Billie Eilish & Wetzel’s Pretzels: The Power of Organic Product Placement


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Pretzel Positivity

Billie Eilish isn’t the only star of her most recent ‘Therefore I Am music video. Wetzel’s Pretzels makes an iconic appearance and is used as a prop for Eilish to subtly call out her recent body shamers. In the music video, Billie exhibits this serious call to action with her bold, nonchalant style and her whimsical and exaggerated use of a Wetzel’s Pretzel.

This placement not only connects the brand to one of the most famous popstars in the world, but it adds an entire new edge to how companies can rebrand their products. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines how organic product placement within pop culture, specifically in Billie Eilish's 'Therefore I Am' music video, can effectively reshape and update a brand’s image in our ever evolving society.  

BILLIE EILISH and Weztel's Pretzels: the power of organic product placement


How do you get Gen-Z to notice your brand? 

They are looking for a story. Impersonal media has left an emotional disconnect with followers, but embedded marketing provides an emotional attachment. The Wetzel’s Pretzels placement in Eilish’s video is the perfect example of organic embedded media that also happens to tackle one of Gen-Z’s most overwhelming struggles: body-shaming.

In a world where our image on social media can seem like the most important thing, body-shaming has become an even more amplified problem. Eilish almost never steps out into public, but as soon as she does, the paparazzi are there to capture the moment. Once the images are out, almost every single news outlet has something to say about her body and that is when anonymous users are even quicker to comment. This is exactly why Eilish took the opportunity to call out the media and internet trolls in her  ‘Therefore I Am’ video. How does she call them out, you ask? By eating whatever she wants whenever she wants! 

Billie Eilish Wetzel Pretzel Signage

As Eilish confidently marches up and down the Glendale Mall, we see her approach the easily recognizable Wetzel’s Pretzels shop with its bright yellow sign and counter adorned with freshly baked pretzels.

Billie Eilish Taking Wetzel's Pretzel

Billie then shamelessly and confidently grabs a pretzel that sits next to a clearly branded bag of Wetzel Bitz and carries it throughout the entirety of the music video. The pretzel becomes a symbol of Billie’s revolution to overcome the body-obsessed internet trolls that haunt us all.

Billie Eilish Walking with Wetzel's Pretzel

Props As Characters

This theory works in all forms of media. Whether it is a music video, a film, or even a Tik Tok, props can become characters in their own right within a scene. Light’s Film School perfectly states, “props can propel your character’s narrative because they are part of what a character has or is up against in his or her world”. In this case, the pretzel helps propel Eilish’s body-positivity message to the world in a way that’s powerful and exhilarating. Because this Wetzel’s Pretzel is literally a part of the storyline, the viewer cannot skip or detach from this incredible branding moment.

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Turning The Tables

As body standards become increasingly unrealistic, so have young people’s diets. Carbs have become one of the most avoided food groups which hasn’t been ideal for a brand like Wetzel’s Pretzels. This placement completely flips those standards upside down: Not only does it affiliate the brand with Billie Eilish, but it also promotes and supports body positivity and the healthy outlook that it is OK to chow down on a carbolicious Wetzel's Pretzel! Eilish uses the pretzel to symbolize the power we have to freely choose what we decide to put into her bodies and that it should never be anyone else’s business. Wetzel’s Pretzels becomes a team player in Eilish’s quest to overcome our society’s incredibly overbearing body standards.

Fallon's Pretzel Parody

Not even 24 hours after the ‘Therefore I Am’ music video premiered, Jimmy Fallon released his own comedic rendition on The Tonight Show.

Jimmy Fallon Therefore I Am Parody

Wearing the exact same outfit with his hair dyed green, Jimmy struts around his studio with Billie’s audacious swag. The only difference between Fallon’s version and Billie’s is that he is in the 30 Rock building being followed by a COVID-19 Safety Officer who is vigilantly enforcing the safety protocols. Fallon makes sure to include the entire pretzel bit and he even over exaggerates the scene while seductively twirling the pretzel around his finger! The COVID-19 Safety Officer then yells at him for touching the pretzel with his bare hands, but he ignores her and takes a huge, satisfying bite out of the pretzel anyways. This is when the ripple effect comes into play. Even though there isn’t any Wetzel’s Pretzels branding in The Tonight Show bit, viewers will still automatically think of the brand in context. The same idea goes for anyone recording their own recreation of the iconic “Therefore I Am” choreography on Tik Tok or instagram.

Wetzel's Pretzel's Response

Once the video premiered, fans immediately went to Twitter and started posting about how they were all of a sudden craving Wetzel’s Pretzels.

Billie Eilish & Wetzel Pretzel Tweet

Then of course, some bigger accounts like MTV and Spotify joked about wanting Billie to save them some snacks along with screenshots of Billie holding her pretzel, fries, and soda from the music video. On their social media, Wetzel’s Pretzels posted about giving out free pretzels to anyone creating Tik Tok dances to ‘Therefore I Am’ which was a fantastic way to take advantage of this placement. They could’ve taken this one step further and created a Tik Tok account of their own and created a Wetzel’s Pretzel rendition of the ‘Therefore I Am’ video. Wetzel’s Pretzels could have also partnered up with Billie Eilish to continue the conversation on social media.

Ready to Revamp Your Brand? 

Keeping up with our ever-evolving society has become a crucial element in maintaining a brand’s relevance. Organically integrating your brand into popular culture is one of the most effective and influential ways to do so. It also happens to be one of Hollywood Branded's specialities! Whether it’s integrating your product into a music video, partnering with a major film franchise, or working with celebrity influencers, there are countless ways to organically reshape your brand’s story.

Read out blog Why Organic Product Placement Increases Brand Sales and and check out these blogs and case studies on product placement as well:

Want to learn more about product placement? Check out our all-encompassing guide on product placement and promotions below! 

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide