Hyatt hotels to star in new documentary

I always thought product placement in TV shows and movies was brilliant (when integrated into the storyline as almost a character itself, as the Park Hyatt Tokyo was in "Lost in Translation"), annoying (when noticeably being shoved down the viewer's throat, as Apple laptops are in pretty much everything on TV), and scary (when not noticeable until someone points it out and then it's so obvious you feel stupid for not seeing it sooner). So I'm not sure what to think about Morgan Spurlock's documentary called "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold," or what to think about Hyatt being one of the products being placed for a price in this "story about product placement in a documentary film deriding product placement, paid for entirely by product placement."

It does show a certain sense of humor on the hotel chain's part, that's for sure. I liked this bit from the writeup: "For its part in Spurlock's film, the hotelier received a commercial within the movie as a bathrobe-clad Spurlock enjoys the comforts of a Hyatt hotel room. At a preview, that clip won audible laughs. 'We didn't cringe at all,' [John Wallis, Hyatt's global head of marketing and brand strategy] said." Well, that's good anyway.

But it all does make me wonder if we couldn't do a better job of incorporating product placement into sponsorship for meetings and trade shows? I mean, having names and logos on banners and badges and water bottles (for those who haven't gotten the word yet that it's greener to replace the bottles with water stations) is all well and good, but there must be some more creative ways to make sponsors more integral to the meeting. Anyone have any good examples of effective product placement in conferences? I'd love to know what people are doing.

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