Product Placement

While watching Iron Man 3, I can't tell you how pleased I was that Tony Stark, via JARVIS, had "engaged the Oracle Cloud" in order to help him with an investigation. "Wow," I thought, "the Oracle Cloud! Those bad guys are toast."

I've seen a number of detective dramas recently where the lead characters, needing the assistance of technology in their hunt for the truth, have leant heavily and very, very obviously on whatever the hell Microsoft are calling their latest failed mobile operating system (although I note that the updated Sherlock in Elementary and his lovely sidekick rely on iPhones). And of course who could forget the tech savvy James Bond controlling his BMW remotely using an Ericsson phone (Ericsson, remember them?).

I understand the trend towards product placement. Advertisers, who feel that traditional ads are failing to engage an audience that knows how to use fast forward, need to get their products in front of potential buyers. But shouldn't this stuff be a little more subtle? Shouldn't it fit into the flow of the story rather than interrupt?

And what's the intention when these products crash and burn? Are they going be over dubbed, will the 20th anniversary edition of Iron Man 3 show Jarvis engaging with some other temporarily interesting service?