March 13th, 2008

Product Placement in Songs More Intentional Than We Know

By Adam Bemma
Exclaim News (Canada)

It’s a well-known fact that some of your favourite artists have been known to act as corporate shills once in awhile, using their music to promote everything from cars to burgers to jewelry.

But it’s a little known fact how these stars are approached to include these products into their songs in the first place. Take Fergie’s hit single “Glamorous” as an example, where she cites both her fast-food addiction and automobile preferences.

“I still go to Taco Bell, drive-through, raw as hell/I like to go cool out with the family, sippin’/reminiscing on days when I had a Mustang.” Poetic product placement bliss!

Lyrics Marketing is a firm based in the U.S. that’s dedicated to the seamless integration of products into today’s hit music. Lyrics Marketing President, Mike Krasney, says that he’s taking the concept of marketing and product placement and bringing it to a whole new level in an industry that seems to be losing large amounts of money daily.

His objectives are to team marketers and singer-songwriters together, so they have similar demographics and objectives in the marketplace. “It’s always been done,” Krasney told Exclaim!. “Ever since the 1920s people have been putting products into songs.”

Krasney brings up the baseball classic “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as an example that shows what a song can do for sales of a particular product in a particular place: Cracker Jacks in stadiums across North America.

Although Lyrics Marketing doesn’t advertise which artists are clients of theirs, they do use “samples” on their website. Artists like Jimmy Buffett, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood “inadvertently” use their music to market and sell products like cheeseburgers, Cherry Coke and Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

According to Krasney, none of these particular musicians are signed to his company. “We have a stable of songwriters and advertisers as we speak,” Krasney said.

Maybe it’s better that you don’t know who’s selling out. Literally.

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