for3 September 1996. Updated every TUESDAY.

BIG IDEA The Taster's Choice commercials meet
BEE's American Psycho... on the web!
25 WORDS <= Marketing products through an
"investigation" of how products are
marketed... high art or crass
commercialism? You decide!
HARD SELL Each year, more and more products come to
market - with fewer and fewer venues
available to bring a product's message to
consumers. The name of the game is
saturation - and from 3Com Park to Pepsi
pagers to the Guess Journal, our
overabundant consumerist society has
produced an overabundance of media
massages. The big concept for the next
century is to provide brand managers with
a new outlet for their media buys. What
better way than a literary "study" of
consumer identity through brand
identification? The sort of manipulative
reach-around that hits the spot with both
ad buyers and that elusive Gen X demo,
Placing is more than a website - it's a
gerund, concept, and trend!
Placing advertises itself as a "revolving
series of epiphanies" - short, pithy
scenes based around a featured product
that build in the cynicism, in order to
emasculate it. A plug-and-play concept,
the first edition of Placing will be
organized around the alphabet, allowing
for twenty-six revenue-generating
sponsorships, each prominently featuring
a color photo of the product being placed -
the "money shot." Products are subbed
in and out as their sponsorship buys
expire, keeping the money train on time.
Future editions could use other
"arbitrary" ordering schemes to take
advantage of other markets, such as a
fifty-state edition to pull in regional
accounts. Placing could later be
positioned as a "PointCast Killer" by
using a Java-based HyperCard engine and
voice-over narration to deliver the same
content in quasi-screensaver mode, with
mouse clicks sending coupons to a user's
laser printer. A Placing coffee-table
book could also be produced, in order to
participate in the lucrative book market.
In addition to the product sponsorships
and the $34.95 cover price, Placing: The
Book could be written by twenty-six
"guest" authors - rising and established
stars who have other titles in the
publisher's catalog. Short author bios
would include a shot of the writer's most
recent dust jacket.
OVERHEAD Because the text accompanying the
product shots are intentionally kept
short enough to hold the reader's
attention, a single out-of-work
freelancer with minimal HTML skills can
produce the site in a matter of days.
Other multimedia components can be
preannounced, then postponed until the
2.0 release. A media placement firm can
be retained on a percentage basis in
order to create beneficial relationships
with companies interested in sharing in
the massive upside potential of the
placing concept. PR costs are
nonexistent, as Placing partners will be
required to promote Placing through
cross-promotions and within their
preexisting media channels.

[Pitch Archive]


Wendy Skratt

Terry Colon