I came across an interesting item today- a column by Priska Neely from the NPR website. It addresses the issue of product placement, but includes the “down side” you don’t often see.
It is no longer a surprise to anyone that companies pay big bucks to get visual exposure for their brands in popular movies and television shows. One of the most often-cited examples is American Idol; it started with simple Coke cups on the table in front of each judge, but has progressed to the point where the show sometimes appears to be taking place inside one big, glitzy Coke machine.
It’s certainly an interesting topic. Quick quiz – can you remember the type of candy Kramer was eating when he dropped a piece from the observation balcony over an operating room and it wound up inside the patient? (First correct response wins a package of that candy from me!) What brand of vehicle did Jack Bauer drive during all those seasons of “24″ ? (First correct response on THAT one will have to settle for a hearty “attaboy.”)
The reasoning is obvious; what brand wouldn’t want to be the “hero” or at least bask in the glow of a cool scenario. But what about those scenes in which the pictured products are less than heroic? As the article points out, producers are largely free to use any branded products they wish without getting any special permission from the company. Do you want YOUR brand to be the alcohol of choice for a drinking airline pilot? How about a closeup of your chainsaw brand in the next slasher movie?
I find the whole topic fascinating; I have been in advertising long enough Read the rest of this entry »