Friday, May 6, 2011

Hey, Nice Young . . .

.  .  .  Michael, did you by any chance have a stopwatch on that infomercial for Virgin America during today's Hardline?


They don't look disgruntled  .  .  .  .


11 comments:

Shaggy said...

Yeah, that was awful. It was one whole segment.

Anonymous said...

Reminded me of those segments several years ago when Petty Theft first came about and Sorta held a local hero status. They would use up an entire segment or even segments telling each other how impressive the others band and performance was.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that was ridiculous and as stupid as it sounds it was very disrespectful to their audience. I was wondering if they were working free flights back for game 5 and 7 or something. I guess we won't find out now.

Anonymous said...

I happened to leave work a few minutes before they came back from break for that segment. I wasn't very happy to find out I had to wait about 25(?) minutes to hear any actual content.

The Plainsman said...

Yes, I assume that was booked as promotional consideration for comped flights. Don't know for sure, but it did have that feel.

I thought I detected a fair degree of embarrassment on behalf of all three of them about having to burn a segment like that. After I figured out what was happening about two minutes into it and began to listen more closely to this amazing deception, I thought I could detect them trying to decide among themselves whether to turn this into a live-spot comedy bit, at which they are absolute masters, or treat the whole thing respectfully. I concluded that they were probably under severe orders to play this straight down the middle. It was a deadly 47 minutes of broadcasting.

So I tend to give the hosts a pass on this. I am unwilling to believe that they willingly bartered their credibility for a trip to Los Angeles. Anonymous is right -- it came across as disrespectful to the P1, wasting their time and insulting their intelligence, and the hosts surely must have perceived this. Do they have the clout to have refused to do it? I would have thought so, but maybe not. Or maybe they were complicit; I hope not, and, as I say, I choose to believe that they were not.

We'll never know. But either way, it was a low point for The Hardline.

One final question: My Hardline listening was adversely impacted by my job last week, so this is a real question: Other than the observation that Laker fans sat on their hands from time to time, did the Hardline have any LA-related content requiring their presence there? Interviews, man-on-the-street stuff, local trips? (I did hear something about some good spaghetti.)

ap said...

Plainsman - Corby did talk about his experiences running through East LA, and I believe there was a food bit as well. Let me know if you'd like clips.

The Virgin live spot was a thinly-veiled advertisement, and it isn't the first time they've done so (see TEX-NYY during the ALCS). Personally, I don't mind so much -- people have half-jokingly suggested taking up a collection plate to make sure that the Hardline goes on all of the metroplex sports team's playoff away games given their recent success.

I'm not sure how many of you watch the Colbert Report, but over a year ago, Steven had Richard Branson on to promote the newly-launched Virgin America flights. Colbert's line of questioning focused more on Branson's billionaire eccentricities (and rightfully so - the guy is full of bits). Upset that Colbert wasn't focusing enough on promoting his airline, Branson dumped a bottle of water on Colbert in a somewhat tense and very unscripted exchange. Now, that may have all been a bit, but I suspect that the Hardline having Branson on the air and getting several free return-trip tickets probably came with a very hefty price tag.

The Plainsman said...

AP, who was the sponsor for the ALCS segment? I recall a lot of StubHub talk, mostly in the way of "thanks for the swell tix, StubHub" -- I think that was the ALCS, but it may have been a different series -- but I don't recall anything quite like the Virgin America segment.

cancer monkey said...

Yes it was the ALCS when they were kissing Stub Hub's behind constantly. I don't blame them for gushing about that, since they were genuinely excited about going to those games, but I'm glad I missed the Virgin segment. That would have driven me nuts faster than listening to Norm's smacking sounds during his commercials.

The latest Capcha I had to type to post this comment: "imorn". This is also a thinly-veiled advertisement, in this case for Apple's new grief counseling service.

P1 Steven said...

So, the value of 3 trips on Virgin to and from LA is worth an entire segment on the HL. Glad I missed it.

Anonymous said...

the hardline makes a ton of $$$.
you wouldn't think they'd have to whore themselves out like that.

The Plainsman said...

It appears to be unanimous that The Nation did not favor an entire segment devoted to a half-hearted ex tempore report on the virtues of Virgin America Airline.

I remember the telephone interview with the StubHub lady somewhere around the time of the ALCS and realizing at the time that it was an extended plug. But for some reason it didn't seem quite as craven as this one.

I have to say, as appalling as this was from a station policy standpoint, it was actually somewhat entertaining listening to these three very sincere, very honest guys having to play-act a segment on the virtues of Virgin America. (Can you imagine what the ribbing they would have given any other showgram that had to undergo that kind of humiliation?) You could almost hear Danny getting ready to break into his most fake-sincere Irving Volkswagen dealership (I forget the name) pitchman voice.

So, as tail-between-legs awful as this must have been for Our Boys, and although a couple more of them could lead to some long-term punchouts, there was some residual entertainment value there.