I'd expect nonstop coverage on CNN of Naomi Klein's gang with the cameras waiting for spontaneous combustion. It wouldn't be met with kindly.
But how many of you had heard this one?
In just one week on NBC, the detectives on "Law and Order" investigated a cash-for-clunkers scam, a nurse on "Mercy" organized a group bike ride, Al Gore made a guest appearance on "30 Rock," and "The Office" turned Dwight Schrute into a cape-wearing superhero obsessed with recycling.The last thing I'd ever want would be some government agency overseeing and banning this kind of thing. But it's interesting what kinds of media manipulation draws outrage and what kinds are, well, mostly ignored.
Coincidence? Hardly. NBC Universal planted these eco-friendly elements into scripted television shows to influence viewers and help sell ads.
The tactic—General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal calls it "behavior placement"—is designed to sway viewers to adopt actions they see modeled in their favorite shows. And it helps sell ads to marketers who want to associate their brands with a feel-good, socially aware show.