BrandWeek has a follow-up on David Edery's HRB piece on reverse product placement in games (see David's earlier post on the topic, my old post on the fictional brand Sprunk in Grand Theft Auto, and a summary of the HBR article in Gamasutra). What's reverse product placement (I call it "proxy branding") ? BrandWeek writes: "While traditional product placement refers to integrating a real brand into a fictional environment, an idea that's gaining traction is to create a fictional brand in a fictional environment and then release it into the real world."
"One possible twist is to plant a real brand that exists outside the U.S. and then gauge the reaction. Mitsubishi, for instance, placed its Lancer Evolution in Sony PlayStation's Gran Turismo videogame years before the model was available in the U.S. in 2003. A Mitsu rep said placement in the game "helped heighten awareness here for a model that was not yet sold in the United States" and played a role in the carmaker's decision to release it here."