Your TV Tech Fix: Gadget Fakevertising – Chuck vs. the Fake Windows Laptop

As a lover of TV and technology, I’ve developed a pretty keen eye for spotting various gadgets in my shows. In the past, many gadgets were simply used as props, but in today’s “make more money on placements than ads” environment, when I see a gadget on TV it is often an (often obvious) paid placement.

I don’t mind seeing real-life gadgets in my favorite shows, but nothing drives me more bonkers than when those gadgets don’t operate within the bounds of their actual uses in reality, are faked to promote a brand, make noises they don’t actually make, and so on. As I see these gadget atrocities, I hope to call them out here in my TV Addict column.

Todays’ Offender: NBC’s CHUCK

I typically applaud CHUCK for it’s clever integration of paid gadget placements (I’m talking gadgets here, not fast food restaurants named Subway). Even though they’re abundant, they’re usually mixed in with the scene so brilliantly that you don’t even realize you’re seeing an advert. Yet as good as they are, one of their latest placements clearly stood out from the rest:

In this scene, Chuck and Sarah are gettin’ it on next to a Windows PC, but do you notice anything odd?

Yes, it’s strange to see a character on TV use something OTHER than a Mac, but what’s even weirder is to see a laptop that doesn’t exist in real life. There’s no laptop (other than the one shown of course) with a Windows logo embedded in the lid. On a Windows PC, that space usually sports the brand of the maker – HP, Dell, Acer, etc. Microsoft doesn’t make laptops.

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Microsoft for trying to get more TV cred. After all, some 80-90% of the PC market is PC, but in TV land you’d think it’s just the opposite. I’d simply prefer their spot be done realistically. An actual Windows logo sticker plastered somewhere on the back of an HP Pavilion or Dell XPS would have been just as, if not more, effective.

Better yet, why not have Chuck come right out and say it?  “Morgan, it’s not classified information that Windows 7 was my idea.”

Satisfy your inner geek while fueling your TV addiction… TV Tech Fix is a column by Matt Whitlock, editor of the Consumer Electronics Community (plus several other gadget-focused community websites), and lover of both technology and TV. In this column, he’ll cover a wide variety of tech topics aimed squarely at the TV addicts of the world – from tips and tricks to help you better your TV experience, to gear recommendations, to the impact technology is having on the TV shows we love.

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  • dwenie

    I noticed that too, but I have to say, I'd like a lil windows logo on the outside of my laptop…looks pretty snazzy!

  • Amy

    wow. I wish they had gone with your line instead!

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  • Andrew

    I think I've seen the same laptop used in '30 Rock' too, when they try to design a microwave iirc. I suppose they want to steer away from Apple products given that Microsoft is a big shareholder in their news branch, MSNBC.