That's right, my first post with an image. I think it's warranted, and I didn't think you could get the full effect without the visual to see for yourself. Kawasaki is now offering a Monster Energy version of two of its acclaimed motorcycles, one of which (ZX-6R) is pictured to the right.
Why does it represent the ultimate product placement to me? Because Monster is literally putting their brand on someone else's product and consumers are then PAYING to get that product and display Monster's advertising.
There are branded vehicles all over, usually commissioned and operated by the sponsor. The little Red Bull vehicles running around with giant cans in the back are one example. However, few products have earned such a following as to have their brands plastered on other products and sold as benefits. The Harley Davidson edition of Ford trucks is a good place to start.
I guess what really does it for me about these situations is that you flip the advertising paradigm on its head. Instead of you paying to put your brand places so the consumer can see it, the consumer PAYS YOU to display your brand. That's better than free advertising. That's getting paid to advertise. And while there's a possibility Monster actually paid Kawasaki a substantial sum to offer these bikes, the payoff is likely to be much larger.