Monday, June 12, 2006

Product Placement in YA Fiction

It's official. According to an article in The New York Times, Proctor and Gamble has a deal with Running Press that will result in Cover Girl products being...used?...named? a YA novel called Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233 by Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart. In return for the plugs, Proctor and Gamble will promote the book at its website,

One of the interesting points The New York Times article makes is: "Many popular young adult novels, of course, already spread references to brands throughout their pages in series like "The Gossip Girl" and "The A-List," although there are no actual product placement deals."

I'll have to take the author's word for it. But, really, in The Gossip Girl and A-List books I read there were so many products named. What was going on there, if there were no deals? I have always been under the impression that using product names instead of description is poor writing because readers unfamiliar with the products will get no description at all. So, again, what's going on here?


Richard said...

It's not poor writing, it's writers who are poor. Writers like myself, whose books are literary fiction -- in other words, books that few people buy -- must use product placement in order to make money.

For example, in my new book, I have made money through product placement. In just one of the thirty stories in it, I got money for plugging Murray’s Sturgeon Shop, Washington Mutual Bank, the Leonard Nimoy Theatre, the Kashbah Kosher Café, Victoria’s Secret, Tasti D-Lite, the Estée Lauder Stress Relief Eye Mask, Starbucks’ frappuccinos, Hard Candy Vintage Nail Polish’s classic Tantrum, Urban Decay’s Maui Wowie eyeshadow, the Café des Artistes, the Cellcomet Anti-Stress Cream Mask, Cooper 35 Restaurant, Molson Ale, Blue Cult jeans, Kim’s Video, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Dreamers,” Con Edison, Target,, Mitchum Deodorant, Demeter’s fragrance Riding Crop, Altoids, SparkNotes, Kiehl’s Pharmacy, the Union Square Café, The Body Shop, Sephora, Longo’s Baci XXX lip gloss and even the St. Marks Bookshop.

I don't care that in the three months it's been out, my book has sold only six copies because I've already made money with the product placement.

Gail Gauthier said...

Hey, Richard, with that many sponsors for just one story, you shouldn't have had to write the other twenty-nine.