“House of Cards” is one of the hottest TV shows around right now — and brands are trying to cash in on its popularity.
For OnePlus, a buzzy Chinese smartphone company, that means paying through the nose for product placement in the hope of a sales boost.
As The Verge reports, OnePlus paid $US300,000 (£212,000) to get its smartphones included in Season 4 of the hit political drama, which debuted over the weekend on Netflix.
And eagle-eyed Reddit users have spotted numerous instances of the show’s stars using the devices.
It’s a particularly interesting move, coming from OnePlus: the company historically has spent almost nothing on marketing. Instead, it normally releases new phones using an invite system. Users are placed on a waiting list and have to wait in turn for their chance to buy a device — generating significant buzz for the brand in the process.
Here’s new character Celia Jones, the daughter of Texas congresswoman Doris Jones, rocking a OnePlus.
And here’s political consultant Leann Harvey — another new edition — with one of the Android phones.
One more: Claire Underwood herself.
Of course, There’s another — far cheaper — way to get your product into “House of Cards”: Hope the producers take a liking to you.
British gaming company Miniclip’s hit game “Agari.io” also pops up in Season 4. “We received a call from the ‘House of Cards’ production team, out of the blue. They already knew about the game and wanted to include it in the show, and naturally we were delighted,” company spokesperson Ben Meakin told Business Insider. Miniclip prepared a special version of the game, and in it went — with no money changing hands.
It is just the latest in a series of popular games to appear in the political drama: Touchscreen indie game “Monument Valley” popped up in Season 3, and Frank Underwood has an affinity for shoot-em-ups.