A Little More Sex (and the City that is.)


I was going to write about the extensive product placement in the film version of Sex and the City, but one of my fellow students at Centennial College’ s Corporate Communications and Public Relations program beat me to it. (And the post is incredibly articulate and well-crafted so it’s likely better that she beat me to it.)

But she raised a point I want to expand on. In her blog, Sarah Roger notes that Vanity Fair has an article that lists all the products that are featured prominently in the movie. And it’s one heck of a long list. (And a really good post- go read her blog now and then come back. I’ll wait.)

My question is when did the Marcom for a film become part of its own PR? And how long will it be before we have films where the product placement is determined first and the script is written around it? Are we there already?


6 comments so far

  1. Michael Robinson on

    Are we there already?

    The novel has lead the way; Bulgari commissioned ‘The Bulgari Connection’ (2001) from Fay Weldon “a romping tale of love, lust, covetousness and gold.”

    Weldon’s Bulgari Product Placement Raises Eyebrows

  2. awordlessordinary on

    I have to agree that we are already there. Sex in the City worked with Absolut Vodka (Or I should say the other way around) for their Ultimate Hunk Martini.

    The story goes that Absolut Vodka came up with the idea for a martini and then approached the makers of SATC. The producers then designed an episode around the product. The result was one of their most popular episodes of the season (or so I’ve heard through friends).

    But why would this be considered revolutionary? The makers of children’s toys have learned this since the 60s. However, instead of product placement they created 30 minute advertisements masquerading as cartoons. (Not counting Thundercats which I consider high quality entertainment.)

    Once again another excellent post.

    Keep up the great work,


  3. abbymartin on


    Thanks for the insightful comment (especially as I love a Thundercats reference!)

    I think what is revolutionary is that people used to place products but nobody was writing about the placement. It just happened. Now it is part of the story, a PR angle even. What used to just be a character picking up a can of Coke- which the audience may or may not have noticed – may now be the focus of a feature article on how Coke places products in movies.

    I do hate the fact that jarring product placement (hey look, that Mac has a virus on it that can save the world by corrupting the aliens’ system) can totally disrupt the viewer’s experience of the film as a story or experience.

    A very nice point my friend. Thank you so much for the feedback.


  4. Bonnie on

    Does anyone remember the BMW films? They were a series of shorts commissioned by BMW starring Clive Owen and, well, the BMW.

    They were snazzy and helmed by the top directors of the day. You forgot they were just glorified car ads.


    I think product placement is the new advertising. There is so much clutter out there companies with the big bucks can get their products on high-profile movies and television shows. It’s very subliminal and can be highly effective, unless you are aware of it.


  5. Bonnie on

    Here’s a link to a film by Guy Ritchie starring Madonna.

  6. abbymartin on


    You’re brilliant! (No surprise there.) I had forgotten all about those BMW ads. (How could I forget Clive Owen? I *must* be tired.)

    As for the blog love- right back at ya! Been a big fan of Bons Mots for quite awhile.

    Thank you for the comments and the compliment.

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