The Stealthy World of Brands

Not unlike other forms of social manipulation, product placement traces back to the golden era of Hollywood. In the late 1930s, the De Beers diamond cartel, desperate to sell diamonds in the Depression, gave its ad agency, N.W. Ayer, a truly daunting assignment: implant in the minds of American men the idea that buying a quarter-carat diamond would let them have their way with women.

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