For Dr. Scott Connelly, chairman and founder of Met-Rx, it didn't take long for him to grant permission when he received a letter from the "Pulp Fiction" filmmaker last May, asking his OK to use the product.
"I said, 'Let me think about it . . . OK, go ahead!' " said Dr. Connelly last week.
Although Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has engineered a tidal wave of hype for its $100 million-plus product placement/promotional blitz for the new James Bond adventure "Tomorrow Never Dies," it's Met-Rx that may have scored the coolest such tie-in of the holiday film season. The much-anticipated "Jackie Brown" from Miramax Films opens Dec. 25.
Unlike BMW of North America, Ericsson and Visa USA's ties with "Tomorrow Never Dies," Met-Rx's product placement didn't cost the company a cent.
Miramax said Mr. Tarantino makes all the calls on props in his films.
The screenwriter and director has a well-known passion for pop culture brand names. That interest has produced memorable scenes and dialogue on subjects ranging from Madonna ("Reservoir Dogs"); Marvel Comics ("Crimson Tide"); and Burger King Corp. and McDonald's Corp. ("Pulp Fiction").
Dr. Connelly said Mr. Tarantino wrote Met-Rx into the movie because he's a fan of the brand.
Met-Rx doesn't solicit athlete endorsements or product placement, although it has employed as ad spokesmen athletes who already use the brand, including Troy Aikman and Mike Piazza.
Met-Rx has spent $25 million in advertising since 1992, almost exclusively in print.
Dr. Connelly says its doesn't bother him that Met-Rx in featured in a film that's rated R for violence and language.
Additionally, Ms. Fonda's character has been described in early reviews as a bit of a pothead, ironic for a character who's nutty for a nutritional product such as Met-Rx.
Nevertheless, Dr. Connelly said the film is culturally relevant to his brand's adult demo.
"The most valuable benefit of being in 'Jackie Brown' is the subjective