NBC's marketing department, last seen turning the mediocre show Chuck into an elaborate vehicle for peddling Subway sandwiches, is now turning the good show 30 Rock into an elaborate vehicle for peddling Dr Pepper. Progress!
This is not the first time 30 Rock has been the subject of teeth-gnashing amongst the blogocitizenry over a product placement incident. There was the famous "McFlurry" episode last year, which NBC insisted was not a paid placement, but rather an organic element of the script.
Well if that was true, they're not making that mistake again. Ad Age reports that NBC is dissolving the advertising-entertainment boundaries even more—last week they ran a Dr Pepper ad featuring Chris Parnell's "Dr. Spacemen" character directly before rolling the credits on 30 Rock. And in a brave leap towards corporate control of your teevee shows, the ad said nothing explicit about 30 Rock at all—it just popped right up in there, nearly indistinguishable from the show itself.
This is all part of advertising's ongoing quest to make the Tivo obsolete, so just sit back and passively accept it. Soon everything will be complete.