Last month, a Cozy Mystery reader sent me a letter asking if I had noticed any product placements appearing in some of our favorite Cozy Mystery authors’ books.
By the way, I’ve been thinking for awhile now about another possible blog topic. Do you (and others) think there is ‘product placement’ in some of the cozy mystery books? I was going to keep a list every time I saw this so I could give examples in specific books. However if I didn’t do it right away, I’d forget it (thus the list is non-existent). Just in the past couple of months, the sleuths of three different authors have mentioned ‘Hershey Kisses’.
It would be expected that an author might mention a brand name when it relates to the core of the story – teas in Child’s books, coffees in Coyle’s books, or even yarns in a book set in a craft store. Fluke always gives a certain brand name of products in her recipes. I don’t consider that product placement, I think she is just informing the reader of how she made the recipe.
It makes sense if an author is trying to emphasize wealth she/he may mention a BMW/Mercedes. But, many times an ordinary car is mentioned by brand (Prius and Civic are two that come to mind) several times throughout a story. One book I read even cited the brand name of an eye liner used.
Do you think an author gets a ‘monetary bonus’ by mentioning a certain brand of something a few times within a story? I really don’t think there is anything wrong with it because it doesn’t influence me. However since I’ve noticed it a lot, I was curious.
The Cozy Mystery reader later sent me this:
I am currently reading ‘Death Runs Adrift’. On page 77, Natalie (main character) mentions that Charlene (best friend), “had discovered Twinings Black Currant tea over the winter, and drinks gallons of it”.
I only mentioned the Twinings Black Currant tea as an example of ‘product placement’ . It’s in McInerney’s latest book that I’m currently reading. I don’t drink tea, so it wouldn’t entice me to try it.
What I don’t know is if it’s intentional ‘product placement’, or if McInerney is offering a ‘suggestion’ of something she really likes to her readers.
I’ve noticed it several times in books that I read. I’m quite sure there was something in the latest Dams book, but I don’t remember what it was (goes to show how effective it is!).
If indeed they get paid for this, I think it’s great the cozy authors we love to read can make a little extra money (as long as it’s not over done and detracts from the story).
I personally had not noticed any product placement, but I have a feeling that if one of my Cozy Mysteries has it, I will notice it from now on!
What about you all? Other than obvious things like when a culinary Cozy has a recipe in it, have you noticed any product placement? And, if you have, does it bother you or do you think it’s a great idea?