Friday, March 26, 2010
Microsoft's Bing has a product placement deal with The Vampire Diaries. Last night, that deal led to a character saying, "I binged it." Funny how that destroyed suspension of disbelief more than the presence of vampire diaries. But the real point is that trademark owners are now paying for (quasi-)naturalistic uses of their marks that traditional trademark lawyers sent threat letters over. And as I've said before, this makes sense in a world in which consumers can readily distinguish between the mark and the verb use, and in which "owning" the category is very valuable for the brand.