Zach Braff could take a few pointers from Jennifer Garner

Scrubs In A Bucket
Scrubs In A Bucket

I’m watching the season finale of Scrubs right now and there was just a scene which was essentially a commercial for Travelocity. It’s an example of integrated advertising, the new buzzword for what used to be called product placement. It’s a hardly a new concept, but one that’s been getting a lot of attention lately, because the creative types are getting up in arms over it.

The reason why it failed so miserably here is that it stuck out like a sore thumb because of the way Zach Braff played the scene; he sort of veered off character and acted like a crap actor in a crap commercial. I know this sort of goofy, dorky schtick is a part of his character and the show, but in this instance it didn’t feel like J.D. being a dork; it felt like Zach Braff was pissed off about having to be a Travelocity spokesman, so he gave the worse possible performance, Harrison Ford/Blade Runner Voice-Over Style. As such, not only was it unfunny, it totally pulled me out of the. . . reality of the show, if you will.

Product placement can work really well if done right. To this day I want to buy a Ford F-150 because of an episode of Alias when all hell is breaking loose and Jennifer Garner yells, “To the F-150!!” as naturally as one would yell, “To the WhoMobile!!” or “To the Halls of Justice!!” Once she’s behind the wheel, she plows through a row of parked cars without sustaining any damage “To the F-150!!” as she chases the hell out of that fake Spike dude and the hot blond double agent who was also Jennifer Garner’s guy’s wife on the show. I realize that sentence doesn’t make much sense, that’s because Alias doesn’t. It doesn’t have to; the point is, if I ever get my shit together and become able to afford it — they sold me a fucking truck and entertained me, which was their whole objective.

I’m going to write a longer piece on the subject (integrated advertising, not the complexities of Alias), but right now I’m going to watch the rest of Scrubs.

About smile from The Lower East Side

An American Legend.

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