Tag Archives: product placement

TWEED Flashback

Great minds think alike, right? TWEED Flashback is helping minds connect by scouring the web once-a-week for any and all relevant entertainment, branded content and industry stories. Get a heads up and stay in the know with TWEED Flashback.


NFL Players Take to Twitter to Celebrate the Return of Football Mashable 07.25.11

Are you ready for some football? NFL players on Twitter certainly are.

Ryan Seacrest, Bravo Team for Show About Young, Rich Persians in LA The Hollywood Reporter 07.20.11

Much as MTV did with 20 and 30-something Italian-Americans on the Jersey Shore, Bravo will offer its viewers a peak into the world of young and moneyed Persian-Americans living in Los Angeles. The docu-series, tentatively titled Shahs of Sunset, centers on the opulent lives of young adults who together navigate their post-college lives, careers, families and traditions.

Simon Fuller Sues Fox Over “X Factor” NYT 07.20.11

In a move escalating a long-standing rivalry between Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller, two of the most powerful television producers in England — and former partners in the success of “American Idol” — Mr. Fuller filed suit Wednesday in California against the Fox Broadcasting Company over the coming “Idol”-like singing competition show, “The X Factor.”


Toyota’s GPS App Lets Kids Drive From the Backseat Adweek 07.26.11

The ToyToyota “Backseat Driver” app lets kids in the backseat take a virtual drive, linked by GPS to the parent’s actual driving route.

Kim Kardashian Suies Old Navy for Using Look-Alike Model in Ads Adweek 07.20.11

Kim Kardashian is reportedly suing Old Navy for using a model who looks like her in ads. Kardashian claims Old Navy is intentionally misleading the public into thinking she’s the endorser, not Melissa Molinaro, by doing things like pointing out the resemblance on Twitter. She’s asking for $15 million to $20 million.

McDonald’s to Introduce Multi-Year Nutrition Awareness Campaign Brand Channel 07.25.11

McDonald’s will unveil its new nutrition commitments tomorrow morning via a live webcast with Jan Fields, McDonald’s USA President, and senior director of nutrition Dr. Cindy Goody.


Domino’s Pizza Runs Unfiltered Customer Comments on Times Square Billboard Mashable 07.25.11

In an effort that may fall somewhere between brave and foolhardy, Domino’s is running an electronic ticker in Times Square displaying in real-time what consumers really think of the brand.

Bacardi Turns Facebook “Likes” Into Real-World Events PSFK 07.19.11

The line-ups for the ‘Like It Live, Like It Together’ experiences — hosted in New York and Las Vegas — were decided entirely by the brand’s online Facebook following. The fans could vote with Facebook ‘likes’ for their favorite cocktails, music acts, foods, leisure activities and forms of entertainment, which Bacardi then converted into features at their events.

Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa Accepts Fabio’s Challenge Mashable 07.25.11

Things are heating up in the battle to be the true Old Spice Guy. After Fabio threw down the gauntlet in grand style Monday morning, Isaiah Mustafa has responded in his own hyper-verbose manner.


Now You Can Watch Streaming Movies on Walmart’s Website Mashable 07.26.11

Walmart’s entree into movie streaming puts the company in competition with services like Netflix, as Vudu is available on a offered of consumer electronics devices and makes movies available the same day they are released on DVD or Blu-ray.

LinkedIn Launches Button That Lets You Apply for Jobs Mashable 07.25.11

The business-oriented social network is billing the new feature as “the future of job applications.” The company’s goal is to make the job application process as simple as a click.

Sony: World’s First Instagram Music Video Digital Buzz Blog 07.20.11

Addicted to Instagram and love music festivals? Well you might like this, Sony Music is giving you the chance to be part of a new crowdsourced Instagram video to be used for “The Vaccines” upcoming new single called “wetsuit”.


Great minds think alike, right? TWEED Flashback is helping minds connect by scouring the web once-a-week for any and all relevant entertainment, branded content and industry stories. Get a heads up and stay in the know with TWEED Flashback.


AARP Begins an Internet Radio Service, Mixing Familiar Hits with New Artists NYT 07.03.11

With constantly changing technology, and blogs that cover the latest indie bands minute-by-minute, online music is usually considered a young person’s game. But now the AARP, one of the biggest symbols of life in the gray years, is betting that a custom digital player on its Web site will rekindle its members’ love for discovering new music.

Spike Lee on the Spike Lee Brand Adweek 07.05.11

On stage with Charlie Rose on the last day of the PromaxBDA conference, Lee waxed nostalgic about his career and his brand-building efforts. He was there to receive a lifetime achievement award from the entertainment and marketing organization, and in an hour-long interview with Rose before he received his prize, Lee reflected on his film and commercial-making career, the state of the industry, and how went about honing his image.

NBA Lockout Leaves Draft Picks with Plenty of Time to Fill, Minus a Paycheck LA Times 07.04.11

So, what exactly is a locked-out draft pick, one without the protective cushion of past six-figure paychecks, supposed to do in this summer climate of NBA uncertainty.  Craigslist, you say? Have hoop, will travel.  Kidding aside, the serious issue in the early days of the NBA lockout is that the recently selected draft picks are the most immediate and visible victims.


Heineken and Google: From Entrance to Date to Engagement Brand Channel 07.01.11

Heineken’s first worldwide campaign, dubbed “Legends,” centered on YouTube, where the brand’s first spot, “The Entrance,” scored more than 3 million views globally in the first three weeks of its release in December.  The eagerly-awaited second installment in the creative brand campaign, “The Date,” premiered on Heineken’s YouTube channel late last month, and zoomed to more than 4 million hits.  Fast forward to today, when Heineken and YouTube parent Google announced a multi-year global agreement that continues leveraging YouTube and expands to mobile.

News Corp. Sells MySpace for a Song WSJ 06.30.11

News Corp. sold music and entertainment website Myspace to a little-known ad-targeting firm, shedding a onetime Internet success whose steady slide had been a distraction at the media conglomerate for years.  Specific Media, which sells ads on other websites, said it was teaming up with actor and pop star Justin Timberlake to “rebuild and reinvigorate” Myspace by making it a place to consume media and connect with entertainers, a strategy several rounds of Myspace managers have pursued unsuccessfully for years.

Zombie in Aisle 5; A-List Directors Clean Up Pitching Soap and Cookies New York Post 07.05.11

With technology now commonplace that can distribute TV marketing campaigns to larger audiences around the world than some Hollywood feature films, Madison Avenue is chock-a-block with A-List Tinseltown talent looking to spread their wings with a TV commercial or two.  And while Hollywood talent has been working Madison Avenue for decades, the types of work that successful directors and actors are willing to accept is quickly evolving.


At the Movies: Independence Day for Product Placement King Tom Hanks Brand Channel 06.30.11

We’ve already looked at the Chevy tie-in for Transformers 3 and noted how the film is the third installment in a trifecta of films — with Fast Five and Cars 2 — that make automakers squeal with delight.  So let’s look at what else is hitting theaters this Independence Day weekend, including product placement champ Tom Hanks’ new joint, and the Ford viral tie-in that managed to win out despite the timing.

How Commercial Content is Changing Editorial The Business of Fashion 06.28.11

By now, it’s a well-known fact that times are tough for traditional, ad-supported editorial outlets.  But while there’s been a great deal of discussion about the death of old business models, and the emergence of new ones, there has been relatively little said about the impact of this evolution on the actual content itself. In what ways — positively or negatively — will the rise of content created by brands and retailers transform what we call editorial?

Splitscreen Short Film Shot Entirely on Nokia N8 PSFK 06.30.11

“Splitscreen: A Love Story” was an entry in the Nokia Shorts 2011 competition, showing off mobile HD filmmaking for a top prize of $10,000. The short film was shot on a Nokia N8 mobile phone and took home the Jury prize after being premiered on the big screen at the Edinburgh Film Festival with seven other finalists.


Zynga Files for $1 Billion IPO Ad Age 07.01.11

Zynga, the social-gaming company known for “FarmVille” and “Texas HoldEm Poker,” is looking to raise $1 billion in an initial public offering, letting investors buy into a new market – virtual goods.

Facebook Pitches Social TV Adweek 06.30.11

Facebook has a message for the television world: social TV is coming. Andy Mitchell, SVP of Strategic Partner Development at Facebook, pitched a crowd of media and branding honchos at the PromaxBDA conference on Wednesday on the various ways in which he thinks his company can help the broadcast media embrace the social world.

Behind Google +’s Stealth March on Foursquare, Instagram, Gaming, Facebook, Your Life FastCompany 07.01.11

With the initial fuss about Google+ dying down, the real potential for the social system to challenge popular net apps is breaking through.

TWEED Video of the Week: Britney’s Product Placement

In her newly released four-and-a-half-minute music video, Britney Spears features her own personal fragrance Radiance, Make Up Forever eye-shadow, Sony electronics, and the dating website PlentyOfFish.com which was said to be the only paid placement.

According to a New York Times article, “Plentyoffish.com, has made a name for itself by engaging in one of the more traditional forms of branded entertainment: paying to have itself placed in scenes in music videos.

“With revenue from record sales declining, bands, singers and other artists can make money by integrating products into their performances.” However, “the line between what is the right amount of brand integration and what is too much is a fine one.”  Take a look at “Hold it Against Me” and let us know what you think.

Video of the Week: Going ‘Gaga’ For Product Placement

In our raciest Video of the Week to date, Lady Gaga debuts her music video for “Telephone,” featuring product placement from familiar partners Polaroid and Virgin Mobile.

The artist boasts existing relationships with both brands (Gaga teamed with Virgin in December 2009 to produce the Monster Ball Tour, and was named Creative Director for a specialty line of Polaroid products earlier this year)—so it comes as no surprise that both brands receive prominent placement in this NSFW short film.

Without further ado, put your headphones, sit back, and enjoy “Telephone” (a nod, it seems, to both Michael Jackson and Quentin Tarantino):

Offending Our English Sensibilities


Just over 70 years ago, in February 1928 Scotsman John L Baird – demonstrated the first transmission of human faces and other moving images by radio across the Atlantic.

He had succeeded in sending the "sound of a face" some three thousand miles from London to New York.   I love that expression, don’t you? It’s the kind of thing a trendy, skinny creative in a shiny Soho agency would say: “Shall we have a ‘Sound of Face’ Skype call at 5?”


Amazing, isn’t it, when you think of it? We (us Brits or Scots) created ‘The Televisor’ (as it was called then) but have been one of the slowest nations to grasp the commercial benefits that it might bring to us, whether via sponsorship or product placement.


However, recently there have been rumblings and grumblings in the press over here that Culture Secretary, Ben Bradshaw, is currently looking into formalizing the practice of product placement within TV shows. 


This, as some of you might know, is a complete U turn from Mr. Bradshaw’s predecessor Andy Burnham. He felt that product placement could harm editorial independence and that nasty brands might hurt or contaminate the audiences in some way – thereby insulting the intelligence of directors, programme-makers and audiences.


Burnham’s prudish Victorian approach had the dangerous possibility of forcing us into a world where every product on television has to look ‘Vanilla’ so as not to offend or influence the viewers’ delicate sensibilities.

Oh, I feel I am going all Charlotte Bronte now!  

Mr. Burnham was quoted as saying ‘As a viewer, I don’t want to feel the script has been written by the commercial marketing director”–Yikes!  What strange world does Mr Burnham inhabit? A world where commercial directors can actually write scripts?


A couple of things that Mr. Burnham failed to take into consideration is that brands are part of everyday life, therefore audiences expect to see them in television shows. 

I am sure that Mr. Burnham would probably turn red with rage, have a nosebleed and immediately fall over if he knew that product placement has been teasing viewers with its ‘petticoat’ within UK television for a very long time. 

I ran a product placement agency during the late 90’s, so I should know.  

We used to target key shows and provide the products free of charge and were not able to formalize any of our actions but it was effectively a happy marriage with the production companies and broadcasters. And guess what? Nobody got hurt and no one was contaminated!

Now it seems that Ben Bradshaw finally wants to formalize Product Placement and I say it’s about time, too. This is a potential revenue stream for broadcasters and an interesting creative outlet for brands.    I’m sure that John L. Baird would see it as a natural extension of ‘The Televisor’ that he made all those years ago.

But watch out Mr. Bradshaw—there is a Mr. Dave Turtle (yes, his real name) waiting in the wings. Mr. Turtle is a spokesperson for Mediawatch UK.

I personally am always very wary of organisations with the word ’Watch’ in their titles, and I think, in Mr. Turtle’s case, I have every reason to be. He argues that, ‘We shouldn’t be using television programmes to push a product, and broadcasters need to be responsible about which audiences they’re selling to,” and goes on to claim that, “Self regulation isn’t working – do we want to go down the American road where you’re bombarded constantly?” 

Well Mr. Turtle, these changes are likely to come as early as next year and you may need a tough shell to shield you from those potential bombardments.  But fear not! Just like other forms of marketing, when Product Placement is implemented as part of an overall strategy and in keeping with story-line integrity, it can work wonders!

I personally don’t mind a trip down the American Road—it would do us all some good. With that, I’m off to keep an eye on The Televisor and try to make time for some ‘Sound of Face’ with my colleagues.


About the Author: Alex Gulland

Alex Gulland began working in the entertainment industry in 1981 with Rogers and Cowan International, working as a publicist for top artists including Elton John and Peter Ustinov and liaising with production and distribution companies like Universal and Merchant Ivory.

In the late 80’s she was a founding partner of Rogers and Cowan Entertainment, which represented brands such as Coca-Cola, Ford and Nestle Rowntree within the film and TV industry.  

Alex next moved to an agency that was building a reputation for breaking the mould of traditional advertising – Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury & Partners.  She was made a partner and creative director of their alternative marketing department, Environment Marketing.

In the late 1990’s Alex left HHCL to set up Showcase International across six European markets, establishing relationships for brands with top production companies on high profile feature film productions such Wag The Dog, Mr Bean, Shooting Fish, Entrapment, and Bridget Jones’ Dairies.

In early 2000 Alex set up Wunjo Entertainment with Russell Jarman Price, working closely with clients such as Manchester United, TSB, Pfizer and Rolls-Royce to bring their brands to life via the medium of film – a medium now firmly established as “branded content”.  

The pair were early exploiters of the internet as a powerful distribution channel for long-form content, establishing a relationship with Intel and Microsoft that provided their clients with “first mover advantage” on the ownership of channels on the worldwide Vista network. 

Looking to expand their branded content offer, in March 2006 Alex and Russell became creative partners of what is now OgilvyEntertainment and have worked with clients including Nestle, Unilever and Ford on a wide variety of branded content projects both on and off-line.


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