Kicking back after a night of terror, the Phantom of the Opera enjoys a refreshing Coca-Cola. Okay, so that kind of blatant product placement--prevalent in movies and TV--sounds absurd. Nevertheless, marketers are increasingly eager to tout their wares to Broadway's captive (and wealthy) audience. Smaller brands are particularly enamored of the spotlight. Veuve Clicquot champagne appeared in the recent musical High Society, while Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme plugged Montblanc pens. Of course, products from Nat Sherman cigarette holders to Martex towels have appeared onstage for decades. Carol Chiavetta, of the New York City marketing firm TMG, says the key is that the brand "fits the integrity of the show." In other words, don't expect to see the kids in Rent sporting Ralph Lauren Polo shirts anytime soon.
May 1, 2004