perjantaina, toukokuuta 19, 2006

Testing Writely


The influence of the advertising industry on television programming is expected to increase significantly in the near future. Although audience ratings are dropping constantly, media costs are still increasing. Therefore advertisers concentrate on circumventing classical spot advertisements and try to find ways of being represented in the programme directly.


People in charge of programme development are not too enthusiastic about the idea of implementing advertising elements into their programme. Any meddling with content is unwanted, especially if it comes from outsiders, particularly advertisers. At the same time the influence of advertisers on programmes has decreased, because programme containing all too obvious commercial elements has turned out to be less attractive to viewers - and thus hard to sell.


It may be assumed that there is no manufacturer of branded goods in Germany who hasn't already got in touch with Product Placement. Product Placement is a measure of transferring a certain image. It works subliminally. Along with product placement, the sub-categories generic placement, image placement, and verbal placement have to be explained.
  1. Generic placement means product placement without showing a brand name. In the USA, broadcasters prohibited product placement for a long time because they couldn't make any money with it (the money goes into the pockets of the production company directly).

  2. That's why production companies had to sidestep to generic placement. While Coca Cola bottles with normal brand names could be placed in feature films made for cinema, producers of TV movies and serials had to eliminate the Coca-Cola logo and just used the generic name Cola on the label (which was, of course, identical to the original Coca-Cola-label).

  3. "Pepsi" had to be eliminated from Pepsi-Cola cans and so on. But because the labels were so small on the TV-screens and the bottles or cans were otherwise unmodified, this manipulation did not catch the viewer's eyes.

Programming has found its way into German television via niche broadcasters. It is on the road to success and already leaping into the prime time slots of the big broadcasters. This applies to non-fictional programmes as well as to feature films. While the companies are not interested in a mere display of their products and services any longer, most editors still assume exactly this - which eliminates a large number of cooperation possibilities.


German films in cinema and TV have a serious content problem. Stories are often predictable and boring. Innovative plot lines are rare, and this leads to a situation where the same stories are repeated over and over again. What's the reason for this? In Germany there is no in-depth training for screenwriters. Although universities offer lecture courses in dramaturgy, screenwriting is neglected systematically. The situation might be the same in Finland as well.

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