I was a fan of the screening we watched in class of Better Off Ted. It reminded me a lot of another of my favorite shows, Arrested Development, and not just because Portia de Rossi stars in both shows. It was clever and witty certainly but also very critical of the corporate and media infused environment that we live in. It encourages its viewers to by cynical of the media and products produced by these large corporations and in this way encourages media literacy. It also illustrated a number of persuasion situations such as when the main characters discussed ways to prevent the company from being sued for freezing a coworker.
One of the things I was thinking about while watching is "what media buyer would ever want to place ads around this show?" And then it occurred to me that this was almost certainly why it was cancelled so prematurely rather than low viewership. So much of primetime ad space is taken up by food and drink products that would never want to be associated with Veridian Dynamics. Even smaller organizations that run things in a way that viewers would like wouldn't want to place ads around this show and run the risk that viewers might associate it with this company particularly in light of the fact that the show sometimes produced fake ads to mock the fake cheeriness of much of corporate advertising. I'm surprised the show was ever able to be produced given that the networks should have realized this wouldn't be something advertisers would be fans of. This show is a good example of why you don't bite the hand that feeds you.
Discussion Question: Do you agree or disagree that Better Off Ted encourages media literacy in its viewers? Can you think of a product/brand/service that would want to advertise around a show like this?