We need protection from product placement in “Sex in the City.”
On Sunday’s show, Miranda tries to forget about Steve, the father of her baby, by becoming “romantically” involved with her TiVo. Miranda dutifully explains to her galpals that TiVo is better than a boyfriend while ticking off product features with more clarity than a Circuit City saleswoman. Miranda loves her TiVo because it always knows what she wants (solving the infinite Freud question of “What do women want?”) Product shots consume the screen. Cynthia Nixon was nearly poised to turn to the camera, smile, and exclaim, “Go out and buy YOUR TiVo today!” Contrived, darling.
TiVo executives are probably thrilled with the placement. Celebrity endorsements have been a strategic thrust of the company for several years. The company is brought to the free PR dance at levels similar to Krispy Kreme’s, yet one company is the current cover darling of Fortune and mints money while the other struggles to stay afloat.
Granted, a digital video recorder is a harder sell than a doughnut, but most TiVo owners (myself included) are as rabid any calorie-loving doughnut maven. Sadly, TiVo ignores its thousands of Cinderella evangelists like an evil stepmother.
The lessons of customer evangelism are rooted in authenticity. This “Sex and the City” product tie-in just seemed so… fake. Cynthia Nixon just can’t seem to get it up for the lovable DVR.