How to Succeed in Show Business Without Really Trying: Special HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Edition

Full disclosure: We have absolutely nothing against product placement. In fact, thanks to the proliferation of household DVR, we fully understand the importance of in-show advertising that isn’t able to be automatically fast-forwarded through. That said, what we do have a problem with is really stupid product placement.

Take last night’s HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER for example. An otherwise excellent episode — which saw Robin get a much needed “Win” and in the process prove that she’s a real New Yorker by stealing a cab, emotionally breaking down on the subway, killing a cockroach and beating the gang to a downtown restaurant to spot what was supposed to be Woody Allen, — was marred by what we are facetiously going to call the worst product placement in the history of television! Allow us to set the scene:


Narrator: Kids, I also needed a win that day. A couple of nights earlier your Uncle Marshall had offhandedly mentioned a website called…
Ted: Grade my teacher dot net
Marshall: It’s this awesome site where students can go and say what they really think about their professors. You’re probably on there…

The scene then shifts to Ted’s apartment where as a result of an incredibly poorly thought out product integration deal with Microsoft, he is forced to utilize the “Bing” search engine to find the web address The very same web address Marshall just told him about less than a minute ago! Suffice to say, from hopeless romantic to kind of a douche bag, Ted Mosby may be lot of things. But colossal moron he is not. We’re just sayin’

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  • Jenni Lou

    I, too, thought it odd he was searching the site instead of typing the address. Because he knew the address.

    Whatever, though. Last’s night ep was awesome. I think the show is back on track this season!

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget the fake Windows Laptop (?) and the store full of Xbox360s when Ted and Marshall encountered the Calculator Man :P
    Despite this, I enjoyed the episode

  • Nadia

    That was only the tip of it – he was also using a computer that had a Microsoft Windows logo smack in the middle of the laptop where manufacturers usually stick their logo…Microsoft does not manufacture laptops. It’s an operating system. And Maury was carrying a newly-purchase Xbox in the background during once scene too. It made me cringe. Not nearly as awesome as the Burger King product placement from Arrested Development.

  • Nick

    I have zero objections to product placement. Please, viewers, try to look at the TV biz from the TV industry’s viewpoint. If people insist on zapping thru commercials (the only thing that pays for the production), then bring on the products–the more the merrier. And as quickly as the industry can devise a skip-proof device, the better. Does the public think the TV industry somehow exists for free, for their own benefit? Time for the viewers to get a clue.

  • Charles Carmichael

    Product placement doesn’t bother me, as long as it’s subtle. Take for example the season premiere of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia this season. Dennis and Dee were eating at Subway. They in no way went on to mention anything about the greatness of Subway or anything of that nature. It kinda makes a show more realistic when you see stuff like that. I eat at Subway and many other chain restaurants so why shouldn’t tv characters. Now if they were making it a point for the characters to elaborate on how great the product is then it starts to get a bit corny and ignoring!

  • Sourabh

    That episode was way too Microsoft-y. The constant Bing searches, his Windows laptop, the standing in front of a store selling XBox360s, the random guy who just bought one of them..Many scenes just looked a commercial rather than actual parts of the episode.

    Although to be fair, this was how i found out that Bing had maps.

  • Anonymous

    I’m usually able to ignore product integration and just enjoy an episode. The fake Microsoft laptop is really annoying though. And I’m not sure why they would even do that when it’s a fake product that they can’t actually sell to people.

  • Astrid

    Delurking to defend his actions :-) I don’t think it is so unusual: I google every website, even though i know it – its just much quicker that way. And if you make a typo it also doesn’t matter cause google will fix it for me…far more practical! So instead of typing the whole adress I just “tv addict” your site every day!