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TV: “30 Rock:” Canny Product Placement/ Cross-Promotion! May 8, 2009

Posted by Aymar Jean Christian in Uncategorized.
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UPDATE: 30 Rock continued the “Dealbreaker” storyline in this week’s episode, “Kidney Live!,” and carried it to its hilarious extremes!

30 Rock has to be the most innovative and complex comedy on network TV these days. And not only for Tina Fey’s quirky, hilarious dialogue.

30 Rock - dealbreaker

Tonight the show unveiled a storyline involving a catchphrase — “That’s a Dealbreaker, Ladies!” — on the show’s fictional show “TGS with Tracey Jordan.” 30 Rock was parodying a real show, Millionaire Matchmaker and its host/star Patti Stanger (Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock) on Bravo, which is of course owned by NBC. Along with that storyline NBC started an interactive website based on “That’s a Dealbreaker” with quizzes and trivia. While the whole thing’s a little too obvious to actually become a meme or go viral, it’s a good little promo for Millionaire, whose season finale is tonight — just a little after 30 Rock! — and where Stanger takes on her first gay client! (The show’s ratings are fine.)

This recalls other 30 Rock product moments the including disputable non-product-placement for McDonalds — McFlurrygateplacements for the iPhone, and a very canny non-product-placement-product-placement with Verizon. Of course the show has also worked NBC properties like the Today Show.

What makes all this so effective is 30 Rock‘s ironic distance, which masks the obvious selling and, moreover, makes any obvious pitches all in good fun. 30 Rock understands that brands are part of pop culture, so a show about culture-making (TV production) should mine that cave for as much diamond-crap as possible.



1. More Details on Kim & Jonathan Jaxson, Real Housewives of NYC finale party photos [Bravo Tidbits] - May 8, 2009

[…] last night’s 30 Rock, Jane Krakowski parodied Patti Stanger in a sketch called “The Dealbreaker.” She even got the bangs […]

2. FILM: Fame (1980), Fame (2009), and Fame! « TELEVISUAL, a blog by Aymar Jean Christian - September 22, 2009

[…] has been viewed about four times as often as the next popular post on this blog, the one about 30 Rock. As much as I’d like to think people want to read my opinion on Jacques Tati’s Play […]

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