Category Archives: Kate


What better way to make a profit and live up to your movie’s name than to include tens of embedded product placement, including advertising for nearly every athletic gear company in America? In Moneyball Brad Pitt wears everything from North Face to Puma to Adidas. One might say this is a conflict of interest but remember, they’re all winning in the end. What man is not going to buy whatever Brad Pitt wears?

North Face. Pepsi.




Southwest Airlines.


Pepsi again. One of the major conflicts in the entire movie is that the players want free Pepsi in the clubhouse.

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Footloose and Fancy, Maybe Not Free

Recently, producers released a remake of the classic 1984 film, Footloose. While those involved in the production process were careful to stick to the original in many ways, new products are embedded in the remake, while other products featured in the earlier version have been dropped.

For example, the iconic VW beetle, a sporty Formula V, that made its debut over two decades ago returns again to plug Volkswagen, and advertisements for the film feature images of the comeback car. While stars sport new shoes in favor of the old Nikes in the 1984 version, the red cowboy boots featured in the original also returned for the 2011 release. The red boots, perhaps the single most iconic and recognizable image from the film, serve to convert the motion picture into a full length shoe advertisement.

Furthermore, HSN now markets these red cowboy boots, in a clear example of horizontal product integration, a process through which manufacturers tout a product and use several forms of advertising and means of consumption to market it. In a similar move, the producers of the modern Footloose have released a magazine featuring outfits and fashions from the film in order to promote further sales.

Footloose has many official partners, including Greyhound buses, which are also featured on other poster editions. To encourage audiences’ continued interaction with the product, far after the film ends, Greyhound and other partners have introduced sweepstakes and other interactive features to ensure that those who see the movie will not soon forget it (nor will they put their pocketbooks away).


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Turtle, Get the Maserati

In honor of Mark Wahlberg’s Entourage, a program which started as a cult HBO series and became a mainstream prime time sensation, and its series finale earlier this fall, we’re dedicating a post to taking an inside look at product placement in the show. Perhaps no other hit program has featured so many advertisements for cars, booze, clothing, and everything in between. Furthermore, any product embedded in Entourage is automatically cool. What Vinny Chase uses, anyone in his right mind would want to use.

From Ducatis to Maseratis to Budweisers and Urth Caffé, Vinny and his gang promote any and everything, and the show’s producers, and advertising partners, are well aware of this. As a result, each episode turns into a 27 minute plug of the latest electronics, automotive, and food products.

I took a look at one episode, “Drive,” which was released in 2009, and found a wide range of product placements throughout the narrative. In the episode, Vince’s friends mention David Letterman’s show, and Vince himself appears on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. The scene is even shot on the show’s set, and features an interview with Leno himself. If you watch carefully, even the subtlest of advertisements are suddenly clear; for example, Ari Gold has a mug sitting on his office desk.

Johnny Drama is the king of breakfast. He doesn’t often not cook breakfast, but when he does, he eats Cascadian Farms cereal and granola.

The boys stay educated by reading the LA Times.

Just bought a Cadillac, throw some d’s on that.

I didn’t even know what Gelson’s was, but when I saw Sloane with a bag, I knew I had to look it up. This takes product placement a step further, and it has me looking for store locations here on the east coast.

That’s one secret I’ll never tell. Xoxo, Gossip Girl.

Skyy Vodka is the limit.

If you don’t have an iMac, well then you…. don’t have an iMac. And you have no place working at Miller Gold Agency, either. Can you spell FIRED?!

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We’re All the Same in “Thinking Differently.”

 This past week, Steve Jobs, the chairman, co-founder and CEO of Apple  Inc., passed away at the age of 56. The entrepreneur will be  remembered as a revolutionary in the  field of electronics and computer  technology, and his footprint extends far  beyond the products he helped to create;  Apple Products, perhaps more than any  others, have anomalously high product    placement potential, and since 2001,  Apple products have reportedly appeared  in 1/3 of all number one films in US box  offices.  How’s that for a legacy?

The overriding message in this embedded marketing strategy, of course, is, to borrow a phrase from Jobs, that if you don’t have an iPhone… well, you don’t have an iPhone. And that implicitly means you’re missing out. Macs, more than any other brand, are associated with youth and cool. I mean please, Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Piven wouldn’t be caught dead with PCs.

In fact, Apple got so big that its reputation for  churning out new products before you can even  get your hands on what’s already been released,  and for branding a wholly new American  lifestyle, served as the framework for an episode of South Park, endearingly titled, “The  HUMANCENTiPAD,” which simultaneously  mocks and applauds Apple for its technology and  all-encompasing social and media messages.

We R Who We R (And What We Buy).

One of the most popular examples of product placement in music is alcohol. And whether you do or don’t wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy, it’s hard to forget that when Ke$ha leaves she brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack.

(Is Ke$ha seriously trying to tell us she only drinks Revolución Tequila and surfs when she’s out at clubs, though? And of course she only knows when to go home and make curfew because of her pink Baby-G watch.)

Speaking of Diddy, did you hear he’s doing a spot for Ciroc now? How’s that for advertising?

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What’s The Deal

Have you ever heard of product placement? No, so you’re thinking, ‘what the hell is that?’ Chances are you’re pretty familiar with it and you just don’t know it. How many times have you watched a moviewhere the mom reaches into her Energystar refrigerator and pulls out a carton of Tropicana orange juice? That many times. 

How many times does Turtle take the keys to the Maserati and drive the boys of Entourage to lunch at Urth Caffe in L.A.?

So you do know what product placement is. It’s a form of advertisement where branded goods or services are embedded into the story line of various media forms, ranging from television to movies to music and articles. Today, this form of branded entertainment is more common and prevalent than ever.

In fact, it’s downright outrageous when you actually examine product placement in an episode of TV or a hit radio song on a case-by-case basis. The worst part is, advertisers are increasingly abandoning subtlety in favor of blatant, and often ridiculous, product placement spots.

Here, we’re going to break down both the most basic, and absurd, of embedded marketing strategies by taking a closer look (well, not that much closer) at everything from Gossip Girl to American Idol to Beyonce’s latest music videos. Read what we have to say and then try to tell me Serena Van Der Woodsen isn’t selling out next time she texts Blair from her BlackBerry.