To Have and to Co-Market

This next step in product placement was inevitable: vendors eager to place their ware at high-profile weddings.

Yes, now you can have your jewelry featured at Donald Trump's wedding, your gown adorning Tori Spelling's bridesmaids, your food at the table when Britney Spears ties the knot again. On one level it's innocuous - everyone knows the world will be watching these weddings (I know, why? whatever). So it's good publicity for the vendors.

But look at the history of product placement and you see the danger ahead. First it was just ads. Eventually, the ads crept into the ad vehicle. Eventually, corporations got tired of having to shoehorn their ads into somebody else's magazine, movie, video, whatever, and just started making their own. Now, as the whole chain of media production has consolidated, the lines have vanished. An artist from a Virgin label performs at a Virgin mega store. Tommy Hilfiger sponsors a rock tour and the artists wear their clothes.

Given the track record to date, how long before it's the celebrity wedding du jour, brought to you by Calvin Klein? Ceremony at the CK One Church of our Heavenly Savior.

It will be fun, of course, the first time a vendor sues a celebrity couple for calling off the wedding after they've supplied the clothes, food, and logo-branded napkins.

Brands used to identify products. Then brands surpassed products and identified a lifestyle of which the products were a part. Even public places have gotten brand sponsors. Now celebrities are showing us how to live their whole lives inside a brand. They may actually be a little slow - I've seen personal ads where people describe themselves by their brand (usually Abercrombie for the gay boys). Soon, you'll be able to choose a brand and live your whole life according to its brand characteristics, as it provides you with the food, music, movies, and clothing you need. It's a brave new world, people, and its brought to you by the kind folks at....

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