Meilink safe - Questionable product placement?

Product placement in TV and movies is nothing new. In the old days, a single company would sponsor an entire show. This resulted in things like Ricky and Lucy hawking Philip Morris cigarettes like they invented them. This ad for Meilink safes, from 1952, co-markets the product with a movie called The Thief.

I would think that a safe manufacturer wouldn't be to keen to show their product getting cracked in a movie, whether the audience knew it was fiction or not. Car manufacturers, fro example, can be a little jumpy about having their cars portrayed in video games while taking damage in crashes. Not good for the image. That's why some game reviews make special note of "real Porsches showing crash damage" with wide-eyed astonishment, when the manufacturers begrudgingly give the go-ahead for virtual pileups using their products.

At first glance, it looks as though the Meilink company did a cross-promotion showing their product in an unflattering light. But, whet you read the fine print, it says "Ray Milland using his Meilink safe in the great new picture "The Theif", released through United Artists." So, apparently there's no embarrassing depictions in the movie. Still, I'll search TCM for The Theif and see if there's anything surprising to be found. Possible update on this in the future, depending on the functionality of the Comcast title search feature.

Mentioning Rita Gam at the bottom of the ad not only lets Meilink  get another plug in for the movie, but it also lets them run a picture of a babe displaying her valuables to great advantage, which were apparently stored in a safe somehow.


Craig F. said...

The whole marketing program in the 1940s and 1950s was cock-eyed.

You've got to write to them at "Toledo 6, Ohio," to find out where their dealers are. Then an office boy has to bring your letter to the Dept. of Finding Dealers, where the boss yells at a nebbish -- who secretly wishes he was a pirate or an astronaut or some shit -- to figure out where you live, then mail you back a sheet of paper with dealers on it.

It's ridiculous. It's a wonder every company didn't go out of business. The whole process must've taken a month. By that time, a guy in a striped shirt, newsboy cap and Robin mask has stolen all your valuables.

Phil Are Go! said...

I know. All of the little ads in the back of these magazines invite you to write for a free catalog and list of dealers. You gotta be REALLY interested to go to that much trouble. In the seventies it was a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. I remember that from Zoom. Send it to Zoom! Filthy barefoot hippie brats.

Thanks Craigf!

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