We are all aware of the product placement that is going on in today's media. It is literally everywhere: on the reality shows, in the movies, and even in the music videos.
As Sturken and Cartwright mentioned, the industry has been slowly going down in the past decade or so, because of the constant advances in the technology. "Product placement is used increasingly in film and television as a means to integrate advertising messages into the programming itself" (p.299) due to the fact that the newest technologies allow the audiences to fast forward and skip the unnecessary and always annoying commercials. Thus, in order to continue with the high revenue from the advertisements, the industry had to come up with new ways of putting ads on TV so that they would actually reach the audiences. That's why we are constantly exposed to images like this:
Although we are used to seeing the Coca-Cola cups at the table of the IDOL judges, we are not necessarily aware of the fact that we are being affected by this image. Although it seems silly, the product placement is meant to work on us in a specific way: while we sit at home and watch the show, we look at the Coca-Cola cups and we are somewhat driven to actually get up and get something to drink (ideally, Coca-Cola).
But this particular image is also helpful, because it shows the results of the Nielsen Media Research that gives the actual numbers for product placements on other TV shows at the beginning of 2008.
Another study like this, which was conducted by the ARS at the same time, shows the product placement on different shows:
Finally, I wanted to post up one of my favorite videos to show that the product placement reached even there. Look closely to see where the product placements are weaved in:
This is Fergie- Clumsy. (sorry, I somehow cannot paste the video here)
So I think that although the ads that appear in the commercials during the shows that we watch on TV are extremely annoying, because they always happen to be placed at the wrong time, I also think that the "somewhat subtle" product placement throughout our media isn't any better. But maybe it is a way that those annoying commercials might disappear form air at some time in the future? Oh, I'm hoping!