#WritersRoad Recap: Using Brand Names

Tonight we're chatting about mentioning brand names. Benefits, drawbacks, legalities. Guest author @KarlenePetitt is w/us! #WritersRoad
So what you do you all think about saying Starbucks instead of coffee? #WritersRoad Or Coors Light instead of Beer? #writersroad
So @KarlenePetitt, can you tell us what benefits you've noticed from mentioning brand names? #writersroad
Thinking about topic. What are the legalities involved with using brand names? #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt TO me there is a big difference. SB can be regional and has had some bad publicity. Changes perception. #WritersRoad
@KarlenePetitt For me, it can cement character traits. But, at the same time, can date a story. #writersroad
@Tina_Moss Great question. That I'm honestly not sure about. #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt I like specifics like that. It can illuminate a character. #WritersRoad
@Tina_Moss I dont' think any legalities as long as we aren't profiting from it. #writersroad
@HeatherMcCorkle @KarlenePetitt That's true. Certain ideas in reader's mind when given a brand name as opposed to generic. #writersroad
@Tina_Moss Ah yes, dating is always something to worry about. #writersroad
@peach83352 I think that too. I was taking a screen play course and you have so few lines... it helps. #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt It can date a story, kinda like the Howard Johnsons in the space station in 2001. Can also make it more real. #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt So I can't say MC was driving a Mercedes over and over in hopes of getting one? LOL. Product placement. :) #writersroad
@Nightveil So true! And if you said McDonalds...everyone knows what those arches look like and type of food #writersroad etc...
@Tina_Moss My publisher just listed the trademarked names. They did ask me to delete a few… #WritersRoad
Check out what attorney Mark Fowler says on the subject: rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/can-i-… #writersroad
@peach83352 Interesting. Did they say why? #writersroad
@HeatherMcCorkle Just clicked over and read ... "yes" will read the rest later. #writersroad
@Tina_Moss I guess they thought it was too many? I think perhaps they had to do some background work to use the trademarks? #WritersRoad
In movies... it gets overdone sometimes. Wondering if it's noticeable in the story? #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt How have you used products in your novel to tell us something about your characters? #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt I agree. I think that has to do with sponsorship when it comes to movies though. #writersroad
Now... what about putting a plug in for your friends? Anyone do that in a book yet? #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt Movies have actual product placement nowadays, though. Producers get paid to have that Coke prominently placed. #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt I love that idea. How so? #writersroad
@HeatherMcCorkle @KarlenePetitt My fav was in Smallville. Instead of saying, "Borrow my car", it was "Borrow my Yaris". LOL. #writersroad
@HeatherMcCorkle Wonder if the same applies to Geekdom. LOADS of Geek references in my book. But I acknowledged the copyright. #writersroad
@Nightveil I use real companies...but all out of business... so they help. #writersroad
I mention @Alaska Airlines in my next novel as #Seattle Sweetheart airline. #WritersRoad It's an aviation novel...and they are real
@teetate @HeatherMcCorkle I'd think as long as you acknowledged the trademark/copyright you'd be fine. #writersroad
if your character is living in current times. Walking into the Hilton, and drinks Diet Pepsi... How can this be wrong? #WritersRoad
@KarlenePetitt Would it be a defamation issue if the story had a crash coverup or such? Even though it's fiction? #writersroad
@KarlenePetitt Good point! And that tells us a bit about them. #WritersRoad
@Tina_Moss You make an excellent point. I think so long as we don't say something negative we're safe. #WritersRoad
@Tina_Moss That's a good point. And if it damaged them, they could come after you if they could prove you harmed them. #writersroad
If you say something negative about a brand then you risk the wrath of their lawyers. #writersroad
@HeatherMcCorkle @Tina_Moss Absolutely. No harm to anyone is the key. #writersroad And if it helps them...they win with the writing too.
I think the only way to avoid dating your story would be to pick brands that have been & will be around for decades. #writersroad
Not a guarantee, certainly, but it can't hurt to be aware of the age of a brand. #writersroad
@Nightveil Most books are done in a given time period. Those would be more authentic to have real brands #WritersRoad from that time
@KarlenePetitt That's a great point. I think you'd only have to be careful if you don't want the time period known. #writersroad
Thanks everyone from coming and your great input!! And Heather for providing that post! Very helpful #WritersRoad
You view a character different who carries a Gucci bag vs. a simple purse. Just be careful Gucci doesn't mind the mention. #writersroad
@HeatherMcCorkle So true. But if they are selling bags that people carry...then we have to tell about it. #writersroad
My character must wear Louboutin heels! It was to be those! #writersroad
@jbeemills I like that, it says a lot about her. #WritersRoad or him...
Of course, the world(s) of my current WIP have no noticeable brands. Might need to change that. Hmmm... #writersroad
Complete side note: for diluted brands, capitalization matters. coke describes all sodas. Coke is a brand. #writersroad
@Nightveil I tend to model my fictional brands after something IRL, but very loosely based... ;-) #writersroad #nowiwanttacos
What about a local restaurant? #writersroad
@jbeemills I think a local resteraunt is a very good thing to mention, as long as it's positive. #writersroad
(1/2) Always wondered how Richelle Mead got away with the Emerald City Books thing in the Georgina Kincaid books. #writersroad
(2/2) It's a real place, but her characters work there and, in one case, own the place. Money changed hands, methinks. #writersroad
I think the key is, if you're in doubt about using a brand name, do your research, ask your agent/publisher/author friends. #WritersRoad
@jbeemills @HeatherMcCorkle Neil Gaiman does this with tourist traps in American Gods. He hides the actual locations. #writersroad
@HeatherMcCorkle I used two Boulder restaurants in one of my MSs. Both positive! Fun for any locals who might read it.... #writersroad


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