It was bound to happen sooner or later, especially after LucJames : Billboard Brands opened it's doors tracking the tally of brands that crop up in the Top Twenty songs. Not only is hip-hop naughty but the genre seems to have a monopoly on product placement. Hip hop artists have rhymed on everything from Velcro to Versace, why not get paid for it?
AdAge reports that McDonald's is buying product placement in hip-hop lyrics. - with the help of marketing firm Maven Strategies McDonald's will find the right rap-artists to work the word "Big Mac" into their songs. The artists get paid $1 to $5 each time their song is played on the radio, a carrot that encourages them to write a hit.
... Maven has started to drum up interest from advertisers after the company was able to integrate Seagrams gin into five rap songs last year from artists such as Kanye West, Twista, the Franchise Boys and Petey Pablo. Petey Pablos Freek-a-leek ended up as the No. 2 hip-hop song of the year, according to the Billboard Top 50 hip-hop songs of 2004, and played over 350,000 times on the radio. Part of that songs lyrics: Now I got to give a shout out to Seagram's Gin/Cause Im drinkin' it and they payin' me for it.
Product placement in popular culture isn't all that new, why just last year everyone wondered if Carole Matthews book The Sweetest Taboo was the first book to have been sponsored to feature a particular brand. It wasn't, remember "The Bulgari Connection" by Fay Weldon? Guess who sponsored that one.