Posted: August 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Product placement is when a “real brand or product is included in a media vehicle (i.e., program, film, video game) in exchange for goods, services and/or money. When placing a labeled product into a movie or TV episode, the idea is to promote that brand while it may be setting in the background. Other times, Product placement can be a little less subtle. This may include the idea that the characters are talking about the product within the script. When the brand is merged with the programming, it may appear practical to the viewer and can eventually lead to “a positive impression of the brand in the minds of the audience.

Reasons to Use

Product placement is the perfect way to get the audience to stare at strategically placed products every time they turn on the TV. Blockbuster movies are perfect for product placement because they can reach an international audience while in theaters and on DVD. Propaganda Global Entertainment Marketing co-founder Ruben Igeilko-Herrlich not only helps place pro

Movie-product-placement.jpgducts in movies but says, “…If it’s an obvious product placement it looks like a commercial that will turn viewers off” (Grover 2009).

Looking on the bright side, a couple thousand-dollar price tag may be a little harsh for smaller business that cannot afford that type of investment. However, “for small companies on tight budgets, product placement may offer better value than purchasing traditional TV spots” (Johnson 2009). Not only does putting recognizable products in movies allow for more publicity, but it’s also not uncommon for sales to increase. “Eileen Sheilds, a New York designer whose shoes were worn by actress Cynthia Nixon in the film ‘Sex and the City,’ which led to more stores ordering her footwear, which is priced from $495 to $595” (Johnson 2009). Along with new customers, including Saks: Dubai, Shields had mentions in fashion magazines and blogs worldwide.



A major problem advertisers face is the ability to fast-forward through advertisements, especially with advancements like TiVo and Comcast’s DVR. Being able to skip these ads that people have made careers around makes is difficult to sell products. By putting products directly into the programming, whether it is a video game, webisode, cell phone application or music video, even the most technologically-savvy person cannot escape the brand names.
Product placement does have its limits, no one watching TV wants to have a product pitched to them through dialogue. “The underlying premise is that increasing exposure from a low to moderate level provides greater opportunity to elaborate on the content of the message, thus facilitating retention in memory. At higher levels of exposure, however, the message recipient becomes fully habituated to the stimulus and boredom/irritation and satiation tend to result in message reactance, increased counterarguing and viewer wear-out” (Homer 2009). According to Tony Pace, Subway’s chief marketing officer, this message is a more “hey, this is paid for” approach (Lowry 2009) rather than a here, listen to the characters, maybe they’ll help sell the product. Product placement has also seen to be more effective when the brand is featured with a character that possesses desirable traits (Homer 2009).



The PQ Media marketing research firm estimated that “$1.88 billion was spent on TV, $1.25 billion on movies and $325 million on other media” (Lane 2008). Companies that are strapped for cash need to make the most of their product placement. “Sponsors typically pay $50,000 or more to get their products showcased in music videos” (Grover 2009). As for other forms of product placement, in 2005 Dairy Queen was promoted on “The Apprentice” reality show, and the cast members were required to design a campaign for the Blizzard. “Dairy Queen spent in the ‘low seven figures’ to appear on the show and run its supporting promotion.” Costs can run from “less than $10,000 to several hundred thousand dollars” (Cebrzynski 2006).
Not all product placements are paid for, though, some happen through promotions and movie producers place products for free or in exchange for promotional tie-ins. “PQ Media estimated that global unpaid product placements were valued at about $6 billion in 2005 and were expected to reach $7.45 billion in 2006” (Cebrzynski 2006).
Although product placement is no stranger to movies and TV, recently they have been spotted in songs, Broadway shows and video games (Lane 2008). Currently, about 57 percent of people play video games today, and over half, at 56 percent, are men (Bulik 2009). Video game makers are putting more effort into video game product placement because statistics show that over 122 million men and women are using and playing them (Bulik 2009). The idea that video games are really a niche market allows for advertisers to target a certain audience within the game. Interpret is a market researcher that breaks down gamers into different segments that are grouped by game preferences such as casual, racing, educational and rocker-esque games. While the makers of video games are increasingly intertwining product placement into video games, the market has risen from “$34 million in 2004 to an estimated $562 million in 2009” (Lane 2008). Jeep, Puma and Motorola are just a few of the marketers weaving its products into this different market. “The latest category of video game advertising is the ‘advergames’ where a video game is created solely to promote a product” (Lane 2008).



The qualities of having brand name products in the background not only promote the brand, but then the characters are seen as having a relationship with the movie itself. “When you see a character reach for a box of Cheerios, drink a Coors or drive a new Jaguar, it’s no coincidence” (Altstiel 2006). Product placement ensures that people see products, even if they are fast-forwarding through the commercials.

At a high-end hotels such as the Luxor hotel-casino in Las Vegas, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J. and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., will all be experiencing product placement by Sony. Sony is allowing guests at these hotels to “sample products like a PlayStation 3, HDTVs and music from the Sony BGM division” (Beirne 2007). Not only is this product placement unlikely, but also guests can view the products and even buy them at a 10 to 20 percent discount.



Product placement has no specific scheduling but it reaches all people that watch TV – they just might not know it. “House M.d.,” a FOX hit TV drama where Dr. Gregory House is a brilliant doctor who is known for prescribing himself drugs as well as the patients he sees, some drugs that may even kill them. When watching, some may think a pharmaceutical company endorses the show because of the frequent use of the drug Lupron. “House contains no paid pharmaceutical product placement, and they actually try to avoid mentioning specific brand names whenever possible because of potential legal issues” (Donahue 2008).

Not all brands have to be top of the line. ABC Head of wardrobe Cate Adair is “always on the lookout for fresh fashion accessories to adorn her cast” (Johnson 2009). Product placement is in everything … from the bag being carried to the stores they are walking by. The product placement and advertising industry spends millions of dollars to make characters and scenes the way they do. People think they can avoid the ads with TiVo, when really they are watching tons of brand names and they don’t even know it.

Additional Examples



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