The latest analyses, insights and strategies that inspire CMOs and marketers everywhere.
CBS Comedy #2BrokeGirls Features Google Glass; Google Says Not Product Placement
In a new 30-second promotional spot for the season’s final episode of the popular CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls (S3, And The First Degree, air date: 5/5/2014) character actress Jennifer Coolidge who plays the over-the-top Sophie Kachinsky, is seen wearing Google Glass:
Update: Google Glass Gets 2+ Minutes of Fame
Last night’s season finale of 2 Broke Girls featured one scene (2:15 total time) of Sophie showing off her new Google Glass, in which she claims to do two things that aren’t currently possible on Google Glass via official Glassware:
- Order “tapioca” on Amazon.
- Watch porn.
Watch the full scene with Google Glass here:
I strongly suspect we won’t see Sophie wearing glass again in next season’s episodes.
Google Says Not Product Placement For Glass
In the promo clip below, the character appears briefly at :06 wearing Glass, but doesn’t speak in the promo clip from CBS.com, seen below:
A spokesperson for Google Glass has denied that the upcoming usage of the gadget is a paid promotional placement, a common practice in network and cable television to capture mainstream attention and create buzz around advertiser products.
When the show airs Monday, it will be interesting to see how the wearable device is treated in the script, in terms of positive or negative commentary from the edgy writing and borderline offensive jokes that typically make up the bulk of the show. Show creator and comedienne Whitney Cummings often pushes (or ignores) the boundaries of politically correct commentary, so this may not be the type of attention Google Glass really wants in front of a mainstream audience.
In the most recent 2 Broke Girls episode that aired April 28, 2014, other references were made to the new iPhone and Siri, in the context of taking a selfie and posting it with hashtags.
How Common Is Product Placement?
Television viewers are quite used to seeing sponsors incorporated into live talk shows, game shows and reality television at this point.
The CBS reboot of the classic Hawaii Five-0 is an excellent example of promotional consideration deals between advertisers and television creators, but it’s painfully obvious when the show’s directors focus the camera on a supporter’s products, even when done in context of a scene. The drama has prominently featured the main characters using Microsoft technology products including Surface tablets, Windows phones and Bing search services as part of their criminal investigation work.
Besides Microsoft, Chevy is the main vehicle sponsor for #H50, Hawaiian Airlines is featured in both opening credits and relevant scenes, while Hilton Hotels’ Hawaiian Village Resort on Wakkiki also serves as a backdrop and set for many of the show’s scenes. All are mentioned in the closing credits as promotional partners.
CBS is not the only major network to incorporate promotional deals for tech devices and mainstream products into the content of fictional television shows, but many writing teams often say they incorporate popular products and popular culture references to services like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or others as part of normal storylines. ABC’s Modern Family famously created an entire episode around an Apple iPad (without promotional payment, they just provided the device) and FOX’s New Girl incorporated the Ford Escape into an episode.