I have a fascination with Lady Gaga, I’ll admit it. I have always loved dance music, and she churns it out like salt-water taffy. But her videos – lord – they are something else. She makes mini-movies with bizarre storylines, insane costumes, and all with a healthy dose of sexuality bordering on soft-core porn. Take a look (fair warning for those watching at work – there’s swearing and a nearly-nekkid GaGa):

I love it. I think her latest video is exceptional because it unabashedly works product integration into the show – who’d a thunk Lady Gaga could elevate making a sandwich with Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip to such heights? She flashes her Virgin Mobile phone at us several times, and the old-school Polaroid gets props as well, and the prison guards use the PlentyOfFish dating site. Even Diet Coke (I do miss you, friend) has a supporting role – in the form of giant hair rollers. A fast-food joint also gets a nod, and Quentin Tarantino’s infamous “Pussy Wagon” is resurrected. I’m sure there are more brands there – this is just my takeaway from watching it once. Also got a chuckle out of the guard’s line, “I told you she didn’t have a dick”… a little GaGa fuck-you to the internet speculation that she’s a hermaphrodite or really a man. At this point, who cares?!

Just as OK GO had to secure a sponsor for their equally brilliant (though wildly different) Rube Goldberg video, in order to allow embedding, I expect we’ll see more product integration in videos like this – and it won’t feel bothersome because we’re being highly entertained. Embedding videos means the record company isn’t making money off the views, but if they can get their nickels another way, through sponsorships and product placement, it allows videos to be more viral, gaining more exposure for the artist. OK GO left their label EMI at least in some part because of the control they were exacting over their video distribution – and OK GO is actually one of the most viral-video-creating bands, ever. (Think of how many times someone sent you a link to that treadmill video!)

So, because I can, here’s that video from OK GO:

21-paintball-gun salute to our indie boys, and if I had a crazy rotary telephone hat to tip in your direction, Ms. Ga, I would.