Monday, June 18, 2007

Best Week Ever Takes Advertising Meta

While The Soup has been advertising for its own channel for a while, I could let this slide because it was an E! show advertising other E! shows. Video Hits One has decided to cross a new level of advertising with its show Best Week Ever.

For those unfamiliar with BWE, the show is a recap of the past week in popular culture. If you don't keep up with this world, it is a quick way to keep tabs on what is going on. For someone who does, such as myself, I more or less watch it for the jokes and the ridiculous commentary from comedians and media observers such as Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessica St. Clair, Sherrod Small, Melissa Rauch, Frangela, Paul F. Tompkins, and Doug Benson. The show is usually broken into the headlines, the Sizzler, In Case You Missed It, and the award for who is having the best week ever (this week: Bob Barker!). This week seemed strange to me for one primary reason. During the headlines, there was a topic called "Tylenol Ad Campaign."

When this subject was breached, it was an ad for Tylenol. But, it was discussing the ad on the show that was being sponsored by the ad. The commentators were making jokes about the advertisement. This struck me as a bit meta: the idea of a show plugging advertising into its show, airing said advertisement, then proceeding to, essentially, bite the hand that feeds it. I wasn't sure if this was actually meta or if I was just paranoid about product placement.

It was proven to be the former. This was proven so by the presence of Mark McGrath in the Sizzler. When he rolled out of the segment, he plugged his work with WISH BONE SALAD DRESSING AND I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER! With such a blatant advertisement, I was right in thinking that the Tylenol ad was an actual advertisement and therefore totally meta.

I can only express my disappointment with Best Week Ever for a) putting Mark McGrath on the show and b) advertising at me in such a meta manner. If you are going to advertise at me, just do it. Don't cover it up with snarky commentary and jokes.