The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In this edition of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly we have product placement in films, phone upgrade options and start-up catering options:




Quantum of Solace – 007 returns in the Quantities of Cash, product placement cash. Looking more like a luxury advert for Omega and the Ford Motor Company Daniel Craig puts in a great performance as brand spokesperson par excellenceIndependence Day – Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith demonstrate the Apple laptops resilience to malware from outer space to vanquish little green men and take cinema-goers on a rollercoaster ride. There was a strong film/marketing synergy with Apple across all promotional activities.Back to the Future – When I first saw this at the cinema I was astounded by the blatant brand close-ups. But without BTTF there couldn’t be Daniel Craig as marketing spokesperson. Tight logo shots and fimsy product integration for Aiwa personal stereos, JVC video cameras, Nike sneakers, Toyota pick-ups and Calvin Klein underwear showed how we were all Material Girls and Boys in the mid 80s.
Happy with my handset, but you can take your contract and shove it – lots of things are changing in the mobile world. Many of the must-have handsets need at least another iteration to get right. Meanwhile once ARPU rate declines, market saturation kicks in and handset deals stagnate the mobile phone companies may crack open their piggy-banks and offer more reasonable tarrifs. My upgrade this year is a new battery for my Nokia E90.

iPhone / Blackberry Storm / T-Mobile G1 on an 18-month contract – Your mobile phone company has just made you their property and you’ll have a phone that will look grubby in next to no time due to your fingerprints on it. Oh yeah, battery life: battery half-life more like it. 

A variant of your existing handset on a 24-month contract – Hello! apart from the fact that it has less scratches, the phone isn’t going to be of any use anyway and 24-month contract is mobile carrier version of indentured slavery.
Bring your own – given that the economy is in the tank, bring your own allows bootstrapped web people to minimise their burn rate and adds an interesting conversation piece in itself to the event.Cup cakes – Whilst the marketing manager may like cup cakes because they offer a great branding opportunity, its not great for the sedentary lifestyle of many web people. I mean what’s the thing we really need; yep you’ve got it lots of calories to pile on the pounds and sugar in the icing to get us well on the road to diabetes. 

Beer and pizza – The old stand-by which has kept programmers going for the past four decades. Unfortunately its also the reason why conference t-shirts could double as hot air balloons. Pizza is basically complex carbohydrates and saturated fat (the bad kind that sticks to the walls of your heart and kills you), whilst beer makes conversation less coherent and is the world’s most efficient delivery system of calories bar none.

Also branding opportunities with pizza toppings are severely limited.