When I started watching the movie Sex and the City I immediately noticed lyrics in the opening song. It's the song Labels of Love, performed by Fergie.
Shopping for labels, shopping for love
Manolo and Louis, it’s all I’m thinking of
Buying things is hard to say
Rocking Christian Audigier, Manolo, Polo, taking photos in my Cartier
The song was recorded for the movie soundtrack and yes, it's about brands and shopping. It's also another great way to strenghten your brand – if you're Manolo, Louis, Christian, … Fergie once said “I grew up watching Sex and the City and I know a lot of my girlfriends did as well. We felt like these characters were our friends, so to be a part of this project has been amazing.”
That statement adds another dimension to the whole collaboration. It gives us a message that Fergie’s lyrics are sincere and we should really believe her when she’s singing “Don’t cry, buy a bag and then get over it!”
The so called »brand dropping« is not an unusual approach. All readers probably know Janis Joplin's song »Mercedes Benz« where she sings: ”Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz. My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.” Of course we can't talk about product placement in the song, because Joplin wrote the song as a critical commentary on materialistic world and placing too much value on items like Mercedes Benz or Porsche.
But there are hundreds of cases of brand dropping in music industry. For example, one company (Kluger Agency) is specialized in product placement in popular music. But more on that topic in couple of weeks.
To conclude this short reflection on product placement in music I would like to simulate the use of branded content in a real song. I chose a fantastic song Cornerstone, performed by one of my favorites: Arctic Monkeys.
Original lines (at 2:42 in the video):
I saw your sister in the Cornerstone on the phone to the middle man
When I saw that she was on her own, I thought she might understand
She was close, well you couldn't get much closer
She said “I'm really not supposed to, but yes, you can call me anything you want”
Would you mind if they sing:
I saw your sister in an Apple store on iPhone to the middle man