Placement of Products

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Musical product placement

Yet another twist on the traditional product placement! We shouldn’t be surprised anymore—all traditional media is being reinvented, so it makes sense that traditional product placement should be as well.

I ran across an article (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/3/prweb361600.htm) that discussed musical product placement. My first thought was that brands were paying artists to mention their product in songs. Indeed, rap artists have already taken to mentioning Escalades and Sean John clothing in their songs, so getting compensation for this wouldn’t be an idea that was too far off the spectrum. However, what I read about was completely different.

A studio called Movie Records has invented this new idea of musical product placement. They will compile a soundtrack for a movie. One song will be chosen as the single to be released to promote that movie. In return, the movie has to incorporate the band or singer into the plotline, or have them be mentioned a few times. If this is impossible, then the plot has to be rearranged so that somehow, the characters end up at a concert of the artist.

Product placement is supposed to have products incorporated, hopefully seamlessly, into the plot. So why should a musical artist be any different? They are all selling an image, a brand—what does it matter if they are real people? It’s taking it to a new level that I think has potential to expand into other areas. Product placement seems to be asking: What can’t we do?!

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