Product placement is no where near as bad as product tie-ins for kids’ shows


People who are appalled by the fact that product placement has been allowed in to certain British made TV shows should be getting angry about something that is far worse. What’s worse than product placement? How about the aggressive advertising of tie-in products and toys based on children’s TV shows.

Every year sees new characters introduced in to the Thomas the Tank Engine universe, not to entertain kids, but in order to sell more toys. Bob the Builder suffers a similar ailment. And the situation with Ben 10 is very dire.

This whole tie-in situation has been going on for decades; most noticeably galvanized in the West by Transformers and many other animated TV series from the 1980s. Today you can’t get a kids TV series started, most of the time, unless there’s huge potential to market and sell tie-in products.

Product placement in TV shows made for adults (it’s not allowed in kids’ shows in the UK) will never be as bad. You won’t have the equivalent of walking into a boys’ clothing section and being surrounded by floor to ceiling to wall Ben 10 clothes.

Sure there’s branding for products aimed at teens and adults, but it is never as in your face as toy/clothes tie-ins based on kids’ shows.


3 thoughts on “Product placement is no where near as bad as product tie-ins for kids’ shows

  1. Yep, and me! The Pokemon phase was a nightmare – those cards cost a fortune, and all the kids seemed to do with them, was trade ’em! Yep, give ’em away! And beofre you knew it, Pokemon was passe and all thekids were collecting Yu-gi-oh cards! (Or however it’s spelt!) Grr!

    • Trading card games aren’t like conventional toys. They have a huge place in geek culture that goes way beyond childhood.

      The trading card game for Pokemon is still popular, but it’s moved beyond playgrounds. It has a weird status in geekdom similar to that of Magic: The Gathering, which means it’s played by big kids. And sometimes played for lots of money at national and international tournaments.

      Yu-Gi-Oh! has a similar thing going on. I actually have a load of Yu-Gi-Oh! decks that were tournament legal about 5 years ago. And some Magic: the Gathering decks of a similar age.

      Trading cards from trading card games are never given away for free. Kids that do give them away are being taken advantage of. Kids will trade them for cards they need and at professional levels the cards are bought and sold for sizeable sums. ‘Course the professional players also tend to end up playing these games for vast cash prizes.

      You can’t really do that with Ben 10 stuff.

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