Saturday, September 26, 2009

Celebrating Seventy Years of Product Placement!

This new Macy's commercial is just too much:

1. Show clip from Miracle on 34th Street- "Santa Claus" asks Adorable Little Girl "where did you get that pretty little outfit?" Girl answers "Here at Macy's!"

2. Show clip from Seinfeld episode featuring Mr. Pitt at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

3. Show clip from I Love Lucy featuring Lucille Ball gushing about how great Macy's is.

Ok, we get it. Macy's is a pioneer in the field of Product Placement. For seventy years or more, Macy's Incorporated has polluted your favorite films and tv shows with blatant commercialism (hell, Miracle on 34th Street is just one big, shameless ad for Macy's- the mid-80s E.T. ripoff Mac and Me was only slightly more obviously a commercial for MacDonald's.) Is this REALLY something we ought to feel all warm and nostalgic about?

Seriously- would Miracle on 34th Street been a flop if not for the CONSTANT references to Macy's? We might as well ask if Casino Royale would have been unwatchable if not for the ubiquitous appearence of Sony-Ericson Cell Phones (I swear, someone looks at or uses a cell phone roughly every ten minutes in that film- maybe it's a bad example, because if you cut out all the "let me look at my cell phone" scenes, the film is roughly 48 minutes long...)

Product Placement is not something I ever expected to see celebrated in tv commercials, so I should at least give Macy's points for originality. I'll certainly give them points for gall. And having seen a "thank you Macy for all the imbedded commercials" ad, I guess it's only a matter of time before we are asked to thank Marlboro for all the wonderful smoking scenes we've seen in films since the 1920s.

Hey, Lucille Ball can be in those, too, since she smoked like a chimney on her old show. Ah, the good old days!


  1. That's a good point; the movie would have worked just as well if it had been set at a fictional equivalent to Macy's. We could have had all the schmaltz without being forced to watch an ad for a department store.

  2. Not that Mac and Me would be considered remotely publicly friendly these days, considering that 'outrageously' 'shocking' wheelchair-off-the-cliff scene. They don't make movies like that anymore.