It made headlines for its salacious, possibly-banned-from-MTV content—but Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video is also garnering attention for its remarkable number of product placements. “If Michael Jackson was making 'Thriller’” in this day and age, “he would do this, too. These million-dollar music videos have to have partners,” Gaga’s manager tells Advertising Age. Some placements were paid, but a surprising number weren’t—a rundown:
- Wonder Bread: Unpaid. Used in a sequence showing Gaga poisoning diner customers, because Gaga wanted to contrast the poisoning with an all-American brand.
- Miracle Whip: Paid. Used in the same scene—and for the same reason—as Wonder Bread; seems to be part of the spread’s new, edgier campaign.
- Diet Coke: Unpaid. It was Gaga’s idea to curl her hair with Diet Coke cans in the video as an homage to her mother.
- Virgin Mobile: The cell phone in the video is a nod to the company, a mobile sponsor of Gaga’s Monster Ball tour.
- Polaroid: Camera and photo booth featured acknowledge Gaga’s role as Polaroid’s creative director.
- Heartbeats headphones and Beats laptop: Unpaid. An extension of her partnerships with Interscope Music and Hewlett Packard.
- PlentyofFish.com: Unclear. Possibly the weirdest deal of the bunch; result of the dating site's partnership with Interscope.