Avril Lavigne May Have Just Pulled Off the Greatest (and Worst) Product Placement of All Time

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Music video product placement is a growing industry currently worth more than $20 million a year, and plenty of headlining stars have dabbled in the practice. Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” featured Coke, Virgin Mobile and Miracle Whip placements, while Jennifer Lopez, arguably the queen of PP, packed products into her videos for “On the Floor” and “I’m Into You.” There’s also her Fiat 500 spot. Ke$ha loaded up her hit “We R Who We R” while Britney Spears plugged a dating site—amongst other things—in “Hold It Against Me,” (of which many did). Eminem struggled to get brands into his “Space Bound” video but found a few takers while hip hop artists like 50 Cent and Juicy J have featured placements for porn sites. There has even been some occurences of unwanted product placement like that for RJ Reynolds and Gucci in Kreayshawn’s hit “Gucci Gucci.”

But the new Avril Lavigne video takes the product placement cake—even though it only features one product.[more]

“Oh, my new Sony phone is ringing,” says Avril as she picks up her Sony Xperia—which is bobbing in a glass of water. She then launches into her new single, “Rock N Roll.” The product placement is so grotesquely blatant that it almost comes off as punk performance art.

That would maybe be more believable if Avril had not been spending the last few years merchandising herself. Lavigne, who has a net worth estimated at $45 million, has a self-named foundation, her own line of fragrances and a clothing line, among other things.

What’s more, the new Sony placement is merely a step-up from the Inception-like product placement in her 2011 video for “What the Hell.” In the video, Lavigne shills for Sony Ericsson, Sony Vaio, her own fragrances and her Abbey Dawn by Avril Lavigne fashion line. Yes, an Avril Lavigne video features the musician going shopping for her own line of clothing.

Lavigne is quite the team player, making her perfect for China’s celeb-heavy brand environment. 

She’s currently the face of China’s Uni Ice Tea. In a behind the scenes video, Lavigne says, “This brand is more than just a bottle of ice tea, it promotes young people’s dreams…” What more could a brand ask for?

Call Sony and Avril crazy. Despise them even. But th duo has pulled off quite a feat with the in-your-face placement. Whatever fans remember about the “Rock N Roll” video, one thing guaranteed to stick is the fact that Sony’s Xperia is submergible.

While Lavigne holds the product placement title now, she may soon be unseated. The Times is reporting that tennis star Maria Sharapova may be “changing her surname to Sugarpova for the two-week duration of the US Open, in honor of her line of sweets.” 

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