The 18th and 19th episode of the TV series The Big Bang Theory had included some interesting examples of product placement. I have to admit that some of them weren't so efficient/controversial as the iPad placement in the Modern Family (discussed in my previous posts – here and here), but might be worth a look.

The most interesting product placement was Amazon's Kindle that was visible (but not used nor mentioned) in both episodes. Kindle apparently got it's place on the cabinet in Sheldon's and Leonard's kitchen, because the first time it was visible was in The Gorilla Experiment episode (S03E10) back in December 2009.

Amazon's Kindle in The Big Bang Theory S03E18 (2010, CBS, screen capture)

Kindle was also mentioned in the first episode of the third season (S03E01). Sheldon was acting like a dictator during their Arctic expedition and his friends discussed different ways of killing him. One of them was to throw his Kindle out of the door – when Sheldon would went out to get it, the others would lock the doors and let him freeze to death. You can find more pictures of Kindle in The Big Bang Theory on my Flickr page.

Sheldon & co. are just perfect for promoting new gadgets such as Kindle or social media brands. In 18th episode Sheldon, Leonard and Penny watched a clip “Physicist Melts Down” that was recorded at the Chancellor Award ceremony (the video shows some Sheldon’s antics from the ceremony). I was expecting that CBS would actually put this clip on YouTube, but they didn’t – in my opinion that’s lame, because after I finished watching this episode I immediately switched to YouTube to check the aforementioned video. It wasn’t there. If a large number of viewers shared my viewing habits, a lot of them were left disappointed.

In the 19th episodes some scenes were taken at the bowling center. Sheldon had an argument with guest star Wil Wheaton, his old nemesis. At one moment Sheldon said that he owns domains, .org and .net. Unfortunately there are no actual sites at those three domains, but if you check you can find out that all of them were registered by Warner Brothers (the producers of The Big Bang Theory). Well, CBS or Warner Bros. could've done something with those domains (maybe used them for some additional jokes), because it feels like they've only done the step 1.

Wil Wheaton's T-shirt in The Big Bang Theory S03E19 (2010, CBS, screen capture)

But there was a case of good understanding of product placement. Wil Wheaton was wearing a T-shirt with the sign »Crush all Humans«. If you google those words you can actually buy the same T-shirt. Online store Diesel Sweeties is selling all kinds of shirts, books with funny motives. You can buy Wheaton's T-shirt here (from $16.99) and you can also see that they used the appearance of that T-shirt in The Big Bang Theory for advertising – »As seen on Evil Wil Wheaton in The Big Bang Theory!« That's the way to do it.

  1. Another smashing post.

    In one of the last BBT episodes I noticed an iMac (or cinema display) with a covered Apple logo in Sheldon’s and Leonard’s living room. Maybe Amazon is paying better money or Dell is not to happy about competition appearing in the series :)

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  2. In the episode of The Big Bang Theory, which introduced the character of Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton (Judy Greer), I also noticed quite a few jokes regarding Activia yogurts. They didn’t show the brand, but I recognized the green/white cups. The jokes were all on Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton’s behalf, which is not surprising, since Danone is selling Activia yogurts as products for women’s digestion. :)

  3. Oh no! Leonard didn’t tell his mother that he’s dating Penny. I think it’s so funny how Sheldon is a suitable mate for Leonard’s mother. I think many people have problems with their parents but Mrs. Hofstadter is off the charts. I love though that Leonard gets a kick out of her analyzing someone other than him. I am so glad that I can watch TV when I’m camping like I will be tomorrow because not only did I miss the entire season but I can catch up with the reruns. My DISH Network employee tailgaiter is easy to set up and fits my budget which is important to my wife and me.