Product placement guru explains his business with films
If you’ve seen Steve Carell drink a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee on “The Office,” Zach Galifianakis strap on a Baby Bjorn in “The Hangover,” Mike Myers takes a swig of Heineken in the “Austin Powers” movies or Lea Michele whip off Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses on “Glee,” you may have wondered: Why did that product have to be there?
If you’re Norm Marshall, you’ve watched that same film or TV show and congratulated yourself on a job well done.
Marshall has one of the most unusual — and polarizing — jobs in Hollywood. Officially called an “entertainment marketing consultant,” his real task is more delicate and more blunt.
Marshall is one of the premiere independent product-placement specialists, a role that requires him to be part diplomat, part translator and part enforcer on behalf of the countless brands that seek to promote their products by infiltrating mass entertainment.