I had the pleasure of watching New Zealand's Next Top Model last night & was completely shocked by the in-your-face product placement by the show's sponsors.
Sarah Mail is being delivered by a Vodafone phone which is placed on a red Vodafone phone holder. A present from Sun Glass Hut before a photo shoot (which had nothing to do with the photo shoot). A Nivea gift pack as they entered the house.
It begs the question of; where has the elegance of product placement gone? Do marketers really not know that such treatment of their products is off putting to consumers?
It would be nice to think that this is a NZ trait but we are just as guilty in Australia. You just have to look at Australian IDOL for an example. We have a thing or two to learn from the Americans. Remember the Apple Laptop on The West Wing? Pure gold.
I think it's time we pulled back on the obvious and injected a bit of elegance & relevance to program sponsorships.