De-fictionalizing Products in Movies and Television: Life Imitating Art

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 8:00 am

Fast Company has an article about Omni Consumer Products, a “de-fictionalizing” company that looks for products in movies and television that do not really exist and makes them available.

As the sole proprietor of Omni Consumer Products, Hottelet is constantly scanning the pop culture zeitgeist for imaginary items that can be “defictionalized,” as he calls it, and offered to consumers as a tangible product. While prototypes like the crowbar or an audaciously morbid trash bag and knife set inspired by Showtime’s Dexter might invite class-action mayhem and are unlikely to see the light of day, Hottelet has nailed it in other venues. His carbonated beverage based on HBO’s recently wrapped True Blood was a huge hit; Sex Panther cologne, the fragrance favored by Paul Rudd’s news doofus Brian Fontana in theAnchorman films, is the kind of gift that might prompt an eye-roll if it weren’t so well-made. (The box actually growls when opened.)

“You’re not actually selling cologne,” Hottelet says of the reverse product placement. “You’re selling the connection people have with the film.” The trick for Hottelet is to try and anticipate which products will resonate with consumers, feeding nostalgia while avoiding tacky tie-ins. If Hottelet has his way, at least a couple of your friends should have a bag of Stay-Puft marshmallows or Fight Club bar soap on display.

The company’s name itself is de-fictionalized.  It’s from “Robocop.”  Other products include “Idiocracy’s” Brawndo drink and “Ghostbuster’s” iconic Stay Puft Marshmallows. What products from movies and television would you like to see them do next?

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