While singers have been known to drop a brand name or two during the course of a song, it all seemed like a natural part of the lyrics. But as we’ve reported before, the practice of paying artists for mentioning a brand is exploding in popularity. A recent Wired article tells the story of an e-mail accidentally sent to an anti-advertising group, which ended up shedding light on the secretive practice.
A e-mail from the Kluger Agency, which performs such product placements, mistakenly sent to Jeff Crouse of the Anti-Advertising Agency and Double Happiness Jeans, provides a rare glimpse into the secretive market for song lyric product placement.
“I’m writing because we feel you may be a good company to participate in a brand integration campaign within the actual lyrics of one of the worlds most famous recording artists upcoming song/album,” begins the opening e-mail in the eventual salvo between the two.
Yes, you read that right: things have gotten so weird in the music business that high-profile acts are inserting ads into their song lyrics. The next time you hear a brand mentioned in a song, it could be due to a paid product placement. And unlike magazines, songs are not required to point out which words are part of an advertisement.
In the e-mail, Kluger (who has represented Mariah Carey, New Kids on the Block, Ne-Yo, Fall Out Boy, Method Man, Lady GaGa and Ludacris) explained via e-mail that for the right price, Double Happiness Jeans could find its way into the lyrics in an upcoming Pussycat Dolls song. Crouse posted the e-mail on his blog at the Anti-Advertising Agency, an art project of sorts that’s basically the philosophical mirror image of a traditional ad agency.