How great product placements were born

Whitecastle If you’ve ever wondered why E.T. nibbled Reese’s Pieces specifically, or why Harold and Kumar were so high on getting to White Castle, you’ll want to check out Mental Floss’s excellent post about the stories behind 10 famous product-placement deals. Personally, I was surprised to learn that Harold and Kumar were originally supposed to be going to Krispy Kreme. Where I live in Alabama, that would be like making a movie called Harold and Kumar Go to Subway, but I guess the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign still has a magical allure outside the Southeast. Another fascinating product-placement bit is the story about how many candy brands turned down Seinfeld before the people behind Junior Mints finally agreed to have their product dropped into a surgery patient’s chest cavity. Turns out that gutsy agreement for an unpaid placement is now considered a turning point in the history of TV marketing tie-ins. These days, I bet Mars is practically begging the creators of House to shove a few M&Ms into an open wound or two.

—Posted by David Griner