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Friday, January 20, 2012

New Coke-bankrolled video touts mayor in grand fashion

Product placement? You be the judge.
  • Product placement? You be the judge.
I know I included a link to this video in a blog post yesterday, but I wanted to remind ya'll to take a look at it so we could get your feedback. It was used to introduce Mayor Reed at the State of the City address and was commissioned by the folks at Coke, who clearly love them some Kasim.

The tone of the script and the sky-high production values would be in keeping with a tourism video produced by a convention and visitors bureau, but instead of touting a city, per se, the video touts the mayor specifically. I guess these Chamber events have always featured a video checking off the current mayor's accomplishments. It's not that I take issue with any of the facts cited in the piece, but I suspect that one reason this video seems weirdly over-the-top to me is that I'm reacting to its slickness.

"The mayor was ecstatic with the final product," Reed spokesman Reese McCranie tells me. Yeah, I can understand why. The whole thing is basically a cinematic reach-around. I wouldn't mind one of those myself.

Speaking of product, what lengths did the Coke people go to make sure there was a familiar red-and-white can visible on the mayor's desk? "That wasn't a product placement," McCranie says. "The mayor drinks Coke all day."

No wonder the company loves him.

Now, I also hinted yesterday that Monica Pearson's voice-over on the video could be construed as a journalistic conflict of interest. While it's common for TV news personalities to lend their talents to non-profit causes such as charity auctions and fund-raising videos — even at the request of corporate sponsors — it's considered a no-no for them to take part in any public act designed to benefit a politician. Typically, that goes for anchors, too. Thoughts?

UPDATE, 6:13 p.m. by Thomas: Pearson responded to my tweet about Scott's post:

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