Tuesday, 3 April 2007

David Lynch on Product Placement

Here's what Filmmaker David Lynch thinks about product placement. Classic!

Interestingly, he doesn't like product placements, but he doesn't seem to mind directing cigarette commercials!

What do you think about product placement? I tend to agree with Mr Lynch's sentiment.

via miosite


Anonymous said...

is the David Lynch cigarette commercials pro or against smoking ?

jj said...

Haha, hard to tell isn't it.

Stan Lee said...

I'm in two minds on product placement. When it's well done, I'm all for it. When it's blatently obvious I'm against it. But like all advertising really!

jj said...

Thanks Stan,

Yeah I guess I just feel uncomfortable with it because most examples seem like they're trying to trick people. People don't like to feel tricked by advertising, and that's surely not going to work out well for the brand long-term. Can't say I've seen a great example of product placement yet, but I'll keep and open mind :)

Good branded entertainment and long-form content are another story though. I like this great Smirnoff Tea Partay video, which people liked so much it's been viewed over 2.5 million times on YouTube alone.

Anonymous said...

David Lynch extensively plugged Heineken in Blue Velvet. Here's an example.

Granted, it looks like it's giving heineken a bad image, but I'd say Lynch has done this deliberately. Throughout the film the virtuous protagonist drinks heineken, and the villan drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon. Like Stan said, when it's done well it can add to the story. People generally appreciate that.

jj said...

Thanks Tait,

Don't you just love YouTube. It's so easy to reference video now. It's quite amazing what's on there now, and growing exponentially. It's also interesting to see just how many times that little clip has been viewed.

Yep, good point Tait. That whole Heineken Pabst Blue Ribbon dialogue in the film is interesting, and debatable just how beneficial it is for Heineken.

On a forum I visit, someone else had this observation about that too. This is from their recollection of another part of the script (Not sure if it's absolutely accurate, I'd have to get the DVD out to see it again, which I think I will do).

I'd like an ice-cold Heineken.

That sounds good. Heineken.

Two Heinekens, thank you.

Man, I love Heineken. Do you love Heineken? I love Heineken.

and then later, when Jeffrey has to piss (thus missing the warning sound and triggering the whole BABY WANTS TO FUCK scene) he blames the Heineken, and later still Dennis Hopper spits in his face for drinking Heineken instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon. In the shooting script there are about half a dozen more references to it."

Anonymous said...

Haha, yes YouTube is a god-send as far as referencing goes.

This forum you visit talks of the real clip i was looking for on YouTube. If anything, it only reveals Lynch's use of product placement to be as ambiguous and dreamlike as his films.

To answer if it's beneficial to heineken, I'd say it most definitely is. The fact that it's an integral part to a David Lynch film far outweighs the message. It's probably one of the cleverest uses of product placement ever. The scenes almost mock and parody product placement, mirroring Lynch's sentiments on the video you posted. But they are mysterious enough to reflect a positive brand association.

Although it's not a very accountable method, it would be wise for directors to mimic it because it works. I'd almost go as far as saying it has a more positive effect than subtle and 'truthful' product placement.

I guess that has something to do with the target/viewer: media savvy intellectuals who cannot be fooled, but want to be in on the joke.

jj said...

Yes, I agree, it's a very creative use of a product in a film script, or at least an brilliant critique of product placement itself. I'm not sure there a many clients who would brave enough to approach it in this way.

That reminds me, I seem to remember that Seinfeld had some interesting product placements is the show - for Snapple and other products, that seem to fit quite intelligently within the script. Larry David is a brilliant writer, I think.

Anonymous said...

Haha yes I guess at the end of the day the bottom line is, 'will the client risk it?'

Probably not. But there are a handful that will.

And yes, Seinfeld was pure genius. Remember the Juji Fruits episode? Kramer drops one into the open stomach of a man while viewing a surgery.

Like I said, genius.