The future of advertising?

I love the fact that Blake Heal, Sam Griffith and Peter Cote were three unknown people last week, but who are now celebrated viral film makers.¬†Together with actor/model Michael Johnson, they created the popular “Guy Walks Across America” YouTube video. You can see the map and behind the scenes video on Mashable.

Subtle Product Placement

Guy Walks Across America, was created with 2770 still frames and produced in 14 days. There is no mention of an advertiser in the video, unless you look carefully.¬†At the end you will notice the famous Levis red tab in Johnson’s jeans.

I had a feeling there was more to this video, because they used the popular song, “Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (affiliate link). Surely, they would have had to get permission to use it.

This reminds me of the (equally awesome) OK Go, “This Too Shall Pass” video which features the State Farm Insurance red truck (with tiny logo) at the beginning of their video. In this case the video was financed by State Farm, but it was not an actual ad for the company.

The future of advertising?

What do you think? Is this effective advertising? Is the new direction of subtle product placement the best direction for advertising to go?