Friday, February 27, 2015

Kernels Of Wisdom

This week's episode of Modern Family occurred entirely on a MacBook. A gimmick, but I thought it was pretty well done.  The plot has Claire connecting to everyone from O'Hare Airport, and one runner has Cam reminding her to pick up a canister of Garrett popcorn.

I've never had Garrett.  Never even heard of it.  But they didn't make it up for the show, it's real.  So I checked out the website to see what I'd been missing.  And the first screen that came up had this announcement:

In honor of Black History Month, we're donating 10% of all Tin sales to Black Ensemble Theatre.

A decent enough charity, if not high on my list.  And it's Garrett's money to do with as it will.  Or is it?  If I buy something there, isn't it my money they're handing out?  And if they're regularly donating to various causes, aren't prices higher than they'd be otherwise?

I understand some companies believe in civic-minded virtue, and, to be more cynical, public charity can make for good publicity.  Further, I bet high-end popcorn consumers don't fret too much about a little extra cost.  But couldn't I have a say? I don't mean putting a check on a list next to my preferred charity, but a choice where they don't give to charity at all and I get a discount.  I'll pocket the money and, if I feel like it, maybe I'll give it to charity.  Maybe I'll even give it to the Black Ensemble Theatre.  But let me decide.

11 Comments:

Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

I don't know, LAGuy, sounds more like a shareholder complaint to me.

Why don't you buy a share so you can sue them? You must know somebody that will accept a contingent fee.

2:51 AM, February 27, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you hate capitalism?

4:02 AM, February 27, 2015  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

It really is the business' money that is going to the charity. They are the ones taking the tax credit, and if they didn't raise the price for the product during the charity drive, you got exactly what you would have gotten for the same exchange the week before.

I have to say, I go to a few businesses a year solely because they advertise a benefit for acharity I like. I never considered the possibility that someone would refuse to go because of the charitible donation. And it is good advertising - just look at how many of us now have heard of Grrett Popcorn that had not before.

9:06 AM, February 27, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Denver Guy is saying there's no free lunch, but there's free popcorn.

9:18 AM, February 27, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know- I'm more bothered by their product placement on Modern Family which I assumed they paid for. The show is fine but there are other shows I'd rather they support- like Morning Fitness Report. It would be cool to think those lithe leotarded bodies get that way from eating cheese popcorn from the airport

9:38 AM, February 27, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Why do you assume anyone paid for the mention of Garrett? My guess is the show got no money, but the writers (the episode was co-written by show runner Steve Levitan) liked the popcorn and thought it would work in the show. Perhaps they had to get permission to use the name, though I doubt they paid for that right (because if Garrett gave them any trouble they could have gone with NUTS ON CLARK http://www.nutsonclark.com/.)

I always say there's not enough product placement. In real life, we're surrounded by brand names, but movies and TV shows exist in this parallel universe where everything seems to be generic.

10:33 AM, February 27, 2015  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Not to mention, if it helps keep the price of films and DVDs down, I'm all for having realistic mentions of real products. Of course the problem arises when a product needs to be shown in a negative light.

For example, if Reeses Pieces actually killed the cute alien in "E.T.", M&Ms' refusal to have their product appear in the movie might have made sense.

8:49 AM, March 02, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I'd like to see a general overhaul of trademark and copyright law, especially a widening of what's allowed commercially under fair use (or doesn't even have to get to the level or fair use). However, false light claims are hard to get around.

10:33 AM, March 02, 2015  
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