triple j, product placement and “totes amazeballs” songs

According to Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes the recent collaboration between Kimbra, Foster the People and A-Trak Warrior is “totes amazeballs”.

The bizarre and highly unexpected review of the song, which was created as part of Converse’s ‘Three Artists. One Song’ promotion, came during last night’s episode of Media Watch during a segment examining triple j, product placement and the ABC Editorial Policies.

Admitting that they’re probably “the fun police” or “perhaps… total douches”, Media Watch argued that the station’s recent support for the song and decision to post links to the Converse ad that acted as the video clip for Warrior breaches the ABC Editorial Policies which declare that “product placement and other forms of embedded or surreptitious advertising are prohibited”.

With crippling sarcasm, Holmes purred “I’m sure you’re all familiar with the work of Kimbra, Foster the People and A-Trak. And that you shared the excitement of Zan and her triple j colleagues Tom and Alex at the prospect of hearing the product of their ‘hot ass’ collaboration”.

Holmes asked Media Watch viewers to listen to a clip of Zan Rowe and morning co-hosts Tom Ballard and Alex Dyson hyping the collaboration which Rowe described as “the latest in that collaborative journey that is ‘Three Artists, One Song’”. Mocking the obvious product placement , Ballard declares “I want to hear it. I want to hear what these artists brought together by the love of shoes, what it sounds like when they make some music, when they’re filled with that passion, that joy, what is that result like in music?” After airing the tune he turned up the mockery even further by declaring: “I’m going to go buy some shoes. I don’t know why, I just feel like buying some shoes.”

After airing the Converse ad Holmes arches an eyebrow and sagely notes “Totes amazeballs eh? Some kind of fight game scenario. Did you spot the chucks?”

While Media Watch notes that Ballard managed to mock the product placement and carefully avoid mentioning the brand name on air, the show went on to reveal that “unfortunately the ABC’s purity was sullied a bit by the fact that triple j’s website provided a link to the shoe-filled music video… and to the website where you could get a free download of the song, the video – and buy stuff like… The Shoes”

triple j manager Chris Scaddan has defended the “airing of the songs in question but acknowledge[d] that the online content was in some parts a step too far. Answering Media Watch’s questions Scaddan says that “triple j examined the merits of the collaboration between the three artists who are very popular on triple j and we knew our audience would want to hear the track. A judgement was made on the artistic merit and editorial interest in the song… Both the song and the video have intrinsic editorial value to our audience. However, on reviewing the material, the video clip, the blog image and the external site we linked to for the free download have now been removed as these online elements contain brand logos and were published in error.”

triple j has also featured other songs in the Converse series: All Summer from Kid Cudi, Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast) and Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend); and DoYaThing by Gorillaz, Andre 3000 & James Murphy.

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