TCM Flashback: Product Placement in Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies will show eleven film classics during its March festival titled "Product Placement in the Movies." It demonstrates that the "casting" of consumer products in on-screen roles didn't start with the conspicuous brand preferences of Austin Powers or James Bond, nor even with Steven Spielberg demonstrating the power of Reese's Pieces to attract a friendly extraterrestrial in 1982's "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial."
Piece of trivia: the Lumiere brothers, those famous French film pioneers of the 1890s, had an associate who also worked as a publicist for Lever Bros., now the international heavyweight known as Unilever. It was not by accident that Lever's Sunlight Soap can be seen in several widely distributed Lumiere features as early as 1896. (JSOnline.com)
The schedule and a wealth of behind-the-scenes information about each featured brand is on TCM's site.