From papyrus sales posters in ancient Egypt to town criers of the Middle Ages, from radio sponsorships to the Pop-Tarts “Crazy Good” campaign, advertising has grown and changed over the years, constantly adapting with methods to reach target audiences. This evolution has brought us to the category of advertisement web-shows. I have just spent the last hour watching “Romancing the Joan,” sponsored by Renuzit air fresheners and I feel like Renuzit should pay me for this post.

Melissa Rivers hosts while Joan stars in a faux dating show where a group of bachelors, each named for a different scent of air freshener (eg. "Red Velvet Randy" and "After the Rain Ryan"), compete for her heart…or whatever has replaced it by now. The men are exaggerated stereotypes of dating show contestants and they smell great, even when sweating through a game of Twister. It’s interesting to see the blatant marketing while they still pretend it’s an actual show people might be watching. Don’t get me wrong: Joan and Melissa acknowledge their air freshener sponsor regularly (Melissa reminds the men that “it’s on your call sheets”). I guess I’m a little outside the Joan Rivers audience, so it’s hard for me to say, but I’m still curious as to how fans respond to this sort of marketing. 

Now, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you all, primarily because I don’t want to admit that I actually watched all seven episodes, but I will and I did. Of course, Joan can’t simply choose one man—that would be like choosing only one of Renuzit’s delicious scents! With a chuckle and a deep breath, Joan turns to the camera in a sea of laughing, champagne-drinking men with good hair and yells out, “I choose them all!” And the lovely piano music slowly fades. And we, the members of the audience, are left to ponder, is there really a scent out there for all of us? Or can we buy the entire Renuzit collection? Since that’s what I’m asking through my own heartfelt tears, it looks like web-series advertising is working pretty well.

If you so wish, you can watch the show on SheKnows TV.

Thanks to The New York Times and SheKnows TV.



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