Seven cases of egregious product placement in music videos
Does the camera linger a bit too long on that (cellphone/car/liquor bottle/gadget) in your favorite music video? Chances are, it's no accident.
According to a report by the research firm PQ Media cited in The New York Times last year, the amount of money spent by advertisers on product placement in music videos has more than doubled in the last decade.
If anything, product placement in music videos might be growing at a more rapid pace today. While MTV blurs out brand names in the few videos it airs these days, Vevo -- the music-video partner of YouTube formed by Universal Music Group and Sony BMG -- "works as a conduit between the world's largest music companies and brand marketers," Vevo exec Rio Caraeff said in the same Times story.
With the high price of videos and the cratering of revenue from the sales of music, it's easy to see why artists and labels have turned to this pot of money. But it's not always easy to watch. What follows are seven recent, unartful examples of product placement in music videos. There are countless others. Please share your favorites in the comments section.
7. Lee DeWyze, "Sweet Serendipity"
This clip bops along for a little over 30 seconds before viewers are hit over the head with a Microsoft Sync appearance. There's also plenty of screen time for Sony's Bloggie social media phone. You'll find Sony products popping up a lot in recent music videos, which makes sense when you remember that Sony BMG owns more than a quarter of the U.S. music market.
6. Avril Lavigne, "What the Hell"
Three of the video's first 11 seconds are dedicated to a Sony Vaio laptop computer and a Sony flat-screen TV, and those come after the appearance of the Converse star above a row of shoes. Stick around a few more seconds for Avril's perfume brand. Lavigne's Abbey Dawn line of clothes get a plug, and you'll also get good, long look at the front and back of a Sony Ericsson cell phone.
5. Ke$ha, "We R Who We R"
There are times when this looks like an ad for Revolucion Tequila, but then it starts to look like an ad for PlentyofFish.com, a dating site was near-ubiquitous in pop-music vidoes last year (apparently due to a partnership with Interscope Records). And don't forget to show us those Baby G watches.
4. Kylie Minogue, "All the Lovers"
They had to bring in a whole fleet of BMWs to make them noticeable amongst all of the nubile, near-nude bodies.
3. Lady Gaga, "Telephone"
There are many products in this epic, but advertisers didn't necessarily pay for placement. Thanks to Newser.com for sorting out the paid vs. unpaid product placements here: Wonder Bread (unpaid), Miracle Whip (paid), Diet Coke (unpaid), Virgin Mobile (Gaga's tour sponsor), Polaroid (Gaga is Polaroid's "creative director"), Heartbeats headphones and Beats laptop (unpaid) and PlentyofFish.com (dubbed "unclear" by Newser).
2. Britney Spears, "Hold it Against Me"
TMZ reported earlier this year that this video pulled in $500,000 for its bevy of product placement. PlentyofFish.com is browsed, various Sony electronics devices are prominent, her own Radiance perfume gets a starring role and there are lingering looks at Make Up Forever eye shadow.
1. Black Eyed Peas, "The Time (Dirty Bit)"
The Black Eyed Peas aren't ever shy about product placement in their videos, but this one has a twist. RIM's Blackberry Playbook tablet -- which is vying for a share of the iPad market -- is featured prominently here, but, as the blog Obamapacman.com points out, the Playbook is shown at one point as the song's lyrics endorse Apple. "It's gotta be the Apple I'm the mac daddy, y'all." BEP are no sellouts.