Category Archives: Kacey

“He’s not selling out…he’s buying in”

For those who have been following us the past month, we hope you have learned how to spot product placement and just how prevelant it is today in all forms of media. If you find product placement interesting, you should check out the new documentary “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”, a documentary “about branding, avertising, and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising, and product placement.”  The movie basically shows the  filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, on his quest to find brands willing to insert product placement into his movie. Clever, right?

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Because the world needs more Rebecca Blacks

If it isn’t enough that people like Rebecca Black are able to go viral without any help, we now have to worry about companies like VideoViralViews pushing videos viral in order to make money on advertising through YouTube product placement. Companies are now able to buy YouTube views and Itunes ratings and comments in order to push a video into the spotlight. In return, they get free advertising on a video that will be seen by millions. Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but now at least it can buy popularity!

I bet there wasn’t an advertisement before this video when Rebecca originally posted it…

Happy Friday y’all.


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At Least They’re Getting Creative

Not all advertising is neccessarily as “sneaky” as the examples we’ve shown you. Sometimes, the more obvious, the better. Some companies have figured out that perhaps instead of spending a lot of money on advertisements hidden in music and movies that people might not even notice, they can be more successful by turning to guerilla marketing, and having begun placing their products in more unsual venues.

Take a look.

Yeah, its that small.

How's that for product placement?

Forget whereever you were going, grab your bags and head to the casino!

This is what they mean when they say advertising is ubiquitous.


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“Were you also gay back then?”

Speaking of friends, how about the movie Friends With Benefits. The comedy contains multiple references to pop culture and product placement for several brands, most notably GQ (who conveniently put Mila Kunis on their cover the month the movie was released).

However, even more noteworthy is the negative product placement for Harry Potter. Throughout the movie, there is a running joke that Justin Timberlake’s character, Dylan, used to be a huge nerd who was obsessed with Harry Potter. Which is also awfully convenient considering Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows premiered just a week before Friends with Benefits. One of several instances poking fun at the movie:

[referring to the tattoo on his waistline of a small yellow lightning bolt]
Dylan: Check it.
Jamie: A lightning bolt?
Dylan: Eighteen. Wanted super powers.
Jamie: Yeah.
Dylan: I was a little into Harry Potter back then.
Jamie: Were you also gay back then?
Dylan: Harry Potter doesn’t make you gay!
Jamie: Okay.

Not that this had any effect on Harry Potter, considering the movie grossed 125 million in its opening weekend, while Friends with Benefits grossed a mere 18.5 million in its opening weekend.

We also can’t forget about the iPad Bible app reference; first because its just hilarious, and second because the rest of the movie was filled with Sony products, considering the movie was distributed by a company owned by Sony Entertainment. But it’s no surprise that Apple’s one product placement managed to trump Sony’s multiple attempts.

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Reverse, Reverse

Have you ever seen a restaurant or brand in a movie or television show and wished it existed in real life?  While some companies, like Pixar, have chosen to stand up against product placement by using fictional places in their movies (for example having the characters hang out at “Pizza Planet” instead of “Pizza Hut”), other companies have taken advantage of fictional brands and through reverse product placement actually created new brands. Thanks to reverse product placement, you can now enjoy seafood from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in a restaurant completely based off of the movie Forrest Gump.


Another example of extremely successful reverse product placement is the Willy Wonka candy brand. Within the years following the release of the 1971 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a company called Breaker Confessions (eventually renamed Willy Wonka Brands and bought by Nestle) began selling candy from the movie such as the Everlasting Gobstobber, SweeTarts, Nerds, and Laffy Taffys.

But, they didn’t stop there. They also make use of the Golden Ticket as a way to market their brand, combining both product placement and murketing by creating  a game targeted at children.



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What’s That Sound?

Product placement isn’t always as overt of the examples we’ve shown you thus far. In fact, product placement is not even the only trick advertisers use to subtly convince  manipulate us into to buying their products.  In the past, ads have simply used catchy jingles and slogans to get our attention, instead of  everyday sounds we all recognize, like a baby crying. But, as we have shown, marketing is getting more and more advanced and advertisers have discovered that if they incorporate these sounds into their campaigns, they can significantly increase the audience’s attention and even the desirability of the product.

Neuromarketing researcher Martin Lindstrom  played participants in an experiment recordings of different familiar sounds, including “everything from McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle to birds chirping and cigarettes being lit” in order to test the reaction in their brain. According to Lindstrom, “The sound that blew the doors off all the rest — both in terms of interest and positive feelings — was a baby giggling. The other high-ranking sounds were less primal but still powerful. The hum of a vibrating cell phone was Lindstrom’s second-place finisher. Others that followed were an ATM dispensing cash, a steak sizzling on a grill and a soda being popped and poured.” Lindstrom is currently discussing with European companies about using this knowledge to implement a  new strategy in supermarkets: “piping the sound of percolating coffee or fizzing soda into the beverage department or that of a baby cooing into the baby-food aisle” (creepy right?).

For more info on Lindstrom’s research see :,32068,67342040001_1966805,00.html

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How I Sell You Products

Have you ever wondered how old shows can include current advertisements? I’ll let you in on a little secret…its not through time travel. Within the last decade, product placement has reached to a whole new level as digital product placement has begun to pervade the TV shows we all know and love . Shows are now selling out and  allowing companies to digitally insert their advertisements into episodes of shows that have already aired.  A rerun of a show three years after the original air date can be updated to include advertisements for current upcoming movies.

The President of digital product placement company Marathon Ventures, David Brenner, explains, “You could place one product in a first-run telecast, a second product what that program is rerun, and a third product when the show goes into syndication, and another product when it goes on cable.”  As much as I hate to admit it, one of my all time favorite TV shows, How I Met Your Mother, is guilty of this practice. This picture is from an episode that originally aired in 2006 and was recently played as a rerun, updated to include an advertisement for the movie Bad Teacher in the background – a movie that Jason Segel just happens to star in (coincidence? I think not!)

For more examples by Mirriad, check this out:







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