Maybe it was just my misfortune, or maybe it is just the way in general in which anime is moving, but after watching Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion followed by Darker than BLACK, I am convinced that a new anime genre has been spawned – that of the pizza.
A pizza anime genre? What the hell am I talking about?
Well, by now everyone knows the insidious movement of retail advertising outside of its usual bounds and into our daily entertainment in such a way as to avoid the so-called “Tivo Skip” phenomenon that has been causing countless sleepless hours for marketing executives. Of course, I am referring to in-(insert media name here) marketing which basically meshes advertising with the entertainment medium that you are currently absorbing.
We first saw this with in-game advertising which saw advertisers place their adverts directly in the games that we were playing, either as big billboards or as direct logos placed on model skins. Syndicate Wars, way back in the 1990s kicked off the trend and since EA took a big liking to this idea of making even more money off of us, we’ve had to grow used to it ever since.
More recently, our sacred movies started to have more direct advertising injected straight into them, painfully obvious because these prominent ‘product shots’ usually have the camera linger over a certain product for a little longer than what normally would be the case.
Even the silver screen has proven to be susceptible to this new form of advertising with more and more shows containing marketing quips and product shots – hell, even Smallville has fallen victim to a damn car advertisement. I mean, who the hell wants to see a lingering interior shot of a stupid car when Clark and the gang are meant to be escaping from someone!
But now it seems that even my beloved anime has fallen victim to this new wave of marketing that for some reason manages to raise my hackles and cause me to spit bile at the offending advertisement. Actually on that point, it is a strange phenomenon that the majority of people who pick up on in-media advertising generally despise the advertisements being forced upon them and may in fact be generating the opposite result of what the advertisers originally had planned for.
Anyway, back to the case in point. Code Geass and Darker than BLACK have now proved themselves to be the most egarious of offenders when it comes to in-anime advertising thanks to an insidious Pizza-Hut ad campaign that saw the damn Pizza-Hut logo splashed all over the anime, in almost every episode! Long lingering shots of Pizza-Hut billboards and characters forever munching on prominently displayed Pizza-Hut pizza, the list just goes on and on. And when pizza is forced as a main story point as in Code Geass, then I really get annoyed.
Anime has a long reputation for displaying disguised brands just to avoid lawsuits, but with this new move in marketing this may very well be changing to showing the real thing. I don’t have a problem with it if it isn’t shoved down your face and isn’t shown more than once or twice in the same location, but I guess that I am going to have to face the facts and grit my teeth – In-media advertising is the new marketing buzz word and it is definitely here to stay.
I think that I’ll just start wearing more unbranded T-shirts in protest then.