PROGRAM GUIDEHawaii Five-oooh!: The appearance of Microsoft's Bing search engine on the screen of an LG Electronics mobile device during this week's "Hawaii Five-0" delivers something other than an answer to a character's query. Instead, it's a sign of the advantage makers of tech gear and web services are enjoying over marketers of more traditional goods when it comes to placing products in TV shows.
We all know the trouble that comes with product placement. If the car, soda can or sandwich placed in the scene is given too much attention, viewers get distracted and then grow upset their show has been interrupted by commercial concerns. At the same time, more advertisers are insisting on using this technique so they can get their messages in the one on-screen element that viewers don't skip past with a DVR -- the show itself.
In recent years, the intrusion has burrowed deeper into programming real estate, as anyone who saw Kraft's DiGiorno pizzas being handed out on the most recent airing of "The People's Choice Awards" can tell you. The practice has even crept into dialogue. It's not uncommon to watch an episode of NBC's "Chuck" and hear the characters give deliberate shout-outs to Toyota and Subway in a display that gives at least this viewer the unsettling feeling of hearing subliminal messages paid for by marketers when the original objective was just to be entertained.