Product placement in television and film has become so commonplace that we almost expect any mention of a specific brand on camera to be paid for in full by the company in question. And so we might have assumed with this week's episode of Mad Men, but apparently that wasn't the case.
The episode featured an account to advertise for Jaguar in the United States, with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce beancounter Lane Pryce coming across the account through his British ex-pat connections and bringing it back to the firm. "I think a man getting out of a Jaguar needs a cold shower," pitched Don Draper. "The Jaguar XKE is pornographic." And indeed it is, lauded as one of the most sensuous automotive designs ever to grace tarmac. (For crying out loud, just take a look at the classic cat in the fresh gallery of high-resolution images we've put together for you.)
A memorable scene, but apparently Jaguar was as surprised to see it as the rest of us. According to reports, the plug was neither solicited nor paid for by the British automaker. Of course, the particulars of product-placement deals are seldom revealed, but we'll take Jaguar's assertion at face value – particularly when two of the show's starring actors – John Slattery (who plays Roger Sterling) and Jon Hamm (a.k.a. Don Draper)– pitch for rivals Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz respectively.