Bourdain - product placement
Ok, I was willing to sort of overlook and/or forgive the blatant shilling of the Chase Sapphire card or whatever it's called, once (Istanbul). I don't think they did it in the Brittany episode. But then in the Prague episode, they did it again although this time Tony didn't offer a snide comment. Perhaps the producers were trying to be slightly more subtle, but I don't think that worked. It's almost like the episode was in black and white and that card glowed blue (er...sapphire), that's how much it stuck out.
For some reason this is bothering me a lot more than all the product placement that's done on Top Chef (and I haven't missed a single episode of TC or TCM since inception). Just had to vent, because I will continue to watch, but really, it's enough to make me never even consider getting one of those cards.
It put me off because it is Chase Bank. A company that has no connection with the food. As cheesy as the Glad bag placements are on TC, it is still somewhat food related. The Toyota one bugged me a bit too.
I've already deleted the recorded episode so I can't look at it again. But at the time, it seemed to me to be an "inserted frame" . . . no hand placing the card. . . just imagically appeared on the screen so I fast forwarded past it thinking it was another lengthy commercial break
TC was always about the product placement right from the start. With AB this is something new and seemingly not what AB is all about.
And as Stephanie said it is a cut and paste job. I just hope this isn't a sign of things to come since Scripts bought the Travel Chanel. Look the high standards they have implemented at FN...
The Travel Channel had plenty of bad, schlocky programming before they were purchased by Scripps. Witness "Man vs. Food", "Chowdown Countdown" and "Meet the Natives". The Travel Channel has bounced from one media conglomerate to another; originally Discovery Communications, then Cox Communications and now Scripps Networks Interactive. Nothing changes.
I just watched the Istanbul episode and my heart is just plain broken. I know product placement is a reality of modern television, but I thought somehow Bourdain was above this kind of crap. I mean, isn't he the anti-corporate bad boy? I'm so disappointed. I know I shouldn't be, but this is just a bit hard to take. It was just so cheesy and so cheap. It really ruined the rest of the episode for me. It made everything after that seem phoney and contrived.
I don't really know why this hit me so hard. I worked in television for ten years. I should know better, but I somehow have always had a blind spot for Bourdain's shows. I've lost my innocence, now . I'll never watch this show the same way again. Thanks a lot, Tony.
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