Passat No Drive By In ABC’s ‘The Middle’

Frankie Heck settled into the driver’s seat of a new Volkswagen on a recent episode of ABC’s The Middle, caressing the steering wheel as celestial music played. Her face was a mask of such pure pleasure that you almost wanted to avert your eyes. Welcome to the world of product “integration” on prime-time television. Advertising within programs has gone beyond the mere placement of soda bottles on the table in front of American Idol judges. The Passat didn’t just pass by on the street during The Middle, it was a key part of the comedy’s story line.