For an unreal time, have a snack,
some drinks and a smoke.
When a movie or television production needs an onscreen product to look real, they turn to prop houses like ISS, which stock fictional brands which look similar to real brands but not enough to impede on a brand’s intellectual property or associate the product with some kind of bad activity.
That’s why a character might eat "Let’s Potato Chips" instead of "Lay’s Potato Chips", or drink a "Haberkern" instead of a "Heineken".
Says Michael Bertolina, from ISS:
"We’re trained to see brands, so when you don’t it’s almost jarring," he says. "But the network won’t use a brand if it interferes with an advertising deal they have or if it’s not used for its intended use. So instead of covering it with tape or running into a legal nightmare, we create these brands that are fictional…"
"Our owner’s name is Gregg Bilson, so you’ll find Bilson cigarettes all over TV," Bertolina adds. "If you watched Justified on FX, [Mags Bennett] ran a shop and had a rack of cigarettes behind her head all the time. They’re all Bilson."
When A Name Brand Just Won’t Do: Hollywood’s Best Fake Products, Fast Company>>