Subliminal advertising in the form of product placement in entertainment programming is nothing new.
24 in particular – which seems to have performed the unthinkable, and re-jumped the shark and become watchable after its terrible sixth season – has indulged in some really bald-faced placement this past few seasons; Cisco has insinuated WebEx (or some special counter-terror version of WebEx that looks utterly unfamiliar to those of us who’ve been teleconferencing with it for years, now) into the dangedest places on the show this season.
But I noticed something else earlier this season, and it came to a head this past Monday.
In Season Three, Jack Bauer switched from his trademark handgun of the first two seasons, the SIG-Sauer P226 (the Audi of handguns) to a Hecker and Koch USP (the BMW of handguns).
But for the past two seasons, and especially this season, every time someone picks up a long arm (who isn’t an obvious M16/M4-carrying US serviceperson), it’s a Hecker & Koch weapon; MP7s and G36s have been joining the
Redshirts‘ CTU Tac Teams’ FBI’s MP5s in the big shootouts. Bauer has chased through at least a couple of firefights this season with the esoteric MP7.
And then, this past episode, Agent Hotpants called in that Quinn had used “a Hecker and Koch UMP Submachine Gun” to kill Senator Red Foreman. Now, you never hear the full make and model of firearms on TV, outside of reality or fictional cop shows (CSI or occasionally Law and Order), and even then only very rarely, and almost always very generically (“Beretta”, “AK”, “Smith and Wesson”).
So I gotta wonder – is H’nK paying for placement on 24? Perhaps to help move their excellent products from their brand new American factory?
And if so, could they perhaps try advertising on blogs as well?
Because either way it’s pretty dang cool.