Product placement in The Office

Update: Here’s a slideshow and article of the event — looks like a great turnout!

The Citizen’s Voice reports an upcoming trip by The Office’s propmaster to gather Scranton items for the new season:

Next week, Philip Shea, the prop master for the Emmy-winning sitcom about a fictional paper supply company based in Scranton, will visit The Mall at Steamtown to meet with businesses.

For two days, the executive responsible for making the characters drink at Poor Richard’s Pub, eat Cugino’s pizza and dial Rock 107 will be in town to see what else Scranton has to offer.

More information from the Scranton Chamber of Commerce after the jump.

Link: Product placement

From the Scranton Chamber of Commerce:

The Chamber is hosting a two-day “office” Business Showcase for all businesses in northeastern Pennsylvania. Any type of business can donate their logo products on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 and Wednesday, July 18 at The Mall at Steamtown from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM in Center Court. This event is sponsored by The Mall at Steamtown and Froggy 101.

The “office” Business Showcase is a free opportunity for any business to possibly be part of the television show “the office.” Businesses are encouraged to bring their company logo, promotional products, brochures, menus, etc. and two business cards to the Mall at Steamtown and meet “the office” Prop Master. All items will be sent directly to the set of “the office” for use by several departments including prop, set design, wardrobe, art, production designers, writers and transportation. At the event, businesses will need to sign a release form for their company and for items that may appear in upcoming episodes.

This event is in response to the hundreds of companies that have requested their logo products be used on the show, and it is a unique opportunity for any business to possibly appear on the show. For more information regarding “the office” Business Showcase, contact Mari Potis at 570.342.7111.

Tipster: Marc


  1. I like this. I don’t consider this “product placement” in the negative sense, i.e. Staples’ paper shredder. The realer the better.

    Yes, realer.

  2. I thought this would be about the negative aspects as well, but at least they didn’t quote a local business owner saying they didn’t really care for the show like that tour of Scranton video.

    I also think it’s funny that they say people are coming from “as far away as Virginia” (1 whole state away!)

  3. Awesome! Thanks. I know where I will be next week. I am determined to get something on the air!

  4. Wonder if I can get myself placed…

    Wait. What?

    The Staple’s placement was one thing, but the fact that they’re coming to this city to collect authentic Scranton items really means a lot. Not just to fans of the show who can’t deny that kind of dedication “to the real”, but it sure as sugar means a lot to the people of this city.

    That’s huge.

  5. This is a kind of product placement I don’t mind since it is mainly to give the show some local flavor and even help generate plot ideas.

    It’s the Staples shredder and Sandals placements that make my heart sink.

  6. My wife and I are from the Scranton area, and we LOVE it when a local product makes it on the screen. My mother used to work at Gertrude Hawks, and it makes me feel good to see that Creed chooses to steal THAT candy bar from the vending machine!

  7. What about those Herr’s chips? The week after that show aired, the local BJ’s Wholesale club on Long Island had a huge Herr’s display and promotion, which they didn’t have before (or since). Coincidence? I don’t think so. Of course I bought a box..I am such a dweeb!

  8. After the Herr’s chips made their first appearance, I noticed that we had Herr’s chips in our machine down in Tennessee! Needless to say, I bought Herr’s chips a lot more often!

  9. I’ll throw in my two cents that I also love the local product placement. The Staples shredder, though, almost made me too ill to keep watching the episode.

  10. I actually think the “product placements” in The Office are great, and they are not the kind of in-your-face thing we see in movies and other TV shows. They are used very effectively and only when they actually have something to do with the story (hence I don’t have a problem with the whole Sandals thing – it didn’t seem out of place at all to me). I actually went on the Steamtown Mall Web site just to see what they have to offer – I think the “Piercing Pagoda” may have possibilities!

  11. Actually, Jennie, Virginia is TWO states away – ha ha! It’s about a 5-hour drive. There was an Abby (or Abbey) candy store at the mall. My name is Abbey so I was really excited! I went to the store when I was up to see Angela and Brian but they didn’t have any bags or products with the name on it. Piercing Pagoda is a chain of jewelry/ear piercing places that have little “island” stands – I thought they were nationwide but it must be a regional thing. There weren’t that many locally-based stores, but they had a great sports memorabilia store where I got Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (minor league baseball team) stickers. I think that team should feature somewhere. I asked a man I was standing next to if there were any Scranton-themed souvenir shops in the mall and he said no and looked at me like “who would want souvenirs from Scranton?!”

    There was a local winery whose wines were served at the rooftop party in May. It was really good but I can’t remember the name.


    ALK — the wine may have been from Clover Hill. That winery is just outside Reading, PA. The State Stores (“liquor stores” for non-Pennsylvanians) carry it and Clover Hill has a number of stand-alone stores throughout the region (Park City Mall in Lancaster, King of Prussia Mall outside Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley Mall in Allentown). They have a website too.

    I strongly recommend the Niagara.

    On a side note, yea, I wasn’t too found of the Staples shredder plug either.

  13. “I asked a man I was standing next to if there were any Scranton-themed souvenir shops in the mall and he said no and looked at me like ‘who would want souvenirs from Scranton?!'”

    What a difference a TV show and a few years makes. I detest country music but I proudly display my Froggy 101 sticker in my apartment.

  14. You have to admit, though, when Kevin makes the salad (maybe that’s in a deleted scene: Where’d you get that salad? Keven: Staples), it’s hilarious.

  15. Why would the Staples thing annoy people? The characters work for a paper company. Naturally, staples would be a competitor and so makes sense when Dwight heads over there when he quits and why the head of the Stamford office leverages a deal with them. I don’t think the shredder placement was out of place at all and certainly wasn’t in your face. Think of how often you say a brand name during the day at the office. It’s realistic.

  16. The coolest part of all of this Office making Scranton famous is that my family knew of Scranton as a railroad hotspot (the Steamtown museum and local shortlines) and we listened to Froggy on our drives across PA.

  17. BtotheB-

    The Staples comments refer to the paper shredder in The Merger, not Dwight’s employment.

  18. there are a few things i miss about living in the Scranton-Wilkes Barre area – but everytime i watch the show i feel like i am home again :) i miss the Steamtown Mall!

  19. PhyllisFarm–I referred to both instances of staples references that I could remember in the show–so my post did mention the shredder too. Neither seemed out of place to me. I know the biggest gripe was with the staples shredder, but it’s clear that staples would be on the radar of the characters on the show (which is why I mentioned Dwight heading there after he quit). It’s realistic and I don’t think usinga staples shredder on the show or mentioning the name staples sounds out of place at all.

  20. I am with the crowd that does not think the product placement is bad. Places like Chili’s and Staples are just part of normal life, and Staples especially for a paper company. I heard on the commentary, or in an interview somewhere, that sometimes they don’t even get paid for using the brand name (I beleive that is actually true for Sandals…and I know it’s true for the Sebring.) I think they use the products to make the scenes funnier. Sandals Jamaica is such a Michael thing — it made that whole episode funnier!

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