Welcome back! In a strange crossover episode between The Office and Reality, Dunder Mifflin is now a real brand of paper from Staples-owned Quill.com. If you aren’t lucky enough to be a Wall Street Journal subscriber (pardon me as I dust off my shoulders and adjust my monocle), the full article basically points out that the paper industry is as bleak as it appears on TV, forcing companies to try new things:
The Dunder Mifflin deal is an example of “reverse product placement.” For decades, marketers have worked to embed their brands in the plots of TV shows and movies as a way to stand out in a crowded ad market. Nowadays, they are seeing value in bringing to life fictional brands that are already part of pop culture. That can be far cheaper than building brands from scratch.