Will Coke get a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame?
I may be one of the few people that actually likes product placement in movies... Provided it's done WELL.
In my opinion, intelligent product placement can tell you more about the character and even help move the story forward -- but to work well, it should be *almost* invisible.
A character with an addiction to a daily dose of caffeine can easily turn into a taste for a Starbucks Double-Shot or RedBull. A rowdy college student who guzzles beer and then crushes the cans -- can just as easily crush a Budweiser can as a Coors Light can (although my favorite would be a Guinness!)
Of course, I like the stories best that actually incorporate a brand into a major plot point. When Tom Hanks was stranded on that island talking to a volleyball, we all knew he worked for FedEx.
With the rise of Tivo and other digital recorders, watch for brand integration to play an even more prominent role in television shows. They already use it to great (and less than great) effect in reality shows -- challenges featuring Mattel toys on The Apprentice, contests on Survivor where winners get Doritos and Mountain Dew, etc.
The Future: Television Meets Blogging
With the ability to instantly link to other sites and brands through hyperlinks, this entire blog entry was riddled with affiliate links in the context of the copy -- it's been a mass example of mass consumerism.
Interactive television will build on the concept of product placement and turn viewers into consumers with the ability instantly gratify their need for their favorit television star's apparel, cellphone, or choice of snack food. Combine it with a Dominos Pizza delivery mentality, and you could literally have the products delivered to your door in 30-minutes -- before the tv show ends!
Want to see more examples of brand integration on film?
Visit BrandChannel.com's newest feature BrandCameo.
NOTE: I use a Compaq computer, drink Diet Pepsi, have a Verizon cellphone and a Palm Zire. If anyone out there is in need of a little product placement of their own inside the BrainBlog -- all you gotta do is ask.
I'm sure we can reach a profitable agreement for both of us! ;)