And The Brand Plays On Pt. 12
Well, it’s just getting plum silly out there.
This edition of “And The Brand Plays On” is about product placement. You know, if you see someone, in a movie or TV show, drinking a Coke or eating some KFC, it isn’t because that character has a fondness for the product, it’s because the company that makes the product has paid for the product to be there.
The practice of mentioning products in songs has been going on for a long time. But, you know, Chuck Berry didn’t get a check from GM when he sang about a “coffee colored Cadillac”. A simple reference to a part of the cultural landscape won’t stand in this day. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is a possible pay day for the popular musical artist. Why not just whore out the upcoming song to the highest bidder?
How do you get that deal done? Well, you get a guy like Adam Kluger of the Kluger Agency to represent you and, he will go around trying to facilitate a deal. This is from an email that Kluger sent to a prospective client.
I’m writing because we feel you may be a good company to participate in a brand integration campaign within the actual lyrics of one of the worlds most famous recording artists upcoming song/album.
Lyrics play an important part in the use of music as marketing, Just as a catchy tune could assail your senses, a good “jingle” or cute lyrics could become a part of society for quite some time, imagine your brand name being a part of that.
This is the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to make your product a house-hold name. The artists demographic is typically 16-35 and once we get a chance to speak further, i’m sure you’ll be glad we contacted you.
“Imagine your brand name being a part of that”; just imagine! Adam is evidently a real go getter but, not too selective. A couple of problems; first, this email was sent to a fake company that makes fake products. It’s a virtual company, Double Happiness Jeans, that exists in the online virtual community, Second Life.
On top of that, the guy who is “Director of Operations” of the fake company, Jeff Crouse, is also behind an outfit called the Anti-Advertising Agency. He’s like an anti-advertising advocate. This is from the Anti-Advertising Agency mission statement.
Through long-term commercial saturation, it has become implicitly understood by the public that advertising has the right to own, occupy and control every inch of available space. The steady normalization of invasive advertising dulls the public’s perception of their surroundings, re-enforcing a general attitude of powerlessness toward creativity and change, thus a cycle develops enabling advertisers to slowly and consistently increase the saturation of advertising with little or no public outcry.
Kind of ironic isn’t it?
If you want to see more about this, including Jeff’s email response to Kluger, go to Jeff’s blog AntiAdvertisingAgency.com.