Internet video series Lonelygirl15 has inked its first product placement deal, featuring Hershey’s Icebreakers Sours Gum.
In the episode, “Truckstop Reunion,” posted March 20, Lonelygirl herself, Bree, is pictured toying with a package of Icebreakers Sours Gum. When her friends ask for a taste, she pours out the remaining four pieces into her hand, pops them all in her mouth, laughs, and says, “Whoa, it’s sour!”
AdWeek reports that Hershey’s promotional agency, Tracy Locke, of Omnicom Group, brokered the deal with Creative Artists Agency, Lonelygirl15’s talent rep. Co-creator Greg Goodfried told AdWeek it was an attempt to transform the buzz around the series into a sustainable business venture.
Brand integration makes more sense than standard Web video ads, said Goodfried. While the Icebreakers integration was a onetime placement, the creators are in talks with other brands to become regular fixtures in the series.
"We treat the characters like real people so they use real brands," he said.
The move did not go unnoticed by Lonelygirl15 enthusiasts, who had mixed reactions to the placement. Among the comments:
Anyone else love the freaking icebreakers commercial in this video? hahaha. hooray for product placement. i wonder how much money they got for that?
Their doing product endorsements now! Did you see that? How obvious is that pitch for Icebreakers? It makes we want to go out and buy a box. MMMmmm. Anything to keep these videos going.
This was so blatant I started laughing. I’m looking forward to the backlash when this video hits You Tube. On the other hand, Lonelygirl15 targets a younger audience so they may be more forgiving. But man, that was some crappy product placement. I hope they got paid well for that.
Yeah this this their first product placement. Supposedly they got around $10,000 for it. Like you said, anything to keep these videos going cuz I’m addicted to them!!! And I totally did go out and buy some Icebreaker Sours after I saw this too!!! I love them too much not to! So it did it’s job. :D As long as they do product placements for GOOD things like this, then I totally don’t mind!
There’s a way to do tactful product placement that isn’t obnoxious and like a commercial.
And they failed miserably at trying to achieve that here.
I mean, Bree was basically Vanna White for “Icebreakers Sour!”
“Wow that’s SOUR!”
God. Shoot me now.
Don’t complain about the marketing, people!! Those little 10 second spots of icebreakers can help pay the bills and keep the show alive.
If the next video is Bree going to the hospital to get her stomach pumped, we can assume the check from IceBreakers bounced.