Chloe: "It's definitely a denial-of-service attempt."
Mr. Buchanan: "Did it do any damage yet?"
Chloe: "No. The Cisco System is self-defending."
Video monitor: "Security Intrusion Prevented."
Those aren't lines from a new commercial for Cisco Systems
Yet last week's intrusion by Cisco's marketing department into federal agent Jack Bauer's plotlines is the logical result of the TiVo-fying
Sometimes the product placements will make sense. Sort of. For example, Monday's episode of 24 featured a mention of IP telephones and a brief flash of Cisco's logo, followed by a commercial touting Cisco's expertise in IP telephony. Past seasons have featured sponsorship by Ford
But Cisco's "heh, we're self-defending" placement offers a prime example of the kind of marketing insinuation that doesn't work, in my opinion. It's the kind of "kink" that we can hope advertisers will work out as they transition to a new advertising model eschewing actual, bathroom-break-inducing commercial blocks in favor of seamlessly integrating products into storylines. Tune in next season on 24, as President Palmer defuses Season 4's Chinese diplomatic time bomb with the helpful suggestion:
President Palmer: "You know, President Hu, if your consular guards were armed with less-lethal weapons manufactured by Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Taser
President Hu: "Duh! Why didn't I think of that? Thank you, President Palmer, and thank you, Taser, for saving lives and preserving world peace."