The ABC TV series Revenge first aired in 2011 and I have to admit that it is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. The series was created by Mike Kelley and initially inspired by the Alexandre Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The plot takes place in the Hamptons where a young socialite Emily Thorne intends on getting even with the wealthy Grayson family who were responsible for her father’s wrongful imprisonment. In reality, Emily is Amanda Clarke, whose father was framed for a crime he did not commit and sent to prison for life. She was permanently separated from him and never saw him again. Now, she has returned to the Hamptons, but with a different identity.
The main themes in the TV series revolve around love lives, relationships, deceit, rivalry, power and money, together with the luxurious lifestyles of the main characters. The representation of the pretentious lifestyle of the elites is greatly exaggerated. The setting of the Hamptons signifies a specific social standard, which is that this part of Southampton is very high class, exclusive, and luxurious. The camera manipulates each scene precisely and only captures locations that are refined and clean. Another signifier is the clothing worn by every character in each episode throughout the first season.
”Using product placement on TV and more specifically during TV shows can be referred as branded entertainment, which is part of a goal oriented brand marketing strategy. Branded entertainment consists of marketing tactics like sponsoring famous and highly viewed events, the placement of products into the movie dialogs, tv shows, radio dialogs, video games and other forms of consumer entertainment.” (Ellieott 2010 [online])
Companies promote their brands through an advertising technique other than in-between commercials and product sales. Products are usually placed in a certain way that will generate a stronger connection towards the advertised brand and are presented, mentioned, or discussed during the watched program.
Throughout the entire series it’s almost a game plan, where Emily Thorn crosses off one person from the list of people that wronged her father, a wealthy finance man who was framed for involvement with terrorists. Each week she gets a closer to her frenemy, Victoria Greyson (Madeline Stowe) the woman her father was having an affair with who helped put him away. She’s doing this by romancing her son, Daniel, who is Emily’s main love interest. He is head over heels in love with her and asks her to marry him — all while she’s waging a secret war against his family.