Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, the third in what has become an annual event on the Syfy television network, has been a topic of discussion since it was announced in 2014, and the feature trailer has gotten Sharknado fans bracing for the franchise’s third wind. The series has never been critically acclaimed, of course, but the Syfy property has garnered a substantial following of viewers who enjoy the films’ intentional bad taste and laughably poor production values.
Syfy has for a long time now been notorious for producing low-brow dramatic fare. However, even Sharknado fans may be under-whelmed by this particular block of programming, judging by early reviews and examinations of the TV movie.
Ad Week‘s Sharknado 3 review/analysis notes that the latest Sharknado film is unilateral advertising campaign for Comcast and its associated affiliates, brands, and personalities. Following the promotional appearance of Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle in Sharknado 2: The Second One, Sharknado 3 has cameos from such media moguls as Mark Cuban and Anne Coulter (as the president and vice-president of the United States, respectively), in addition to appearances from other Comcast-owned NBCUniversal stars, including E! anchors Maria Menounous, Kim Richards, and Reza Farahan, and most of the Today show team.
Moreover, Comcast’s Xfinity cable service gets more than a fair amount of airtime on featured billboards and stock cars throughout the film. Additionally, Universal Studios Florida theme park ends up serving as a central narrative set piece (with actual amusement park rides receiving exceptional promotion).
Such a bald-faced move towards blatant product placement isn’t necessarily unexpected for Sharknado – a property sold as being a shallow narrative concept exhausted to its fullest extent. Still, in courting the interests of its advertisers so blatantly, Syfy may have dug themselves in a little too deep the third time around. Sharknado 2: The Second One certainly enjoyed a certain spark of illicit notoriety, but not because of the placement of its featured Subway spokesperson.
Sharknado 3 bears its mark a little too obviously (in other words), even by this franchise’s low standards. Instead of couching its irreverent conceit beside the lack of charisma exploited by its star actors, the Syfy network seems to have grown a little tired of the whole shebang, surrendering to the whims of its sponsors altogether. Don’t say we didn’t warn you about the feature’s Comcast branded advertising, if you decide to give the third Sharknado a look.
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premieres tonight on Syfy at 9 EST.
Source: Ad Week