Inappropriate Product Placement?

The Chile Mining crisis had people all over the world on the edges of their seats hoping for a positive conclusion. Everyone got their wish this week as the miners were rescued and in surprisingly good health. Throughout their entrapment, the miners were given various amenities to make them more comfortable, such as food, internet services, and fresh oxygen.

Many of these items came from donations, including 35 pairs of Oakley brand sunglasses. The eyewear company gave them glasses to protect their eyes when resurfacing. After all, being encased in total darkness for 69 days makes even the smallest amount of light intolerable.

Oakley products feature a highly recognizable company logo that was clearly visible in the midst of the rescue. This event equated to roughly 41 million dollars worth of free advertising, which has some onlookers questioning the ethics of this type of product placement. No one can be certain as to whether the company’s good will gesture was motivated by branding concerns or genuine human compassion. They have yet to publicly comment on this issue and have not made any attempts to draw attention to this matter on their own. In fact, it appears as though the only people hyping things are the critics themselves.

It is entirely possible that Oakley’s purpose reflected a marketing ploy, but this seems unlikely as they have a history of supporting charitable causes. Besides, they have not made a concerted effort to draw attention to their donation. While silent advertising isn’t unheard of, it would seem counterproductive in this instance. People watching the rescues were probably not paying attention to the sunglasses, so Oakley’s strategy would not have been effective without some effort on their part.

Still, Oakley’s intentions are really not relevant to this discussion. The glasses protected the miner’s vision, which is undoubtedly an important point. This illustrates the fact that Oakley delivers a superior product and they should not be scrutinized for doing so. Here at Admedia, we’d like to offer our thanks to Oakley for lending a helping hand. Keep up the great work!

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