If you think product placement in the movies and on prime time television was a pretty much contained concept, prepare yourself to be subjected to all manner of branded products in the hands of your favourite characters as a new online agency provides facilities for brands to “get clients’ products onto the right shows at the right price”.
C3B Hollywood have unleashed an online tool that allows companies to list the products they want to see in hit shows and big budget movies. Cameron Clement and partner John Fluke offer “personalised service to clients who decide what shows they want to see their products on and how prominent the placement is”, read one press release.
Product placement has proven successful for companies with blatant examples including Will Smith donning Converse in I Robot, Uma Thurman strutting in Puma in the Kill Bill series, Bond showing off his Omega in Casino Royale, Apple computers spotted in several scenes in Mission: Impossible, and even Head & Shoulders shampoo rearing its head in Evolution.
But the concept of corporations unabashedly flaunting their wares in cinema goes way back to when Humphrey Bogart first swigged from a bottle of Gordon’s Gin in The African Queen (1951, still pictured above).
And if you think that serious bastion of entertainment – cinema – is selling out big-time, turn on your telly and tune into shows like Gossip Girl, Glee, even new favourite Revenge, to see characters subtly endorsing everything from ‘smart’ water to smartphones.
Two of the biggest culprits are America’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in which the participants always appear to be brandishing Sears tools, and American Idol where host Ryan Seacrest constantly suggests viewers at home download contestants’ songs via Apple iPods as the judges sip copious amounts of Coke.
“For every product we put on a set, we can easily place hundreds more,” says Clement of C3B. “I tell many clients how easy it is to get their products on a show using this system and the response I often get is the same: ‘It can’t be that easy.’ But with our website, it actually is. And it has proven itself with many, many shows. We are always seeking more and more brands to take advantage of our system.”
Get ready for the marketing onslaught, then.
See what else these unabashed brand bashers are up to at their site www.c3bhollywood.com.