In our increasingly DVR’ed/online-streamed/pirated media landscape, getting people to actually watch commercials for products while sitting in front of the television/laptop/microchip-brain-implant is a dicey proposition. Audiences–except perhaps for sports and the occasional awards show–are less captive than ever, which means that integrating the ads into the content itself is increasingly crucial. Product placement (or even jokes about product placement) isn’t a new thing, but it’s only becoming more important.
That’s something that the NYC-based sketch comedy team The Punctual Drunks takes on in their “Shameless Product Integration” Law & Order parody. In the two-and-a-half-minute spot directed by Phebe Szatmari, two detectives (Kelley Quinn and Keith Rubin) investigate the only piece of evidence around a homicide: a new Nissan Sentra with an especially roomy trunk and a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s very quiet–too quiet, you might say. It’s the sort of sketch that contains its gag perfectly–any longer, and the joke would get sweaty. As it is, it’s just a glimpse of what our product-integrated entertainment landscape may end up looking like in the future.