October 18, 2008

Orbit On The Office: "$1200? That's What I Spent On My Whole Bomb Shelter."


In this week's episode of The Office, Michael's throwing a baby shower for Jan's anonymous sperm donor baby. It's pretty hilarious front to back, but Dwight's test drive of the Orbit Baby System just might be the best stroller product placement since Bugaboo was on Sex and the City. Or at least since that tweaked Stokke Xplory showed up in Aeon Flux.

The whole episode's available on Hulu.com right now. In HD, even.

The Office, Season 3, Episode 5 | Baby Shower [hulu.com via dt reader sara]


Anonymous sperm donor baby named Astrid. Damn.

As a devout Bugaboo follower, I was confused, nay, shocked when at the end of the episode, I spent a solid hour on the Orbit website. Yesterday, when shopping, I knew it was over when I took notice of every Orbit I saw (3) and marveled at their strength and beauty.

Ugh, I feel like such a sucker. Maybe it's because I just love Rainn Wilson.

While I am a fan of the Orbit and in awe of its technology, "beauty" is not a word that comes readily to mind.

Hummm - I don't remember Bugaboo on Sex and the City ... what episode was that?

I think The Office episode was a lot like when Friends did a show built around Pottery Barn products.

there's also that Sharpie product placement...although I'm not sure how their marketing folks feel about it

I actually thought it was kind of lame, as product placement goes. First, it was too obvious--any product placement that makes you think "the company paid for this" instead of "the characters use that product because the characters are cool and that's what cool people use" is a fail, in the product placement category.

Second, aside from being obvious, it was unnatural. The natural conclusion of Rainn Wilson's abuse is that the stroller is left a shattered ruin--the joke being that, of course no stroller can take the punishment he can dish out, which is yet another example of just how earnestly clueless Dwight is. The ep feels like it was written this way--we even see the stroller being partly destroyed in one scene. But in the end, the "payoff" was "I put the stroller in your trunk?" Really? That smacks way too much of the company not wanting to show a blown-up product at the end of the show.

Would have been much better if the whole Dwight-pounds-on-the-stroller thing had been cut in favor of the quick mention of the product (and price) in the conference room scene.

Paid product placements are just more more reason the American version of the Office does not hold a candle to the original.

I read somewhere that it wasn’t a product placement by Orbit – it sounds like the writers were just really into their strollers and decided to incorporate them into the storyline.

This is a quote from the Orbit founder that I had found on another blog:
"From what we understand, some folks from "The Office" use Orbit Baby products personally and really love them. So, when they saw an opportunity in the story line they were developing with "The Baby Shower" to get Orbit strollers into the script, they got in touch with us.”

I actually loved the episode and thought that it was hilarious!

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