Product placement in Pop Songs

Aug 23, 2012

Companies like Coca Cola spend billions of dollars on advertising each year, much of it for product placement in movies, TV and books. But sometimes it happens the other way around—products find themselves written into pop songs. From Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” to Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”, brand names have inspired some big hits…and the advertising is free.

Here’s the spiffy new video version of Record Bin Roulette:

Most people had never heard of teenage deodorant Teen Spirit until the brand got a huge boost from Nirvana’s 1991 #1 tune “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.  But as the song faded from the music charts, so did deodorant sales. Here's Nirvana and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”:

Coke didn’t have to spend a dime for all the free advertising it got when “Rum and Coca Cola” sung by the Andrews Sisters became the top single of 1945. And they didn’t have to spend any lira either when Italian chanteuse Gigliola Cinquetti hula-hooped her way through “Rum and Coca Cola” in 1975 :

Marilyn Monroe’s performance from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes likely caused sales to spike at Tiffany and Cartier. Here’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”: