Product Placement in My Own LIfe

Today I was reading an editorial in The Washington Post. Harold Meyerson wrote “This Movie Is Brought to You by…,” and here it is: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040602662.html

He’s reporting on a New York Times article about a fellow named Jordan Yospe whose job it is to place brand-name products in movies as a source of funding for the movies.

Having been to a Seder dinner last week, I got a laugh out of this passage:

“Had Yospean perspectives only been given their due in earlier times, the historic tension between art and commerce might have diminished.  Imagine:… The Seder table in “The Last Supper” festooned with glagons of Manischewitz red.”

As often happens when I read the paper, I think of applications in my own life.  So today I was wondering what it would look like if I went through my normal life being paid to endorse the products I use.  What a responsibility!  Would the sponsors be helped or hurt by my endorsements?

  • How about my MIO sports watch, if my heart rate never gets to the 75% zone I aim for when exercising?
  • How about the Onitsuka Tiger shoes that get derisive comments (“Got enough color on your shoes?” “Trying out for an eighties junior high school cheerleading squad?”) every day at the gym?   The only appropriate comeback is “they have purple laces that I can switch out also.” http://www.zappos.com/onitsuka-tiger-by-asics-ultimate-tiger-black-ice-green
  • How about my Mars Hill Graduate School handy-dandy commuter mug?
  • Or the t-shirt I wear advertising my father’s stable’s horse, Aikenite, a potential Kentucky Derby prospect?
  • Would authors I read want to be associated with me or should I remove the book jackets?
  • I drive a MINI Cooper proudly, yet do I make MINIs less cool with my decidedly grey hair (I’m paranoid since someone said to me this very week, upon seeing my hair grey for the first time, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”)?

We all market things all day long.  Which I find rather appalling since I’m constantly (actually, yes, constantly) railing about “why anyone would want to give free advertising to Dolce and Gabbana or Ralph Lauren on their clothes.”

While watching movies, my husband often whispers to me, as Meryl Streep downs a Diet Coke, “product placement.”  I now hear my own internal voice, thanks to Meyerson and Yospe, reminding me that I should be getting paid for all this free advertising I’m doing and that I hope I’m doing my sponsors proud.

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~ by Cary on April 7, 2010.

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