Universal strikes deal to offer product placement in previously released music videos

Major label offers to airbrush new products into old music videos.

Product placement in music videos has reached new heights of contrivance in the past few years, ranging from the passably inventive (Lady Gaga’s Coca-Cola hair rollers in ‘Telephone’) to the terminally lame (Britney’s PlentyOfFish.com endorsement in ‘Hold It Against Me’). All of that is about to seem small-fry with the announcement of a new deal signed by Universal Music Group, which will allow advertisers to insert their products into previously existing music videos on YouTube.

The agreement means that labels will be able to offer brands a spot in their artist’s video for a set amount of time, and then swap them out for another product once an ad campaign is complete. So don’t be alarmed if you find yourself doing a double-take at Gaga’s Mountain Dew hair accessories before long.

UMG is kicking off this brave new world of advertising with a deal that will see liquor brand Grand Marnier shoehorned into a video by DJ-slash-lifestyle-brand Avicii. The product placement will later be stripped out to open the video up to other companies. As the Independent reports, the move is designed to speed up the production process so that labels and video directors don’t need to hold long meetings with brands about exactly how the video should look. And, presumably, to vastly multiply their potential income from advertisers.

 

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