Hunting Lodge - Jagdhaus Kohler. Architektur Juergen Hagspiel. Egg-Schetteregg. Austria. images (c) Architektur Juergen Hagspiel
The Hungarian Guggenheim
by Krisztián Lakosi & Lakosi Richárd
In a traditional newspaper or network TV business model, advertising revenues pays for most of the contents’ costs, to the point that when delievered to the consumer, it is free or sold at next to nothing. After all, chump change for a newspaper doesn’t adequately cover the costs of compliling all the reports of the day in it.
It’s a model that is struggling to survive in this digital day and age, when ad money has many many competing media modes to choose from, including online. It’s also a model that does not apply at all to product placement.
Product placements—the act of embedding logos, products and other marketing vehicles into a scene that is not an advertisement in itself—is a growing practice in Hollywood movies and in video games. Racing around a futuristic racetrack and encountering a couple specific logos plastered throughout the course, or seeing an actor consume a particular drink and walk around in a particular shoe brand throughout the film, to the average idiot, these instances of brands appearances seem incidental to the overall production. Which is really the whole point to the concept of product placement. Really and increasingly so, these brands were specially placed there, and companies are paying big bucks to associate themselves with a blockbuster flick or hit game.
Come to think of it, you are paying to be advertised to. You are paying to consume all these subliminal ads in your entertainment. To add injury to insult, product placements does not make anything more affordable. A hit video game choked full of embedded brands costs as much as one that lacks any. Cinemas are expensive to attend, and product placements does not make a movie ticket cheaper—it just subsidizes the ridiculous budget of a blockbuster. What the hell?!
Then again, maybe it’s not that much different from other and older forms of encountered advertising. You go to see a ball game for example, and in addition to seeing your favourite team win before you, you are also entering an environment that is full of logos and official-sponsor-of-this-and-that. The cost of a game ticket, much like a movie ticket, have far exceeded the rate of inflation, and the exponential rise of environmental advertising impressions certainly don’t seem like they are having an effect at all on your ticket.
But that’s just what this culture and society has become.
Brasilia, 1961-63 — Lucien Clergue