I haven’t heard a lot of speculation about this, but maybe I missed it. I’ve definitely seen a lot of ink, in general. A Starbucks cup shows up on the Game of Thrones set. Out of nowhere. Sure. Ok, it could simply be a continuity thing. Imagine having that job on a production as large and far-reaching as GoT. I get exhausted just thinking about it. And they did magically “erase” the cup after it was noted. But by the time that happened it was everywhere.
Good for Starbucks. I guess if I was going to go for a promotion, I might have chosen a good cognac or ale, not a latte. So, did they, or didn’t they? Well, HBO is emphatically saying they didn’t. I’m going to believe them. In fact, they made a cute joke about it being a mistake - Daenerys had actually ordered an herbal tea.
Product placement, intended or not, does work. If only by getting that image in your mind. Impressions do add up.
True, done in a more “organic” way the placement can move from a mere impression to an engagement. When I was growing up, watching TV in the late sixties I remember asking my mother what the commercials were for, and when she told me I was incredulous. No way was an ad for Palmolive soap going to make me go out and buy it. All these years later it’s a wonder I’m in this business. The only time an ad had a profound effect on me was when I dreamed about a Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace I had seen in a magazine. THAT impression worked. Ha!