Product placement markets in everything, Hollywood style

by on July 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm in Education, Film | Permalink

Last month, 18-year-old Kenya Mejia closed her valedictory address
at Los Angeles's Alexander Hamilton High School on a startling note:
publicly professing a secret passion for a classmate.

"I cannot let this opportunity just pass by," said Ms. Mejia, who is
to enroll at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall. "I
love you, Jake Minor!"

The crowd roared. Mr. Minor stood and pumped his fists in the air. A few days later, Ms. Mejia cashed a check for $1,800.

The commotion Ms. Mejia created was actually part of a ploy cooked
up by marketing executives and consultants for Twentieth Century Fox,
the Hollywood studio whose headquarters is less than two miles from
Hamilton High.

A valedictorian speech in the movie involves a similar reference.  Here is the full story.

anon July 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Another demonstration of the commercializtion of public rituals.

Maybe this will lead to getting rid of student speeches at graduations. One can hope….

massrepublican July 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Since it’s a “public” event I’m sure they prefer to think of it as “sponsorship”, a la PBS.

lisa July 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm

If all the press for a failed attempt at viral marketing is negative, is there a point at which is becomes positive in that the film is more widely discussed? Especially in forums such as this blog and others like it that, had the marketing ploy never occurred, probably would have never even been mentioned?

anonymous July 28, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Alas, the movie bombed. Deservedly so, it would seem (it’s currently at 12% at Rotten Tomatoes).

My decision not to go see it was sealed when the starlet gave some manufactured quote in pre-release publicity about doing her first “nude scene”… for a PG-13 movie. At that point it was crystal clear that they knew they had a dog on their hands and were resorting to deceptive desperation marketing.

I’d bet there are plenty of bloggers, podcasters and YouTube channel video bloggers who’d willingly do a self-consciously ironic product placement, with far greater audience reach than a high school auditorium and probably for less money. Tyler, why don’t you try this for Create Your Own Economy? Seriously.

Yancey Ward July 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Leigh,

LMAO!

xfiery July 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm

The story itself was a product placement for Fox by WSJ.
Clever huh??

Aram December 27, 2010 at 7:58 am

Cristian is right.China and these major brands of shoes and clothes have a big business.Profit will always talk when it comes to business.I bet that even Wigs are manufactered out there at a very small price and sold across the ocean at a huge price.

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