping, as we all know, so they gotta get their brand in our face somehow.

      No less than the Coca-Cola cups on American Idol, and other brands on CSI, etc.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Evian is paying for the vacation, aren't they? And aren't the past cheftestants pissed that there wasn't a vacation for their seasons??

        1. re: julietg

          You're right - couldn't remember when I was posting earlier from work. And IIRC, the vacation is in the French Alps - hence, the Evian connection/product placement.

          And yes - I've read the TC1 and 2 cheftestants weren't too thrilled to hear about the vacation.

      2. Its a television show. Just as with movies, product placement and cross promotion makes all of the companies a lot of money.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ccbweb

          No, I know, I know, but it's just so blatant.

          But maybe it's better to be blatant & obvious and then you can consciously ignore it versus the promotions that are more sneaky and harder to dismiss from your mind because they've just quietly crept in??

          1. re: laurendlewis

            Someone from another board suggests that because many people are Tivo'ing their programs and skipping the commercials entirely, these shows must find new ways to squeeze sponsor visibility into the actual programs themselves.

            1. re: dty

              Completely true. And I suppose well done in this case.

        2. In season 4 Padma will have stickers covering her limbs as if she were a race car.

          1 Reply
          1. Does anyone remember Wayne's World where they did the product placement? "Nuprin. Little. Yellow. Different." Too funny.

            As someone who has worked in the marketing/advertising world for a while now, I can promise you that you will be seeing more and more intrusive product placement in all TV shows. Traditional ads are becoming less and less effective (due largely to TiVO, DVR, etc.) and networks are losing money. I am not kidding you that there was a recent series of product placement on a popular soap opera for KY lubricants. The actors said the brand name and the products were visible on bedstands, in purses, etc.

            It's entertainment TV. Not PBS. Expect it to get worse.