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Posted at 7:54 AM ET, 02/18/2011

♪♫ Britney Spears's 'Hold It Against Me' is full of skin, product placement (VIDEO)

By Melissa Bell

I don't care what you think: I love Britney Spears. Not for her music. Not for her midriffs. Not for her weird self-fighting-self-in-stripper-shoes dance sequence. Not for her even odder hand accessories. And definitely not for her most obvious product-placement job ever. (In her latest video, the director is not even trying to be subtle about it: "Here. Let me just linger for a few seconds on the perfume bottle Spears is trying to hawk. Why don't we just fill the whole camera shot with the dating site 'Plenty of Fish,' even though there is no dating in this video at all.")

In fact, I'm not sure why I love Britney Spears so much. I just do.

By Melissa Bell  | February 18, 2011; 7:54 AM ET
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Perhaps it is because when compared to Britney Spears even the most poorly-conceived and instantly regrettable act you have ever done in your entire life looks normal.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Hah! Her flaws do make her more lovable.

Posted by: Melissa Bell | February 18, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I am really happy Britney seems to have turned her life around, It was horrible to see what she went through during her breakdown, however, this comeback video, was more like a commercial than a music video. The obvious close ups of products like "Makeup Forever", her perfume, plenty of fish website, .....I dont get it...why? She didn't need the money so why ruin a video with so many products making it seem more like a commercial and a bad one at that! You dont even know which product the commercial is for. Im not a britney hater, I actually love her music, I just am disappointed in this new video. She could have done so much better.

Posted by: Sandee1 | February 18, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Sandee1, I agree it felt so crazy commercial. It's almost audacious! The whole video feels totally haphazard. Why the shots from her first video? Why the wedding dress? Why the awful, awful gloves?

Posted by: Melissa Bell | February 18, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The enduring likability of Britney Spears is a phenom that I find endlessly interesting.

There is absolutely no easily identifiable reason that she should have been as successful as she has been for as long as she has been. Obviously, a lot of it comes down to best-in-the-business production, management, and marketing.

But I also think that she is a stand-alone argument for the power of an “It factor”. The fact that she has out-earned similar yet more talented artists (e.g. Christina Aguilera) speaks to the fact that there is “just something about her” that peaks people’s interest beyond what it would seem the interest level should be based on the quality of her music and her relative originality.

Even her good looks don’t fully explain it. By most standards, Jessica Simpson is at least as conventionally attractive as Spears it but, in the end, Simpson’s appeal as a pop star was limited. She didn’t win real media notoriety until she crossed into the reality sector and has found the most financial success through her entrepreneurial efforts.

Britney Spears also throws a wrench in the conventionally accepted theory that pop culture audiences are fickle and easily bored. She has been an inescapable media presence since she released her first single in the fall of 1998 - more than 12 years ago. Based on her latest single’s iTunes sales, I think it’s safe to say that – for better or for worse - people are still [perhaps compulsively] interested in her and her music.

I doubt whether anyone will ever fully know why.

Posted by: mb15213 | February 18, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

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