Sunday, November 18, 2012

Product Place This...


Product placement is increasing to the point of the ridiculous in modern movies and television shows. Sure it is a clever way of financing productions but Skyfall, the latest outing for the world’s most famous spy, is a 2 hour billboard. It makes for a great drinking game. Whenever a product is visible on screen have a drink - Preferably Heineken or a Diet Coke for the ladies, both proud sponsors of the movie. Thankfully he does not get confused with his signature cocktail, because a shaken beer would sure to mess up the OPI manicure of the latest Bond girl, let alone her Swarovski jewelry.

Checking the time on his limited edition Planet Ocean Skyfall Omega watch he realizes he barely has time to don his Orlebar swim shorts, kill the master villain (being careful not to ruin his Belstaff designer clothes) before driving off in his Aston Martin.

As I sit at my latest edition Macbook Pro with retina screen technology I am appalled at the blatant advertising that is “integrated” in to our visual entertainment.

Some product must be easier for writers and directors to integrate than others, clothing, computers, vehicles, food and drink. Others must be much more difficult.

Did the producers of Sex In the City miss a golden opportunity to integrate a line of sanitary products into their two cinematic releases. Could Magic Mike worked in a diuretic into its storyline as a means of achieving the lean, fat free, ripped torsos.

Unfortunately for manufacturers of toilet tissue no one in movies or television ever seems to go to the toilet expect to have sex, take drugs or murder someone All of these activities do often create a need for cleaning up but not necessarily one to which Sorbent would want to be integrated. “The three ply with Gripple Effect technology guaranteeing better grip and better cleaning makes it perfect for cleaning up blood and wiping down surfaces to remove unsightly fingerprints and miscellaneous DNA evidence. Now 25% stronger.”

Seinfeld season 7did have the one episode “The Stall” in which Elaine did use the bathroom in a cinema. Famously there was no paper and the woman (Seinfeld’s girlfriend Jane) in the stall next to her could not spare a square, she did not have a square to spare.

No product seemed to be willing to align itself with the 1998 smash hit Something About Mary despite the depiction of hair products guaranteed to work all day.

No one wants to pay $18 ($45 if you want a box of popcorn to watch stars integrate adult nappies, or back waxing (for men or women).  That said 2006 Australian film Kenny did provide an unexpected opportunity for porta-potties to have their 15 minutes of celluloid fame.

Pharmaceuticals although easy to integrate the products themselves into so many theatrical moments, even if the prescribing doctor does have to hold it up close to his or her face in the delicate grip of a well manicured hand, the legal requirements in many countries to list all of the possible negative side effects, response to suspected overdose or poisoning and what to do if symptoms persist would make this type of product placement somewhat cumbersome.

Oh look, my Tag Heuer Aquaracer Chronograph tells me that my Nespresso Rosabaya coffee will be perfectly brewed so it is time to sit at my Toledo patio furniture with a select piece of L├Ąderach Suisse chocolate and watch the world past me by. (not that I am expecting payments or delivery of free products, I am however able to pick any items up from an Australian based distributer in my Audi R8).

A good thing too, because otherwise I would start on how modern media integrates product launch commercials into headline news articles.

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