By minute five of Gilmore Girls, I've spotted my first stealth ad. A product placement is one of the most widely used and recognized forms of advertisement. This method of marketing goods stands apart from your typical commercial spot in a TV show. Products are woven into the plot of a show or movie so brands can gain more organic exposure to their target audience. And it works. According to Psychology Today, product placement has the power to completely change our implicit attitude towards a product, simply by displaying it during a positive moment or being used by a well liked character.
Even though the cost of product placement varies greatly, dependent on the caliber of movie, TV show or celebrity seen using the product, it is less expensive than purchasing an entire commercial spot. Of course, this doesn't make this type of advertising cheap, often costing at least $250,000 for a 30 second spot, according to AdAge.
More important than the question of cost is whether or not this form of advertising cheapens the viewer experience. It probably comes down to personal preference, but the more organic a product placement feels, the less disruptive it is for the watcher. Some might not even notice the subtle messages of stealth advertising when placed naturally in the show.
Which brings as back to Gilmore Girls. A well-loved show some might argue is the queen of product placement. From Rory and Lorelai's binge eating habits, which often feature prominent junk food brands, to the Toyota Rory was gifted a graduation, this show is chock-full of stealthy marketing. Some would argue it is anything but stealthy and the Year in the Life revival isn't any different. Did you notice any of these product placements woven into the revival?
A few minutes into the first episode, Rory is seen dashing through the town, in search of the perfect cell phone signal. Eventually she lands in Dozy's, the perfect spot for a hell of a lot of product placement.
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She dashes past shelves of Heinz products and eventually finds the right spot for her phone call, directly in front of a freezer crammed full of bagel bites. And when she hops off the phone to chat with Lane, it becomes more obvious that there are Clif bars on one side and a cooler of Chobani on another.
It doesn't stop there. When it comes to the Gilmore Girls, just about everyone has figured out by now that the perfect opportunity for product placement is just about anytime they eat. And they eat a lot. It doesn't matter that Luke is working on a from-scratch meal when they get home from their tour of the town, they must have tater tots, too. Ore Ida to be exact. It has to do a brand a lot of good to have their product in the hands of the queen of junk food, who just happens to manage to to maintain a perfect figure despite her eating habits.
From that point, it is pretty much relentless. We've got Babette with her A1 sauce while she grills meat in the Black and White Theater.
And two jars of Rice Select are obviously displayed at Mrs. Kim's table at the Stars Hollow Food Festival.
Doritos and Pepsi make their appearance when Rory plays babysitter to Paris' kids, not-so-subtly placed next to her the three cell-phones she'll ditch in the trash later on in the series.
While Lorelai is sorting out her heart's desires in nature, Luke is freaking out about her absence while making Tim Horton's coffee for her diner guests.
Of course, it wouldn't be The Gilmore Girls without an appearance from PopTarts. In one of the final scenes of the revival, Lorelai and Rory make-up from their latest fight over a shared box.
While it may be true that rampant product placement sacrifices the purity of the show, it isn't so bad when you remember that we all got one last final season with our favorite Gilmore Girls, commercial free....or did we?