Lately, product placement has become as commonplace in music videos as a dancing crew of booty-shorted hoochies or seizure-inducing quick-cut edits. Lady Gaga's "Telephone" was practically a 10-minute infomerical for Miracle Whip, Polaroid, and Diet Coke, and almost every video nowadays squeezes in a shot of its pop star thumbing a conspicuously branded cell phone. Britney Spears's "Hold It Against Me," which came out last week, is the latest offender (if you are in fact offended by, rather than immune to, such blatant marketing), with its placements for the PlentyOfFish.com dating site (which was also featured in "Telephone"), Sony, and Makeup Forever, all of which earned Brit Brit a cool $500,000.
Recently Katy Perry tweeted about this trend, seemingly singling out Britney, when she responded to a Twitter conversation started by Marina Lambrini Diamandis from the Welsh indie-pop group Marina & The Diamonds. "What is consensus on product placement in videos?" Marina initially tweeted. "As a fan, do you prefer product placement if it means bigger budget vid? Or smaller budget vid free of the temptations of 'Plenty O Fish' etc?...Think you can do it in clever way but it is quite rare. I would choose smaller budget/ imagination but it doesn't suit all artists i guess."
Katy answered: "U hv to get creative w/it. Some artists don't care tho, & u can tell." Immediately, the media jumped on Katy's single, rather even-tempered remark, accusing her of bashing Britney's crassly commercial video.
Well, today Katy returned to Twitter to comment on the issue more lengthily, and definitely more passionately. "Dear tabloid media aka FILTH: pls note I expressed an overall feeling bout product placement, their roles in vids & the art of them being complimenting or sticking out," she stated. "Most, if not ALL popsters welcome deals w/products 2 offset costs of big budget vids in these recessional music industry times. I'VE used them in MY vids before & am happy 2b able 2 make a better vid because of. Once AGAIN, stop pitting artists against artist for ur sensational satisfaction & stick to what ur best @: lying, gossiping, exaggerating & overall lending a hand 2 the deterioration of a generation."
Whoa! What do you think about product placement in videos? Is it now a necessarily evil in an increasingly cash-strapped music business, or it is compromising art? And was Katy really slamming "Hold It Against Me"? Post your thoughts below.