An interesting question about product placement

Nurses General Nursing


I just wonder about the product placement I see in medical movies and on shows like ER. Not about things like soda or cars, but about things like stethescopes. I realize that 3M (makers of the Littman) and Hewlitt-Packard (Sprague) donate their products to these shows to add "realism", but my question is why?

Do they think that I, as a nurse, or a physician will buy their product because I've seen it on TV? Has anyone purchased a stethescope because they've seen it on TV?

I realize that I might be rambling, but it's late, and a slow night.

Specializes in ED staff.

I notice things like that too when watching any kind of medical type show. More often however, I find myself looking for mistakes that they make. I'll talk out loud to the TV, "yeah, like that would ever happen", "nono, you don't use a size 8 ET tube on a 5 year old!" that kind of thing. Or see 2 docs in the background studying a chest xray, that's hung backward!


6,011 Posts


I did buy the big RN pin they all wore in the first year. Otherwise no I don't think that it influences me.....other than "subliminally"

(Twilight Zone music plays.....).

At least some shows have gotten away from ALL their telephone numbers starting with 555-

TracyB,RN, RN

646 Posts

Specializes in jack of all trades, master of none.

Those ad execs probably figure that alot of prospective students are watching.


255 Posts

Here's another example: I was watching "Scrubs" last night and noticed that the Pyxis machines in the background had a huge "Pyxis" emblazoned on them. Honestly, who's this going to influence? It's not like I'm going to go out and buy my own medication system, and we all know that administrators are going to buy the lowest costing system rather than one they see in a product placement, right? I just don't get it.

Peeps Mcarthur

1,018 Posts

I noticed on Scrubs that the stethescopes all had identification tags on them too.

I think you're right. I can't see something like that being recommended by a consultant other than a commercial one.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

it is really silly, huh, Matt? I am sure I don't know WHO they think they are influencing to buy these things. NOT MOI.

sanakruz, ADN

735 Posts

TV will rot your brain

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Dr Romano is the only doc I know with a shiny gold stethoscope, and I need to go out and buy one right now!!


1,024 Posts

I like Romano's scope too! I've seen them online, but it's gold plated. How long do you think that's gonna last?



184 Posts

ONe thing that bugs me is that on Scrubs, ALL of the stethoscopes are HP styles, with identical ID tags. i dont think that anyone other than people who already own a stethoscope would notice this at all, but it still isn't realistic. At least on ER they wear several different brands of stethoscopes.

Then again, though, if medical shows were 100% COMPLETELY accurate, do you think people would still want to become nurses?? (Just a thought)


1,326 Posts

I don't think it is so much about getting you to run out to the store and buy their product, but it has everything to do with getting name recognition. And it works pretty well if you count how many posters responsed saying that they say this or that name brand on T.V.

Buyer Beware!

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