Saturday, December 16

Product Placement And The Power of The Media; we All Just Endorse Each Other Because we All Need to Have Each Other's Back

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I was watching Kendra the other day and I saw a bag of Smartfood Popcorn and I wanted it.  But do I really need Smartfood Popcorn, even if they offer it in a low fat version.  Is it that simple, I mean I never wanted something that I saw on television before and it caught me off guard.  I have enough of a problem with potato chips as it is so why do I need to get popcorn.  In fact I am still thinking about popcorn, even though I wasn’t an hour ago.

I was watching The City this morning.  There was no product placement, but it does get you to thinking about designer clothing and living in Manhattan.  The city itself is the product on display, on so many movies, television shows and even on the Internet.  The good thing about reality television for television programmers, producers, writers and directors is that it is autonomous and does not require as much time, energy, and resources for them. The bad thing about reality television for the rest of us is that it reinforces the idea of cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other places that are expensive and have high costs of living, and it makes us want to live in those areas.

Those cities are affordable if you have your college degree and can get a job paying $30 an hour, but they are expensive if you are not educated and are trying to hustle to stay there.  These reality shows do not talk about the education that these people or what they have done to get to where they’re at.  Take a look at the show Basketball Wives or the Real Housewives series.  What are the chances that the average woman would be married to a basketball player?  Some of the women on the Real Housewives series are married to rich men, but a lot of those women are entrepreneurs as well.

New York has been marketed and sold to me for as long as I can remember.  There were plenty of movies that showed yet one more beautiful day with the sunny skies of California that will make you want to move to Los Angeles.  Then you get there and you’re stuck doing something you don’t want to do or you end up doing adult movies trying to pay the rent.  I’m glad there aren’t any reality shows selling the idea of Virginia Beach or Norfolk, because they wouldn’t show people working in the service industry at the call centers trying to get that sale, they would show business owners and real estate agents out having a good time.

I’m not self-righteous, and I’m not going to sit up here and tell you that we should turn our backs on placement because it employs us all.  But one is hard pressed to do anything in this industry without referencing something else that has a great name and a good reputation.  Without throwing out one of the cities I’ve mentioned in this article, mentioning a cool product or some companies name, a celebrity, or a socialite I haven’t given you any reason to read what I have to say.

See a lot of people do not know how this thing works.  We promote each other, and in promoting you I am promoting myself.  The money comes in later on; see if I promote you and people can respect what you do they may think that I might know someone else like you that is cool and they will come back to me the next time.  At the same time they will be a fan of what you’re doing and start to follow you.  If you don’t deliver, or you can’t deliver, they may leave you alone.  If the majority of the people I am promoting fail my days are numbered unless I find a way to work with something I am good at.

A lot of people play it safe and work with a sure thing.  I am not necessarily saying that you have to give into popular culture but it makes your job somewhat easier if you do.  At the same time if you do not have anything interesting to say it doesn’t matter who you are talking about.  Social networks are all about references and relationships.  Before the Internet, before Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Black Planet, and whatever else has been out there people had social networks the old fashioned way.  The analog way; they may have kept books with phone numbers in them or lists kept in a cheap notebook somewhere.  Computers make it easier to find people to converse with and make it easier to find new opportunities, but they can also introduce a lot of people that are not adding a lot of value to your bottom line, and you can end up with one enormous network of people that are not helping you make any money at all.

If you have 50,000 followers on Twitter or 3,000 friends on Facebook you shouldn’t be down on your luck.  What good is it to be cool with all of these people just for the purpose of being cool with them and you’re still struggling?  If you don’t like something it is better to act as though it does not exist than to speak out against it.  The best that you can do, is to get other people that don’t like it as well to follow you, but then they will expect you to take issue with everything they don’t like.  The worst you can do, is to get the attraction of those people who vehemently disagree with you and end up having to fight those people.  If you aren’t good at doing that in a face to face situation you will only expose your own vulnerabilities and how frail you are, and people will loose respect for you.  

There should be plenty out there that you do like to prevent you from having to go down the road of making a career about talking about what you don’t like.  Those type of careers are not necessarily unsuccessful but I would think they would be a lot more stressful because of the attention that you are attracting to yourself.  But in any event I no longer need that popcorn.  I already know what it is about and I am too lazy to go to the store to pick some up.  But don’t be surprised if I end up with some popcorn later on this evening …

I was watching Kendra the other day and I saw a bag of Smartfood Popcorn and I wanted it.  But do I really need Smartfood Popcorn, even if they offer it in a low fat version.  Is it that simple, I mean I never wanted something that I saw on television before and it caught me off guard.  I have enough of a problem with potato chips as it is so why do I need to get popcorn.  In fact I am still thinking about popcorn, even though I wasn’t an hour ago.

I was watching The City this morning.  There was no product placement, but it does get you to thinking about designer clothing and living in Manhattan.  The city itself is the product on display, on so many movies, television shows and even on the Internet.  The good thing about reality television for television programmers, producers, writers and directors is that it is autonomous and does not require as much time, energy, and resources for them. The bad thing about reality television for the rest of us is that it reinforces the idea of cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other places that are expensive and have high costs of living, and it makes us want to live in those areas.

Those cities are affordable if you have your college degree and can get a job paying $30 an hour, but they are expensive if you are not educated and are trying to hustle to stay there.  These reality shows do not talk about the education that these people or what they have done to get to where they’re at.  Take a look at the show Basketball Wives or the Real Housewives series.  What are the chances that the average woman would be married to a basketball player?  Some of the women on the Real Housewives series are married to rich men, but a lot of those women are entrepreneurs as well.

New York has been marketed and sold to me for as long as I can remember.  There were plenty of movies that showed yet one more beautiful day with the sunny skies of California that will make you want to move to Los Angeles.  Then you get there and you’re stuck doing something you don’t want to do or you end up doing adult movies trying to pay the rent.  I’m glad there aren’t any reality shows selling the idea of Virginia Beach or Norfolk, because they wouldn’t show people working in the service industry at the call centers trying to get that sale, they would show business owners and real estate agents out having a good time.

I’m not self-righteous, and I’m not going to sit up here and tell you that we should turn our backs on placement because it employs us all.  But one is hard pressed to do anything in this industry without referencing something else that has a great name and a good reputation.  Without throwing out one of the cities I’ve mentioned in this article, mentioning a cool product or some companies name, a celebrity, or a socialite I haven’t given you any reason to read what I have to say.

See a lot of people do not know how this thing works.  We promote each other, and in promoting you I am promoting myself.  The money comes in later on; see if I promote you and people can respect what you do they may think that I might know someone else like you that is cool and they will come back to me the next time.  At the same time they will be a fan of what you’re doing and start to follow you.  If you don’t deliver, or you can’t deliver, they may leave you alone.  If the majority of the people I am promoting fail my days are numbered unless I find a way to work with something I am good at.

A lot of people play it safe and work with a sure thing.  I am not necessarily saying that you have to give into popular culture but it makes your job somewhat easier if you do.  At the same time if you do not have anything interesting to say it doesn’t matter who you are talking about.  Social networks are all about references and relationships.  Before the Internet, before Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Black Planet, and whatever else has been out there people had social networks the old fashioned way.  The analog way; they may have kept books with phone numbers in them or lists kept in a cheap notebook somewhere.  Computers make it easier to find people to converse with and make it easier to find new opportunities, but they can also introduce a lot of people that are not adding a lot of value to your bottom line, and you can end up with one enormous network of people that are not helping you make any money at all.

If you have 50,000 followers on Twitter or 3,000 friends on Facebook you shouldn’t be down on your luck.  What good is it to be cool with all of these people just for the purpose of being cool with them and you’re still struggling?  If you don’t like something it is better to act as though it does not exist than to speak out against it.  The best that you can do, is to get other people that don’t like it as well to follow you, but then they will expect you to take issue with everything they don’t like.  The worst you can do, is to get the attraction of those people who vehemently disagree with you and end up having to fight those people.  If you aren’t good at doing that in a face to face situation you will only expose your own vulnerabilities and how frail you are, and people will loose respect for you.  

There should be plenty out there that you do like to prevent you from having to go down the road of making a career about talking about what you don’t like.  Those type of careers are not necessarily unsuccessful but I would think they would be a lot more stressful because of the attention that you are attracting to yourself.  But in any event I no longer need that popcorn.  I already know what it is about and I am too lazy to go to the store to pick some up.  But don’t be surprised if I end up with some popcorn later on this evening …

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