Did you ever wonder how gadgets wind up in your favorite movie or TV show. Well, this "product placement" is not as innocent an occurrence as you might think. This from George Simkowski, vice president of SportsLoop, writing on TalentZoo.com:
"I’m generally recognized for being one of the originators of product placement. In 1960 I was the Advertising Manager of Webcor, a Chicago Company manufacturing tape recorders and phonographs. I received a call from an MGM executive who requested a Webcor tape recorder as a “prop” for the Bob Hope movie, Bachelor in Paradise. Bob Hope played a writer who taped his daily exploits in paradise so he could write about them later. The Webcor tape recorder appeared in almost every scene so the brand name was constantly on camera.
"When I realized what we had, I decided to create a retail promotion with our 5,000 dealers and tie it in with the release of the movie. Bob Hope and MGM approved the idea. Both the movie and promotion were enormously successful. This was indeed one of the first brand name placements in a movie and definitely one of the first back-end tie-in promotions. The business has grown and prospered even since. Product placement has matured into a very valuable marketing tool for many brand name opportunities."
There you have it, straight from the inventor of the genre ...