On Being Your Own Product Placement

Back in November of 2011, I wrote a short post called Once Upon A Very Grimm Time at Echelon Explorations in which I said, of Once Upon A Time, “There seems to be some connection to Disney and Barbie, based on the costumes, characters and commercials.”

Well, color me perceptive if uninformed, because OUAT is a Disney production. It is rather amusing to see the Disney Princesses in their Disney Princess dresses, although I’m desolate that Maleficent didn’t look a bit like Gloria Swanson and had a cutesy-tootsy unicorn for a pet instead of a massive, fire-breathing dragon.

Hi. I'm scary. And disturbingly hot.

I like the little “Easter eggs”, like Dr. Hopper having a Dalmatian named Pongo, but I find the idea of Jiminy Cricket somewhat disconcerting. Now Gaston has come to town. Gaston, or, as my mother says, “A made-up made-up person,” meaning a character inserted by Disney as opposed to a character originating in the the fairy tale. I told her I’m waiting for Pocahontas to show up.

Not that I’m complaining. Disney Studios can plug itself in its own production all it wants to, especially when Robert Carlyle is in it. In fact, I do a bit of the same thing, myself, kindasorta.

I have these books, EEL’S REVERENCE (not about eels) and FORCE OF HABIT, and I’ve written short stories, “Line of Descent” and “By the Book”, respectively, set in the same worlds. I have several books in process in the Spadena Street mystery series, and I’ve written short stories about characters in them.

As Disney knows, why have a platform and then not plug your own product? Er, I mean, it’s very hip to be self-referential. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

WRITING PROMPT: Outline a story in which characters from two different fairy tales come together.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “On Being Your Own Product Placement

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 23, 2012 at 11:45am

      I know–all this “branding” stuff makes me skittish. I see the plusses of it, but I don’t like to be pigeonholed, if that isn’t a mixed metaphor.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  1. Helen Ginger

    January 23, 2012 at 11:24am

    A lot of us were brought up not to brag about ourselves. I would say we’re the older generation. That’s not taught so much anymore. Not a bad thing, necessarily. But for me, self-bragging is not an easy thing to do.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 23, 2012 at 11:47am

      My Aunt Ruth used to say, “If you don’t toot your own horn, nobody else is gonna toot it for ya!” But I’m always afraid I’ll yell, “Hey, ev’ybody! Looka ME!” and then I’ll fall flat on my kiester. lol

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Dani G.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:11pm

    I wonder what Disney’s new Sophia will be like – the princess they are debuting later this year. I think we should all write and publish some anti-princess stories fast!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 23, 2012 at 5:18pm

      I like princesses! I like Disney princesses! When I’m sick, nothing makes me feel better than coloring what I call Pretty Lady Dresses. Of course, Once Upon A Time’s Snow is all Mulan, with the dead animal across her shoulders and all, but that’s cool. I need to get a OUAT coloring book, so I can use up my gold glitter special crayon on Rumplestiltskin.

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  3. Bizz

    January 30, 2012 at 8:44pm

    I’ve been a fan of Robert Carlyle for years, going all the way back to Trainspotting, Ravenous and even The Full Monte. He’s also in The Beach, which to me is one of my favorites, for the escapism, deserted island qualities…

    Good stuff!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 30, 2012 at 9:03pm

      I first saw him in the PBS series of Hamish MacBeth. Then we saw The Full Monty. I’ll have to look for The Beach. SUCH a good actor!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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