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My Adidas [05 Apr 2005|10:32am]

Hip-hop product placement takes it to the next level. (Hey 50 Cent, you've got some special sauce on your chin.)

Some hip-hop is really selling out.

The Boston Globe has a story about a new marketing plan whereby McDonalds will pay rappers for mention of the Big Mac.

According to the story, the marketing company, Maven Strategies, has already contacted several rappers, as well as producers and record labels, about the plan. Artists who sign on will not be paid upfront, but will instead receive $1 to $5 every time their song is played on the radio -- in other words, it'll only cost the company if the song is a hit, and even then, it's far less than it would pay to launch a traditional ad campaign.


...McDonald's will retain final approval of the lyrics.

Will this plan have any takers? I think it will. Apparently this same marketing company already set something up for Seagram's with a few rappers last year. The thing is, these references won't even really stand out much, since there's so much branding in rap already. That's part of the beauty of it, the way it's immersed in the culture and picks up all the details of the world around it. But getting paid specifically for the mention, and per play, changes the way I see it. It crosses the line from portraying the culture as it is to actively encouraging particular brands.

Consider this, from SFGate.com:

According to American Brandstand, a Web site (www.agendainc.com/brand.html) that tracks brand names on the Billboard top singles chart, of the 111 songs that made the Billboard Top 20 in 2003, 43 mentioned a product; 84 different brands were named.

That statistic is specific to rap. That's 38.7%! And that was 2 years ago.

Gosh, this ABSOLUT I'm drinking sure tastes good.

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Stretching the definition of recipe [05 Apr 2005|10:34am]

It seems like there are a few ingredients required before something can legitimately be called a recipe, and one of those ingredients is that it have multiple ingredients.

This criterion disqualifies a recent "recipe" presented in a Sunday Boston Globe coupon section. The recipe reads as follows:


6 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 jar (1lb, 10oz.) Ragu Organic Pasta Sauce
  • Assorted Dippers (cubed cheese, blanched vegetables, cooked tortellini, garlic bread cubes, meatballs)

In 2-quart saucepan, heat Pasta Sauce over medium heat. Turn into fondue pot or serving dish and serve warm with Assorted Dippers.

I'll draw a line just to emphasize---that is in fact the entire recipe. You've just seen the dumbest recipe ever. Perhaps next week they will share with us the secret recipe for APPLE.

(I'd also like to point out that Assorted Dippers is not a specific product name, and the fact that it is capitalized is a humorous attempt to add some self-importance to a "recipe" that is otherwise sorely lacking it.)

The interesting part of the recipe is the Assorted Dippers. I mean, I guess I don't really have 100% confidence that I can turn out a good set of garlic bread cubes, and I certainly can't make edible meatballs. But those are the given here. You must already have these things. What we will show you how to do instead is heat tomato sauce out of a jar and "turn" (in my neck of the woods we say "dump") it into a fondue pot. Just make sure you allot yourself 20 minutes to complete this task. Don't forget the candles.

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