Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

120

October 14, 2010 • Editorials

Product Placement Goes to New Heights (Lows?)

NewImage.jpg

The world looked on when all 33 Chilean miners were brought to the surface safely there was much to celebrate. The world looked on and, for once, it was all good news. How often does THAT happen???

Then I was checking my Twitter feed and I saw this Tweet from Travis…

Twitter _ Search - travisehrlich.jpg

It made me laugh.

Then this morning I read on 9to5 Mac (image from there also) that Steve Jobs gave each of the miners an iPod. This was a nice gesture, but I think they would have been even more appreciated during the miners’ 68 days under ground. “So what did you do for 68 days stuck there?” “I won Plants vs Zombies three times, I am going through Angry Birds for the second time, and my Farmville Farm is doing great!”

Putting 2 and 2 together (Oakley Glasses and iPods) I got to wondering. Product placement is commonplace on TV and in movies; case in point, on this week’s How I Met Your Mother the product placement was just about the most egregious I have seen. Are disasters the new venue for this sort of promotion?

UPDATE: Larry just gave me an FYI that… The miners were specifically not given items like Mp3 players, PSPs etc. because the doctors felt that items like them are to exclusionary and may cause the miners to start to become to solitary, drifting away from each other (with their headphones plugged in etc.)  They wanted to make sure they stayed together as a team/group.

9 Responses to " Product Placement Goes to New Heights (Lows?) "

  1. Joel McLaughlin says:

    A Panasonic Toughbook was used to communicate medical data while they were on their ascent. PLUS I noticed many of the miners had a new T-shirt on and I also noticed that they all looked pretty clean for spending 60 some days underground!

    Of COURSE this happens when the internationals find out….they want to show that they are doing something for the good of the people when in reality it is all about selling the glasses the Chilean miners used. Oh and then their are the book deals.

    If there is a way to profit from disaster, the companies will figure it out.

  2. Well, there is product placement and there is ‘relief with benefits’. I would call Apple doing the former, Oakley doing the latter. There were legit concerns about the eyes of the miners, so Oakley handing out glasses is no different than anyone else with a product giving it to the relief effort. As for the iPods … opportunistic!

    It is like the contrast between your example of How I Met Your Mother to last night’s The Middle – the boss at the car dealership writes a check to save the school cross country team … but of course he also demands to be the sponsor shown on the front & back of the shirts.

    • Dan Cohen says:

      Well, there is product placement and there is ‘relief with benefits’. I would call Apple doing the former, Oakley doing the latter. There were legit concerns about the eyes of the miners, so Oakley handing out glasses is no different than anyone else with a product giving it to the relief effort. As for the iPods … opportunistic!

      Interesting distinction… thanks.

  3. Travis Ehrlich says:

    I actually saw the Oakley issue as Michael did, but it did jump out at me when the first miner came up. Of course I wear Oakley glasses every single day so maybe that is why I noticed. One of my students this morning said, “I wish I could have got a free pair of Oakleys and an iPod!” I told them we could dig a deep hole and let them live there for 69 days and see if that is worth it. LOL I’m sure these guys will get all kind of crazy offers now but would gladly trade all of it for this never happening!

  4. Product Placement Goes to New Heights (Lows?) #gadgets http://bit.ly/9y22t4

  5. RT @geardiarysite: Product Placement Goes to New Heights (Lows?) http://bit.ly/bzOSsU

  6. dino says:

    RT @GearDiarySite: Product Placement Goes to New Heights (Lows?) http://goo.gl/fb/8lfPL

Leave a Reply