Could SM Become the New Product Placement?

Eat sign in desertFrom AOL’s prominence in You’ve Got Mail to T-Mobile’s stronghold on MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge franchise, product placements are hard to miss.  They’ve run the gamut from subtly integrated to awkwardly implanted, generated buzz, and, prompted viewers to reevaluate their perceptions of endorsement.  But what’s next?

Could SM come to occupy a similar role in movies and television programs?  Is it reasonable to think we could see a day where reality show contestants are live tweeting?  Could Facebook updates replace some of the face-to-face interaction?  Not to mention how the speed at which messages move in the SM sphere seems ideal for helping the contestants on reality dating shows to spread their trash talk and drama effectively.

While the integration of SM into reality television would undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for drama more than it would a tool for achieving objectives, it seems like SM in movies and television could become the rule.  But would we still watch?

Product placements hit on our radar, but they don’t typically detract from or interrupt the plot.  But SM?  I think it looks like a distraction.  Would you watch contestants on The Bachelor receive their date boxes via Facebook?  Would it be at all compelling to have Jeopardy contestants Tweet their answers?  Beyond that, could SM be integrated into plot lines of movies and sitcoms?  Any detectives up for solving mysteries with clues found on Facebook and/or Twitter?

It might seem that I’ve taken this idea too far, but product placements started slowly and took off like a firestorm.  Can SM follow in its footsteps?  At what point will SM integration turn off viewers?

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