Some have said that if content is king, then content distribution is the crown prince. While it remains paramount that brands continue to product relevant and provocative content, the means by which that brand image is shared needs to be just as, if not more, innovative these days.
Product placement is nothing new. Since 1919 when Red Crown Gasoline appeared in the short comedy film The Garage, to the far more recent outpouring of marketing in today’s entertainment, a la Absolute Vodka in Sex and the City, brands have made their mark in non-advertising for a price. Some are subtle (think Volvo in the Twilight series) and some are not so subtle (think the host of consumer brands highlighted in Talladega Nights). But none have found their way into as provocative a spectacle as the recent mini-movie/music video, Telephone by Lady Gaga and Beyonce.
Whether you are fond of Gaga’s zaniness or not, there is no denying that she has mainstream reach online. Her previous video for Bad Romance has over 140 million hits on YouTube and counting. So it seems like this should be a natural transition for brands to look for ways of hopping on the Gaga bandwagon.
The video for Telephone was introduced just this week and has no fewer than 10 product placements including Diet Coke, Virgin Mobile and Polaroid. More surprising placements include Miracle Whip, Wonder Bread, Coors Light and even Plenty of Fish—yeah, the dating site.
See for yourself and let me know if I’ve missed any others:
How do you feel about product placement? Does it enhance your perception of a brand or does it deflate it?50