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Reverse Product Placement : IdeaWatch 2.0:

We're all fully aware of the great and shameless lengths marketers will go through to place products into entertainment...look! Jack Bauer is saving the world by making a call on his Nextel phone to Chloe at CTU, who is using a Mac!

But a few enterprising minds are reversing the direction, pulling once-fictional products out of Hollywood and video games and into the real world. In a recent Harvard Business Review article (sorry, you'll need a subscription to read the whole thing), David Edery, worldwide games portfolio planner for XBox Live, explores the possibilities of this fledgling idea called "reverse product placement."

This isn't just merchandising we're talking about...not just slapping the name of a show on a product...but actually taking a made-up product that has a role in the movie or video game and putting it on store shelves.

If you're from my generation, the best example is Willy Wonka candy . Originally created as a tie-in for the Gene Wilder version of the film, Wonka candy is still an active part of the Nestle candy line, although the only product they sell that's actually mentioned in the movie is the everlasting gobstopper.

More recent, and a better example of a virtual-to-real product placement, is Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans , a recurring part of the Harry Potter mythos and now sold by JellyBelly.

Edery also points out the success of the energy drink Potion, which sold 3 million units in Japan, and was the brainchild of the folks at Square Enix, who decided to create a product similar to that used by characters in the Final Fantasy games.

The three hallmarks of a good reverse product placement prospect: it must be memorable, prominent in the virtual world in which it is used, and its use in the virtual world must parallel its use in the real world. The benefits, Edery says, are a built-in audience and a deeper level of relationship with your customer.

So how about it? What virtual products do you think would be best-sellers on our real-world shelves?

Tim Whitney
Featured Blogger
AmericanInventorSpot.com

Comments
May 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Wise or stupied am I

Gentilly here!!! Ok I'm neither but I'm going crazy and you have a great thought of mind bring products to life without them even bing real. {Idea} " Let's help each
other out if your in your in tho here's the idea this would
be a hit web site to . Ok let's say there a web site called "make it easy ivent dork.net" and on this web site there are people like you and me that want to get thing's done but can't cause the resources are so hard to get. so this web site pop's up all new. but the thing about it is it's all home made video's of people using there inventions that hasn't come to life yet. Think about it?
whats one way to get some one attention by doing something super jackass stupied like the cave men on geico they have there own reality show now. how about
a guy throwing money on the floor than try diving into it
like struge mick duck the old cartoon than a flash comes on the screen money not big enough Ha Ha Ha !!!! GO
on laugh it's funny but this game to turn an idea into an invention is killing me. It feels like by time I get to see it and the money it will bring in the world would already have ended. But maybe something like that would get there attention never hurts to try since everything else fails. Right now I have an idea called the Jordan Transporter 500 it's a system for two already big things
to become even bigger I've talked to a guy named Mark over at inventsai. as I posted the Idea they like it and want to manfacture it but they say it's a software program and that I would need some one to write the software meaning I'm back to nothing but I think i'll give that a try let me know your thought's at my email
www.jhampt84@msn.com