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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

Product placement in books. How can this work to enhance a story?

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I oppose this practice. I think when people are being exposed to adverts, they should know it.

  • 1 decade ago

    the only thing product placement might enhance in a story is that a feeling of familiarity-- if the reader knows the product -- if the reader doesn't the know the product then it might enhance the feeling of unfamiliarity. One is good the other is not so good. When I read a story, I like to become familiar with the characters and their life with in the boundaries of the story. If I am left with not knowing about something they are eating, using, or wearing, etc. because the author has chosen product placement instead of description, I will have a hard time getting to know the characters and then find the book harder to get into reading it.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'd say it's one of those 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situations. If you use a brand-named product in your story, it will more often than not be glaringly obvious and detract from a story.

    There are times when using a particular product can add to a story, though. Which line sounds more like a kid desperate to get the gift he's longed for all year?

    "No! I want a Shoot-Em BB Gun?"


    "No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"

    Then there are the times when you use a fictitious brand name to avoid using a brand name. More often than not, the reader will connect the fake name with its real equivilent, and it will (again) detract from the story.

    The best way to go about it is to read what you write and figure out which makes the most sense for your character.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think if you are concerned with ensuring there is product placement in your books then your book will not have the correct focus. It's very rare that a brand can really "add" something to a story. As the previous poster said, it may help with a movie deal, but even in movies, product placement is never there to enhance the storyline, only to advertise. I don't think this should be a concern when writing a story.

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  • 1 decade ago

    it could help to show a lot about the characters or setting without going into detailed description.

    Looking at one's Timex is not the same as looking at one's Rolex.

    if a person orders beer the difference between Samuel Adams and Bud is saving you a good deal time showing the reader about the person.

    Unless you have no idea what Samuel Adams is. ($100/ bottle beer)

    NOT knowing happens to me constantly when I read fiction that comes out of the UK.

    Do you know what Vim is? A Lemon Shandy? Rissole? Smarties?

    thank goodness for Google, (sorry Yahoo.)

    Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar drinks YooHoo.

    this girl is from California and I've lived outside the US for the last 20 years. I don't know when I figured out that this Yoohoo is chocolate milk, but it completely changed the way i looked at the character.

  • 1 decade ago

    If your theme is consumerism, and you want to emphasize how much material possessions, brand names, shopping, etc., influence your characters' lives, it might have its place. Also, in satire it has its place. In an episode of "The Simpsons," a flight attendant announces that a country in Africa now has "Pepsi Presents..." in front of its name.

    The point is, if you're placing products in your book, they need to be there for a reason WITHIN the work, and not because of any deals you have with corporations. Books shouldn't look like race cars.

    As a side note, some brand names are often used in literature, such as Kleenex instead of tissue. That trademarked name has even made it into the dictionary.

  • ramal
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    If any author agreed to this kind of element then they're a promote out and do not need to be revealed in my opinion. i do not imagine there is this kind of element although. The e book medium isn't properly really worth the royalties they are going to ought to pay the author for that "promotion." ...except it replaced into Harry Potter effectual. So I wager there's no product placement. exciting question and that i will have an interest to ensure if there is..if someone delivers internet links from reliable web pages.

  • 1 decade ago

    The character doesn't need to stop and give a 30 second lecture on how coke tastes better than pepsi (unless its a comedy), but I wouldn't sacrifice that part of the character. It can add flavor to the story if your main character has to have a coke. Maybe he creates a scene at a restaurant because they don't sell it, or always has a case in his trunk.

    Everything is a tool when you are writing. Just make sure you don't use screw driver when you need a ratchet.

  • 1 decade ago

    As a marketing person I don't think it so bad because consumers get flooded with ads so much they tune them out. If product placement is now in books it is a new medium. Magazines, movies, t.v., billboards and the internet are heavily saturated books are an overdue step.

    Source(s): Myself
  • 1 decade ago

    The only way it can enhance a story is by its absence.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not saying I would advocate a move towards advertising per se in books for commercial benefit, however one could argue that "product placement" has been rife for a long time.

    Many would see references to Shakespeare's catholic tendencies within his plays; James Bond calls for his drinks by brand; I'm sure we can all think of others.

    Where a product is mentioned that has a specific meaning to the potential reader (eg. to use Bond again, a Martini has connotations of suave sophistication), then it can be a useful device. Where product placement takes place for commercial benefit only.........bad move - and can only be to the detriment of the book.

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