Have you ever heard of product placement in novels? Yeah, me neither! This issue recently was one of the topics of discussion on a listserv to which I belong and I have to say that I don't like this concept! Growing up, I was a real live 10-year-old-latch-key-afternoon-orphan. I caught the bus home, openned the door with the key that I kept on a chain around my neck and did my homework with the TV on in the background until my mom got home from work or I finished my homework. I guess growing up with the Brady family and all of those evil "aimed at innocent children like myself" comercials that created my very real "NEED" for a Lite-Brite set or that Hungry-Hungry-Hippos game (that I never got) made me immuned against the knee jerk reaction some people have against product placements in the movies and TV shows that we watch. It is just part of the product … the people on the screen drink Diet Coke or clean their kitchens with a Swiffer Mop or whatever. You know what I'm talking about, right? Anyways, this kind of product placement is now turning up in books and for some reason it really bothers me that this is happening! Authors now, apparently, are selling product placements to the highest bidders. Ford is doin' it. Cover Girl Cosmetics is doin' it, and I guess that even high end watch maker Bulgari is doin' it. It is rather odd and it bothers me, but if you think about it, if Shakespeare were writing books for today's market he'd probably be selling product placements too. After all, we now think of Shakespeare's plays as some of the greatest literature of all time, but when he was writing and producing plays, wasn't his work the American Idol of its day? That's why I'm guessing that if a buck could've been made it is very possible that:
1) Romeo would have killed Tybalt with a Glock handgun
2) The servants in both houses would have been contracted out through The Maids (and be dressed in the appropriately sharp uniforms)
3) Romeo and Juliet would be burried in caskets purchased from Costco online
4) Flowers at their funerals would be provided through their local FTD Florist
With this in mind am I over reacting to the whole product placement thing?