Some Thoughts on Brand-Name Props

Let’s imagine you were dressing the set in a realistic manner for a contemporary home. It would be ridiculous to do so without any brand name products. If you step into any random house of the type your characters live in, you will find yourself swimming in a sea of logos and packaging of distinctive colors and shapes. Even something as innocuous as a bookcase can be recognized as IKEA simply by its appearance.

The fact is, to deliberately omit brand names from a contemporary set is not only difficult and time-consuming, it is not realistic. If you carefully construct “look-alike” logos and names, you will merely draw attention to the props. The same holds true if you fill your set with generic brands (such as “Beer” brand beer) – not to mention the fact that a household with all generic products is actually an anomaly and the very opposite of generic.

As you do your research, try to take notice to all the brands around you. Also think about how ingrained some brands are in the fabric of our culture. If a character is drinking a Coca-Cola, you think he is thirsty. If he is drinking an invented brand of cola, you might suddenly wonder if his choice of brand has some significance. It’s distracting.