On May 5, 1998 Pearl Jam, one of the greatest bands of the last 20 years, released a song “Wishlist”. This beautiful song is about Eddie Vedder seeking fulfillment of his wishes.

There’s a line “I wish I was the full moon shining off your Camaro‘s hood” that references the car (Chevrolet Camaro) that belonged to Vedder’s wife at that time.

There is no official video for this song. This is not unusual since we all know that Pearl Jam had fought hard with music industry. So even though we’ve seen a case of “brand dropping” (Camaro’s hood) we could hardly say that this was money/brand oriented. Considering Pearl Jam’s relationship with music industry it’s almost unbelievable that Vedder would put a brand name in the song for the money.

And Now for Something Completely Different

In 2007 Transformers was the third biggest movie in the USA (319 million USD gross). It included one of the most obvious cases of product placement prostitution in recent times: there was a countless number of brands included. Among them: GMC, Chevrolet Camaro, ebay, Nokia, … and Megan Fox ;)

I should probably write a special post on Transformers and Transformers 2, but I would just like to review one placement that stuck to my mind – the Chevrolet Camaro. The fifth generation of this vehicle went on sale in the spring of 2009, so in 2007, when the movie was released, movie goers could not buy the car. It was a long wait but the movie created a buzz and helped building the expectations. Well, the car looks great and the movie managed to develop “I want to buy this product” effect. GM said that following the release of the Transformers on DVD, the company received more than 500,000 requests for more information about the Camaro, two years before it hit the showrooms.

Steve Tihanyi, GM’s general director of media operations and branded entertainment, said “The Transformers represent heroic characters. Bumblebee (main character – played by Camaro) ends up being a genuinely heroic character which is … how we wanted to position the Camaro, as this heroic car, an iconic American car.”

GM decided to put Camaro in the 2009 sequel Transformers – Revenge of the Fallen, which represents another success for the brand. The release of the movie coincided with the start of sales and Chevrolet ended 2009 with 61,618 Camaros sold.

The above mentioned product placement was successful, but I couldn’t say that for the producers of the first Transformers movie who created a two hour commercial for GM cars. There was a box office success, no doubt about that, but the movie was quite shallow and boring.

So, after blogging for about a month and analyzing product placement in movies, music videos and TV shows I think I have to borrow one Eddie’s line:

“I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good.”