Minority Report comes closer… Three huge screens at Birmingham New Street railway station are scanning passers-by and play advertisements accordingly. http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/new-street-station-advertising-screens-9920400
If we watched with the suspicious eye of the modern spectator a film like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s', we would be right thinking to the huge amount of money spent by the New York jewelry to be quoted in the title. However there is a significant difference between the film business of the 60s and the contemporary one: in 1961, in fact, Tiffany didn’t pay anything to advertise its brand, while nowadays product placement is one of the most important form of profit for a movie. The practice is so interesting that Matt Sohar, together with his staff from the Concordia University in Montreal, has created the Movie Mapper: The Brand Hype Database. It is a web based resource, including articles, videos and an annotated bibliography, whose key feature is a searchable database of movies and placements. The Movie Mapper is a collaborative tool, along the same line as Wikipedia, in which you can dynamically log records. To recognize a product placement, and suggest it to Brand Hype, the product must be on screen for more than two seconds and it has to be used or talked about by one the protagonists, and the brand must name must be visible and recognizable. Apart from its importance in the media studies, this project is useful because it brings to light a practice that is, in many respects, deceitful. Because of the diachronic dimension of cinema, in fact, advertising can colonize time placing a product both in the past and in the future as if it has always existed. Therefore the Movie Mapper is an helpful tool that allows us, brand new Trumans, to distinguish between what is Show and what is real world.