Music videos have long been a sandbox for product placement, but apparently the practice is turning into product disgracement.

Exhibit A via MediaPost’s Engage:GenY blog, regarding fun’s “We Are Young” video:

The song used during the [Chevy Sonic Super Bowl ad] stood out — music has always been a cultural touch point with Millennials — so I was soon looking up the band and checking out the video. It’s a beautiful slow-motion club scene … that is shamelessly interrupted by a Windows phone that tries to steal the spotlight from the band with a screen shots of the device that fill the frame. It’s an obvious product placement for a less-than-hip brand trying to get in with the band and win over Millennials. In short, it’s forced and doesn’t show any understanding of the audience.

Judge for yourself:


Sneak ADtack! Prediction: The increasingly intrusive nature of product placement  (see here for another egregious example) will eventually undermine the practice.

Stealth marketers, don’t say you weren’t warned.


John Carroll, who also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town, is a media analyst and mass communication professor at Boston University.
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