Last week, you enraged employees and readers of the Los Angeles Times with an ad for Southland that was clumsily made to resemble a front-page news story. This week, you inserted possibly the most gag-inducing bit of product placement primetime has yet witnessed into an episode of Chuck:
Is the plug for Subway's chicken teriyaki footlong supposed to be so over-the-top that it plays as humor? That sort of self-referentiality has occasionally worked on 30 Rock, but it doesn't work here. The desperation for Subway's cash, the craven willingness to write their slogan into the script and guarantee multiple porny shots of the chain's logo, is too sad.
Clearly the subtlety and delicacy needed to pull off the blending of content and marketing in a way that doesn't make consumers go "blech" is nowhere to be found in NBC Universal's (GE) executive suite.
On the other hand, I'd never watched so much as a minute of Chuck before today. So maybe this was actually a brilliant piece of anti-promotion?