I'm pretty easygoing when it comes to marketing and product placement. It's so ubiquitous that I tune it out, or laugh along when it shows up on 30 Rock. I can never really muster up the rage some viewers do when Pizza Hut, Ford, or the iPhone is prominently placed in a movie or television show. The most I'll do is roll my eyes and joke about it later on ("Did you notice that? Lame!"), because I find the big picture to be more important than some high-priced props. That is, I didn't care until Fox proudly announced that Bones will return in two weeks with an Avatar themed episode. (The promo is embedded below the jump for the curious and eager.)
Look, I get why Fox would think this was a slamdunk. It's on their network, and one of Bones' recurring cast members, Joel Moore, is actually in Avatar. I understand that the combination makes the December 3 episode of Bones prime advertising real estate. But come on! Can't you just run some flashy commercials, a new trailer, or "a special behind-the-scenes look" like you did with films back during the good old days? Doesn't anyone at 20th Century Fox wonder if it doesn't look a little desperate to coerce an entire show into the PR game? After all, Avatar was supposed to sell itself purely on the photo-real effects, the world of Pandora, and the name of James Cameron. Why do they need Bones?