Most people tend to like their commercials confined to short segments if they are to have commercials at all. At least then I have a choice as to whether or not I have to listen to them or view them.

But, what about when they are ingrained into the program you are watching? We are starting to see more and more television programs on major networks working advertisements into their scripts and most people tend to find this annoying.

Not too many shows recently have been as blatantly guilty of this offense as 30 Rock with its shameless plug for Verizon Wireless on November 15th, 2007. Instead of innocently showing a character utilizing a Verizon Wireless phone and humbly advertising the brand, two characters mentioned the phrase Verizon Wireless twice, one asked where to get one of their phones, then pleaded with the audience for money.

Most integrated advertisements are simply well placed, easily identifiable products used as props on a set, such as a Coca Cola or Pepsi can or a bag of Lays potato chips.

If the product is visible on screen, it is usually not mentioned verbally in such a way that it would constitute advertisement. Some level of real world products is necessary to make the show seem more real to the viewer, but there is a difference between trying to duplicate reality and shamelessly plugging a product for more cash.

The rare incident is that one character is talking to another and a certain brand name comes up. The brand of this or that is praised for this or that attribute and sometimes, they look directly into the camera and break the fourth wall, so to speak.

The fourth wall is an element of filmmaking that is characterized by a person in the film that looks directly at the camera and speaks to the audience instead of to another character on the screen.

This is seen most often in TV commercials or on shows such as Oprah, but in sitcoms or dramas, it can really bring you out of the experience of watching the show. It forces you to regain your self-awareness and since most people watch fiction-based TV programs to escape reality, this really defeats the purpose of watching it in the first place.

This is one reason that many people simply do not like advertisements placed directly into their favorite TV shows like 30 Rock or The Office. It takes the viewer out of the moment of the mood, whether that mood is comedy, drama, or anything else.

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