The First Rule Of Product Placement In Songs: You Don't Talk About Product Placement In Songs

from the that-ought-to-make-quite-a-tune dept

We’ve pointed out recently that as brand advertisers recognize increasingly that content is advertising, they’re looking to all sorts of new ways to do “product placement” in places you might not expect. For example, we’ve talked about product placement in novels. But, what better place for product placement than in a song? Lots of famous songs mention brand names, and it seems some creative advertisers are now going out and trying to sell such placement. At least that’s what’s being suggested after some guys who received an unsolicited offer to have their brand in a song went and published the email they received. The email notes:

“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.”

Of course, now there’s also something of a dispute concerning the publicizing of the email. The guy who apparently sent the email is threatening to sue the recipients who posted it to their blog — though it’s entirely unclear what they’d be suing over, other than that someone called them out for their marketing practices.

In the meantime, I don’t see any problem with bands mentioning brands in their songs, but it seems like there are much better ways of doing that, which don’t seem quite so tacky as unsolicited emails asking people to pay up to get included in a song.

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Comments on “The First Rule Of Product Placement In Songs: You Don't Talk About Product Placement In Songs”

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21 Comments
Curious George says:

I'd like to know

I’d like to know what is wrong with posting an unsolicited email.

What’s next, snail mail spam that I am not allowed to shread ?
Or maybe telephone spam I am not allowed to fast forward and delete. If you give me something, isn’t it mine to do with what ever I please ?

And lets not forget the guy that said going to the bathroom during a commercial is stealing TV.

Mark says:

My baloney has a first name...

Serious music is not supposed to have commercials in it. Ever since Milly Vanilly or Vanilly Ice we should know that when you listen to commercial radio even the songs are commercials. But they used to just be a commercial for themselves, played over and over through payola or creative licensing schemes. Soon J-Lo will be selling her perfume and 50¢ his cars while we play them on the juke box. But what could possibly be worse than hearing what were devoutly counter-culture anti-commercial bands like Led Zepilin and Black Sabbath or newer underground people like The Fall, Nick Drake, Santogold in car tire commercials or soft drink commercials? I really removes the feeling that just you and some of your friends know about them and they are yours, and puts them into the realm of Rancid and Limp Bizkit. I am a big fan of the free market but quit co-opting my favorite musicians!!! Underworld should not be background music on National Geographic!!!

Evan (profile) says:

Re: My baloney has a first name...

As much as I dislike Limp Bizkit, there is something good to be said about them-

As commercialized as they were in their heyday, they have always been anti-censorship, anti-RIAA, and all for the promotion of and sharing of free music.

When Napster first took hits from the RIAA and other organizations for facilitating P2P music sharing, Limp Bizkit was one of the first groups to hop on board the Napster train.

They help multiple free concerts in support of Napster, along with other acts.

Anyway, just pointing out that they aren’t all bad.

Also- your notion that “just you and some of your friends know about them and they are yours” screams of elitism.

I, too, listen to underground music, but I share it with everybody I know every chance I get.

If you are making music, isn’t exposure a good thing?

Michael (user link) says:

This goes back a bit

Getting a name drop in a major rap song has been a little business all its own for the past few years. But it’s a double-edged sword, as artists can be volatile and end up in the news for the wrong reasons.

In Africa, it is not uncommon for performers to write songs praising individuals that pay to be immortalised. It’s one way of getting some money out of the music business.

Is that where we are now in Europe and the US?

There has also been some spillover in the other direction: ads that became hits. The two best-known examples are “I’d Like to teach the Word to Sing” (Coke) and “I Pull my Blue Jeans On”, sung By David Dundas (I can’t remember the brand!).

Anonymous Coward says:

NEIL YOUNG LYRICS
“This Note’s For You”

Don’t want no cash
Don’t need no money
Ain’t got no stash
This note’s for you.

Ain’t singin’ for Pepsi
Ain’t singin’ for Coke
I don’t sing for nobody
Makes me look like a joke
This note’s for you.

Ain’t singin’ for Miller
Don’t sing for Bud
I won’t sing for politicians
Ain’t singin’ for Spuds
This note’s for you.

Don’t need no cash
Don’t want no money
Ain’t got no stash
This note’s for you.

I’ve got the real thing
I got the real thing, baby
I got the real thing
Yeah, alright.

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