I know that by now you’re familiar with the Lady Gaga video featuring a jar of Miracle Whip. The video is replete with brands, some of which paid for their placement in the video and others who did not. In the case of Miracle Whip, they paid, because the brand is entering into a campaign to reposition the product to reach a younger audience, and Lady Gaga certainly reaches a younger audience.
The recently launched iPad, too, has found its way into television programs, like Modern Family. A Wall Street Journal article reports research by Nielsen indicating that Apple products have found placement “722 times on TV programs last year.” The article goes on to report that Apple never pays for product placement.
The New York Times reports in a similar vein that movie producers are moving in the direction of using more and more product placements. Not that they didn’t use them before, but now scripts are being written with products in mind. Although, product placement isn’t going to go away, from a larger perspective the over-commercialization of the culture is in my opinion not a particularly good thing. Can materialism go to too far? I guess I’m of a mind that we get the culture we deserve, so if consumers are willing to tolerate product placement, then we can expect more of it. That is what the animated film Logorama that I wrote about a few weeks ago was trying to point out. In the case of product placement, freebees or paid, should the marketer participate in this system, which is somewhat symbiotic? In other words, is there a place for restraint and perhaps social responsibility? But writing scripts with products in mind and the over-placement of products in various media, to my way of thinking, may be overkill. Anyone want to start a movement?