With the advent of DVRs, commercials seem to be falling by the wayside, so advertisers are finding more, shall we say "creative" ways to attract our attention. And maybe creative is a bit of an overstatement. Maybe in-your-face would be more accurate. It’s a little something we like to call Product Placement.
Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mind the shift toward product placement. Not even a little bit. It can even be entertaining, as long as it fits into the story. It can be as blatant and obvious as 30 Rock’s McFlurry episode (which, paid for or not, was sheer marketing genius!). And, which I might add, made my mouth water for the almighty McFlurry. Well played, advertising gurus…well played!
So, where does this product placement end, I wonder? Surely not with TV and movies. When will we see it bleeding into the pages of the books we love? And, more importantly, do we care?
As an author would I be willing to change the soda that my characters drink based on a check I receive from PepsiCo? Or to change a setting to a certain fast food joint just for some extra change in my pockets? I don’t know…maybe? How much are we talkin’???
What about the covers? Those beautifully crafted covers that we drool over? Should there be ad space for sale on those? Banner ads? Logos?
I don’t know…that may be too far even for me (and those of you who know me understand that “too far” is not a phrase I know well).
So, maybe “Sell-Out” is not my middle name. But I’m not ruling out “Coke” or “Charmin” or “Skittle”, you know, if the price is right….