Have you ever noticed that practically every computer you see in the movies or on TV is an Apple? Have you noticed that movies that use a lot of cars or trucks tend to use one brand or another in particular?
There’s a reason for that and it’s called product placement. There’s a whole industry dedicated to setting those things up. The deal works like this: United Truck Makers pays Placement Unlimited decent bucks to get its brand on screen and then supplies all the trucks you’ll see in the movie.
That puts United Trucks into your mind and you’ll likely think of them first if you’re buying new wheels. But it’s not just cars and trucks and it’s not just computers. It’s everything.
Are they drinking Coke or Pepsi? Are they smoking Marlboros? Do they have GE appliances? If so, dollars have changed hands. It’s not big bucks. But it’s something. And it sure is cheaper than commercials during the Superbowl or the World Series.
The question came up when a college football coach held a routine news conference the other day. Coach Bigly is sitting at a table wearing a Fenstermeister U logo warmup jacket. In front of him is a plastic water bottle. The water bottle has a big name brand label and that label is facing the camera square on.
Without saying so, the picture tells you on some level that Coach Bigly and the boys on the team, the Fenstermeister Roaring Wombats, drink Aquafina. (Note: Aquafina did not pay for the mention. But we’re open to a negotiation.)
The Wombats have yet to lose a game this season. That could change if they start playing powerhouse schools. But so far, so good for Coach Bigly’s fellas. Nevertheless, when a team wins half a dozen games in a row and loses none, it gets the attention of warmup jacket makers and bottled drinks.
Hold on, coach. Before the news conference begins, make sure that label faces the camera.
--It sure looks like trump is going to make Rick Perry the scapegoat for the Ukraine mess. Someone has to take the fall. Shame, though, because in the regular American underworld, the fall taker gets his family taken care of during his stint behind bars, and that ain’t gonna happen with poor Rick.
--The first lady made a speech the other day in which she called for the banning of vaping. Good idea. The Wessays research department can’t find a similar speech given by Michelle Obama, so Melania must have found a less obvious ghostwriter.
--Cheers for Dick’s Sporting Goods, the store chain. It turned five million dollars worth of assault rifles into scrap rather than returning them to the manufacturers when it decided to stop selling these weapons. That’s called putting your money where your mouth is.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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