What with all the bulldykery, ripped catsuits and pop genius, “Telephone,” the epic Jonas Akerlund video starring Lady Gaga and Beyonce is such an insane pastiche, it’s hard to keep track of the many product placements. Then again, the various companies featured in the video didn’t pony up all that dough merely for the sake of art, did they? Or even simply to promote jailhouse lesbianism. Below, a handy guide to “Telephone’s” 15 Most Brilliant Marketing Cameos:
1. Virgin Mobile
The sponsor of Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour finally appears ready to abandon the 24 percent or so of the population who identify themselves as evangelicals for a shot at sewing up the horny bi-curious youngsters demo, along with prison inmates (or at least those who’ve managed to smuggle in cell phones).
2. Diet Coke
“Just for the taste of it” is played out, and coconut water is kicking ass in the beverage category. What better move for the lo-cal standard bearer than to remind us of its efficacy as a hair-care product?
3. Hewlett Packard
iPad aside, what consumer wouldn’t want to own the same laptop favored by female correction officers?
4. Plenty of Fish
If you’re into female corrections officers—and if not, you have no idea what love is—this is definitely the site for you.
5. Ranier Maria Rilke
Gaga is all about German poetry. Her inner arm tat reads: “In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?” Sorry but this is not Rilke’s finest work.
Lady Gaga was recently named creative director for the almost defunct but newly resurrected photo brand. As the singer noted at CES, “The Haus of Gaga has been developing prototypes in the vein of fashion/technology/photography innovation—blending the iconic history of Polaroid and instant film with the digital era—and we are excited to collaborate on these ventures with the Polaroid brand.” Edwin Land would be proud!
7. Honey Bun
I can’t make out the name of the manufacturer (if you can, let me know in comments), but if I see one of these treats on the side of the road you can bet your ass I’m eatin’ it.
8. Overly Modest Chicken Franchise
Whatever company provided this soda, which appears in the video at a critical moment—as Gaga and Honey Bee plot the murder of some dude—they need to getting their money back. I can’t read it!
It’s subtle, but you can just make out the Stars and Stripes in this scene. Best $15 million the State Department ever spent.
Here’s a real missed opportunity for Eggo. These waffles cannily evoke that storied brand, but appear to be house-made.
11. Wonder Bread
Either the folks at Wonder are brilliant or they’re fucking brilliant. Either way, well played. Eat it, seven grain.
12. Miracle Whip
The sandwich spread just went thermonuclear in it’s war against mayonnaise and other lame spreads. Hellman’s is shitting a brick right now, count on it.
13. Coors Light
A little history: Joseph Coors himself put up the seed money for the Heritage Foundation and the company has funded a number of right-wing institutions, including the Free Congress Foundation and the Center for the Study of Popular Culture (study this, Horowitz!). The point is, while the company has worked hard to change its image, it clearly would never knowingly participate in a video by a female performer who has a penis. Which suggests this might not be a paid placement.
14. Chevy Silverado
If you buy one of these massive trucks, you are a pussy. Counter-intuitive, but good marketing often is.
15. Jai Rodriguez
The former Queer Eye “Culture Vulture” hasn’t worked a lot lately. We’re thinking that’s about to change in a big way. “Mr. Eastwood on line 3!”