When did product placement start?

I recall that in the 50’s TV shows like Perry Mason and Dragnet would be sometimes sponsored by car companies and whole street scenes would only have this year’s model of one maker.

Is that about when it started or does it go way back? To silent pictures? To Vaudeville?

And where will it end? http://home.overzealous.com:8080/comics/view.jsp?comic=speedbump&date=20061216

Well, if we’re allowed to work with a fairly expansive definition of “product placement,” I’d say it goes back much farther than that, to the medieval mystery plays. They were sponsored and performed by guilds, usually with some sort of logical tie-in to the work the guild did. For example, in the York cycle, “Christ’s Death and Burial” is sponsored by the Butchers, and “The Fall of Man” by the coopers – who, of course, made apple barrels :slight_smile: There’s even the occasional bit of direct advertisement; for example, in the “The Birth of Jesus,” Joseph complains about the leaky roof in the barn for no discernable reason – until you realize that the play was put on by the tilers and thatchers.

The 1949 Marx Brothers snoozer Love Happy has a chase around billboards.

If you want to see Mr. Ed shilling for Studebaker in 1961 or 62, check out You Tube.

in addition, TCM apparently broadcast a product placement festival last year, with the earliest being Scarface from 1932.

Radio programs pretty much did it from their beginning in the late 20s/early 30s as well.

Sir Rhosis

I still like Moses (Soupy Sales) with the six pack of Coke in And God Spoke…

I thought that was the movie where Jimmy Cagney pushed a grapefruit into Mae Clarke’s face, but that was The Public Enemy (1931)

While it isn’t exactly product placement, films that were advertisements were being made as early as the 1890’s.

This link is to one made in 1897

Popeyes vegetable fetish still sticks in the mind ,and I haven’t seen an episode for many,many years.