A few years ago the people who run TV invented "product placement." It’s very effective, whether they do it consciously or not. I remember when I saw Heather Locklear talking on a Motorola flip phone on Melrose Place. It became my quest to get one, and for years we joked about "the Amanda phone." The display was a row of LEDs. It was an analog phone.
Today, if I remember correctly, I still have that phone as sort of a museum piece in a collection of cellular devices that no longer are in service. The Amanda phone was superseded by a nearly identical flipless model of the same size; a much smaller digital clamshell flip model with a monochrome LCD screen; and a small flipless digital monochrome-screen Nokia model I got "free" from the phone company, which you could get different shells for, and change the color of the phone. It was white when it arrived, and now it’s black, in that collection of disconnected phones. The phone that’s in service now is another Nokia with a flip and a color screen.
So product placement works, but as time goes by, you end up with a "toxic" junkyard collection of phones, batteries, and accessories that won’t fit anything new.
Now, the people who run TV are considering "behavior placement," specifically to encourage "green" practices like recycling. They speculate that if Tina Fey is seen recycling a plastic bottle, everyone will do that. But it leads to the same kind of thing, and I have to warn you, recycling is not for the squeamish. You won’t get a Good Housekeeping seal of approval if you start recycling in earnest.
To wit: take aluminum cans. Long ago I decided aluminum was the most lucrative thing to recycle. But if you don’t recycle the can immediately, which is not cost effective, you have to start a collection of cans. I live in a barn so it’s OK for me, but some of you girls won’t like this. The empty can goes into a box. When the box is full, I stomp the cans flat like a hockey puck and fill an empty dog food bag with the cans. When the bag is full, it goes out to the shed. When I have four bags full of stomped aluminum cans, that’s worth a trip to the metal recycling place, where the last time I went there I got a hundred bucks for my cans. But it took well over a year to collect that many cans.
Take paper. The county is happy to relieve us of paper to be recycled. Publications, catalogs, and the incessant other things that come in through the mailbox. Cardboard cereal boxes are a great place to assemble things from the mailbox that have already been processed for identity theft. You end up with a collection of empty cereal boxes awaiting things from the mail, and 12-pack cartons awaiting outdated publications and catalogs. You get clutter.
The plastic bottles? The county takes those too, but they prefer clean ones. I don’t mind washing plastic bottles in the kitchen sink, removing the caps and neck rings and labels, drying them out afterward, and giving them away. But what really happens is you don’t up and wash each bottle or jug as you empty it. You end up with a collection of plastic bottles and jugs on the kitchen floor awaiting the wash, and you trip over them whenever you get up at 4AM to make coffee.
But they admit they are going to "subliminally" "suggest" you junk up your life by "behavior placement" in nationwide TV programs, and it all starts with the day you look at a beverage container and decide to recycle it. Pretty soon your upscale city apartment is going to look like my barn. hehehe