Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Branding, Labels and Product Placement in The Cushion Effect

  Some writers offer readers, friends and acquaintances the opportunity to appear as characters in their novels, either altruistically raising money for charity, or mercenarily cashing in on the current trend for celebrity, however minor. I have created fictional characters, no doubt with the traits and peccadilloes of people I have observed, conversed with, or interacted with in some way. 
  I have also mentioned a few real people in The Cushion Effect. For example, a business man looking very much like Andrew Neil tries to pick up two of the main characters in Daphne's. They think it might have been him. I am not so sure even though I used to see him there frequently, indiscreetly sitting at a window table having Saturday lunch there with a blonde companion. And, occasionally by himself, poor lamb!  Moreover, Sir Anthony Caro and Dr Francis Graham-Dixon have cameo roles in one chapter at an exhibition. There is aIso an appearance by Jesus Adorno, that doyen of maitre d's and face of my favourite restaurant, Le Caprice, who comes to the rescue of two of my characters on a girls' night out. I hope they do not mind supporting the ambience I am creating in their particular scenes.
  In terms of product placement I am not of the Broccoli persuasion, receiving vast amounts of dosh to promote a brand. Simply put, the labels I use elaborate the imagery of The Cushion Effect, carefully chosen to create a dynamic mental or sensational image in the reader's mind, and an appropriateness when linked with a specific character. The brand and product elements are used to evoke not only a visual sense, but also a sensation, where appropriate, of touch, taste, smell and sound. 
  I also want to make it clear that I am not personally endorsing these brands. My preferences are quite well known in some areas, such as lingerie (Agent Provocateur) and champagne (Bollinger and Veuve Clicquot). However the rich tapestry of the environment for the story is populated with some other leading brands and products, a selection of which you can follow here:

  I do hope you enjoy sampling the look, taste and feel of The Cushion Effect style.

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