Mazda's 14-second appearance in Britney Spears' lesbian-lite pop video could be a defining moment in American advertising
Stefano Hatfield explores a new form of product placement and tie-in, as Madonna and Britney reinact that gay snog they shared on MTV sponsored by Mazda, in The Guardian Meanwhile, Céline Dion's "disaster" connection to Chrysler's new luxury wagon Pacifica is being touted as the new textbook case for how not to link a celebrity.
Mazda, whose irritating "zoom, zoom, zoom" jingle is enough to make the most catatonic American couch potato throw the zapper at their television screen, has hired Britney Spears and Madonna to put a little zoom into its RX-8 sports car's marketing at an estimated cost of $300,000.
In doing so it is capitalising on two of the American cultural trends of the moment: first, the coming together of the American entertainment and advertising industries to shift their respective products and, second, the current fad for all things gay - for here read lesbian.
Although dressed up as "Hollywood meets Madison Avenue" or advertiser-funded content creation, this so-called new new thing very often takes on the guise of something very old and familiar - product placement.