It turns out that there are now agencies that specialize in getting product placements into the lyrics of popular songs. We know this because one such agency (The Kluger Agency, to be precise) sent a “cold call” email, promoting said services, to the Anti-Advertising Agency. More about them in a second, but first and just in case you clicked that link: Kluger’s flash intro features product mentions like Cadillac, Vuitton, and Mercedes Benz in songs by artists including Mariah Carey, Pink, and Ludacris. I want to know if Kluger was responsible for these particular lyrical product placements (which they call “brand-dropping”), or if they are simply capitalizing upon the fact that some artists may, without compensation from a company, use their brand name in lyrics and video images.
Back to the Anti-Advertising Agency: according to the Wired article, this is a kind of political-art collectivity that uses some of the tools of traditional advertising to interrupt the visual expanses usually occupied by advertising (e.g., billboards), in order to call into question the value/s of advertising in public space. You can see their mission statement right here. As part of a project organized for a display at the Sundance film festival, and somehow in conjunction with Eyebeam, Anti-Advertising Agency folks invented Double Happiness Jeans, which are made in a virtual sweatshop in Second Life. Somehow, the virtual construction is translated into material objects (you know, jeans) that are actually sold.
So, to summarize: the Kluger Brand Droppers emailed an artistic collective engaged in parodying sweatshop production and advertising agencies and asked them if they wanted to pay thousands of dollars to get the Pussycat Dolls to mention Double Happiness Jeans in a forthcoming song. This is all so profoundly amazing, I actually tried to fact check it all. And, as far as I can tell, this has the Downy Fresh Scent (TM) of truth.