Buy a new Chevy. Check out this smoking hulk.

Carmakers are happy to see their products shot up, wrecked, sunk or burned--as long as they're featured on videogames.
Stephen Baker

Just got a call from Activision, the videogame people. They're excited about the growth of product placements in the games. Research shows that gamers actually appreciate seeing real branded restaurants, stores and banks. Makes it seem more realistic.

So I, in my snarky mode, ask if McDonald's would appreciate a real-life restaurant with grime on the floor, or if Chevy would like one of their cars in the game to break down (in a realistic way).

It turned out to be a good question. Until recently, car manufacturers insisted that their cars not be hurt or defaced in the games. Now they've changed their tune. They don't object if their branded vehicle is shot up, smashed, torched and left smoking at the side of the road. Anything for a branding opportunity on True Crime New York. Have carmakers figured out modern branding? Or are they like the desperate guests on The Jerry Springer Show, who readily debase themselves and their families for 15 minutes of fame?

This led me to thinking: If we were able to spin Blogspotting into a video game, what kind of product placements could we land? Maybe the old-fashioned Lucent desk phone with the tangled cord around it? It runs better than a shot-up Chevy.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.