If I understand product placement correctly, company X pays the movie-maker to make sure all the characters in the movie drink nothing but X Cola or wear X sunglasses, or there are prominent X billboards in the background. But what if the movie is written so that brand X figures in a plot point?
For example, in an old episode of NYPD Blue, a guy (I forget if he was a suspect or a witness) refused to speak unless he got an unlimited supply of Coca-Cola. 2 ltr. bottles of Coke were displayed prominently. How does this work? Did the TV-show-makers say, “This character must be a Coke drinker, and therefore we will pay any fees to use the Coca-Cola name”? Or would Coke have approached the TV people and offered them money to make sure our interogee was a Coke drinker?
I guess what I’m trying to ask is, if it’s the creator of the program’s idea to use a specific real-life brand name, who pays? Or does the creator ever actually choose? Is it always a matter of the placement going to the highest bidder?
I hope this makes sense.