Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
I’ve talked about Product Placement before:
*See #11 in that post*
But last week, I read a wonderful post by WG2E Friend David Gaughran, and just had to share it:
David talks about how the movie franchise has been shaking up its characters’ faves due to different sponsors. For example:
James Bond used to drive an Aston Martin, but now it’s a BMW.
He used to drink martinis, but now it’s going to be Heineken.
Here’s what’s at stake, which Gaughran eloquently stated in his post:
It’s symbolic of James Bond’s quintessential characteristics – sophistication – which explains why fans have reacted so angrily to reports that he will be trading his martini for a Heineken in the upcoming Skyfall. This isn’t the first time that Bond’s traditions have been tampered with; his usual Aston Martin was swapped for a BMW in Goldeneye (presumably for a large check), which caused a similar backlash.
Critics argue that throughout the twelve Fleming novels, numerous novelizations by other authors, and twenty-two movies (to date) that have featured the spy, there are only a few remaining signifiers that make Bond who he is: his code number (007), his looks and taste for amorous adventures, and his sophistication and sense of style – of which the martini, with its explicit instructions for preparation, is a key part.
I’m sure the anger is compounded by the replacement beverage being something as unsophisticated as beer, and something as universal and generic as Heineken. And I’m also confident that nobody is surprised to hear the release of the movie will be accompanied by a worldwide advertising campaign from Heineken, featuring Bond swilling their lager.
As an author who uses product placement a bunch as a characterization tool, I rely on that device, if you will, to build and differentiate my characters. Hell, my debut release, which has now been downloaded over 200,ooo times is titled BOOTSCOOTIN’ BLAHNIKS…and since it’s “chick lit, gone-country,” my heroine Roxy Rae Vaughn’s Blahniks could not have been replaced by Sketchers and still qualified as chick lit. Chick lit is in large part defined by the products its devoted readers adore!
***For the record, I wish I wore Blahniks, but I’m a total Sketchers chick. Okay. And my cowboy boots…which is why for me, it’s “chick lit, gone-country.”
So, anyhoo…I totally get what David is saying here.
This all got me to thinking about our current Epublishing World, a world that is now “tapped into” using devices that are basically “stores in our hands.”
What will this new way of “shopping” mean for our future as Indie Epublished Authors?
Many pundits suggest that at some point we, as authors, won’t be paid for our books as in royalties, because content will be free, and we’ll be paid instead by the companies whose products are included in our stories.
Interesting concept, but I’m not so sure that will be the case.
That said, I do think we’re going to start seeing some very exciting partnerships between Authors and Products. I’m working on a few of those for my own stories, and can’t wait to see what I end up doing with the concept.
Here’s a hint: My Bootscootin’ Books also feature cupcakes. So what if I partnered with cupcake boutiques so you’d get a cupcake and a download of a D. D. Scott book?
It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land Peeps: What are your thoughts on Product Placement in Ebooks? Could you take your characters from martini lovers to Heineken drinkers and still keep your readers happy?
The Best of Ebooks and Product Placement Wishes — D. D. Scott