Long before the advertising behemoth sunk its behemothy teeth into the pure and unspoilt film industry it had successfully raped the once-innocent book realm. If you’re of a certain age and liked a certain kind of novel then you probably won’t have been able to have avoided some of the more gratuitous examples of the world of merchandising’s grotesque product placements.
It may look subtle but Fyffes paid for the addition of over forty bananas onto the dustjackets of hardcover books over the course of a two-year period and received a sales bump of nearly 19% as a result.
The Edge Of Doom
Switzerland’s neutrality in post-war America was a point of contention for those who’d grudgingly turned up to fight in it four years late themselves but a blitzkrieg advertising attack of cuckoo clocks, dull-looking heroes, and chocolate bars that hurt the roof of the mouth when eaten carelessly on the fronts of popular books helped raise the status of the little country to shrug level in double-quick time.
The Passion Hunters
It’s easy to think that Jenga just appeared from out of nowhere in the 1990s but the push for dominance in the world of games a bit like KerPlunk can be traced back to the vintage books on which its form first graced the covers.
If you thought the popular-with-rednecks sport of Nascar just magically hit upon the formula of "tiny little sponsorship logos all over things make money!" then think again: the lusting-after-hillbillies genre of vintage books was pushing the boundaries of just how many adverts were too many adverts decades earlier.
Satan Was A Lesbian
When market research tells you that sales of musical instruments are low among the important lesbian and Satan-worshipping demographics there’s only one thing you can do to turn that frown upside down.
The Lust Pigs
In a rare case the attempt to persuade the delinquents of society to take up curling through subliminal product placement on book covers failed spectacularly. Happily for the global curling cartel a switch in the seventies from alley-based play to ice and the removal of the ten-second rat rule paved the way for its inclusion in the Winter Olympics and its acceptance today as one of the things worth watching in the spectacle.