The hardtracking staff never likes to say we told you so, but . . . we told you so.

Product placement is starting to wear out its welcome.

From PRI’s Marketplace:

Product placement lessons from ‘The Walking Dead’

The long partnership between a band of survivors in the zombie apocalypse and their Hyundai SUV has ended.

The advertising deal between Hyundai and the AMC series The Walking Dead – which had 17 million people tune in for its season five premiere earlier this month – is over. That gleaming, never-out-of-gas, never-dented vehicle is no more.

Hyundai says it is very happy with its partnership, and it’s gotten a lot of attention on TV and online from Generation Y. But alas, the car maker had to end its product placement deal because the show went in another direction creatively, and the characters have been doing a lot more walking and a lot less driving.

So what drove Hyundai out? Maybe mocking YouTube videos like this one.

Regardless, it’s clear that product placement is becoming too intrusive for its own good. (Isn’t that the rap on advertising? That it’s “too intrusive”?)

Anyway, Dead Brand Walking is a zombie movie we’d definitely pay to see.


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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