A Critical Approach to Product Placement in Comedy: Seinfeld Case

A Critical Approach to Product Placement in Comedy: Seinfeld Case

Sinem Güdüm

Sinem Güdüm "A Critical Approach to Product Placement in Comedy: Seinfeld Case" Published in International Journal of Trend in Research and Development (IJTRD), ISSN: 2394-9333, Special Issue | ICAST-17 , December 2017, URL: http://www.ijtrd.com/papers/IJTRD14632.pdf

Aristotle had used the word “Eudaimonia” for happiness, and had stated that it was the only thing valuable in isolation. He, together with Plato, had also introduced the “Superiority Theory” in which the reasons behind the fact that people usually laugh at the misfortune of others was analyzed. Sigmund Freud, on the other hand, approached happiness from another angle and argued on his “Relief Theory” that humor can be considered as a way for people to release psychological tensions, overcome their inhibitions, and reveal their suppressed fears and desires. In Adorno and Horkheimer’s famous book “Towards a New Manifesto” (1949-2011:14-15), Adorno had declared that animals could teach us what happiness was, and Horkheimer had added that achieving the condition of an animal at the level of reflection could be considered as freedom. Keeping these definitions in mind, would it be possible to state that the ultimate goal of comedy in media is to help people reach Aristotle’s “Eudaimonia” by mirroring our ‘animal side’ back to us within the social limits of the ‘superiority theory”? Or is there more to these comedy shows then what meets the eye? Can there be an underlying agenda in disguise for marketing and advertising within the friendly face of ‘comedy’? How product placement is used on TV series, and why is comedy regarded as an appropriate ground for such initiations? This study will try to find answers to the above mentioned questions by using a qualitative content analysis method, discourse analysis, and will also take the famous Tv series ‘Seinfeld’ as a case study.

Advertising, Product Placement, Comedy, Humor, TV shows, Seinfeld.

Special Issue | ICAST-17 , December 2017