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Product Placement 

What is a product placement ? and why is it important for brand visibility and sales?

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Image by Kenny Eliason

What Is Product Placement? Product placement is also known as "embedded marketing." It is a marketing technique used in movies, T.V. shows, music videos, and other productions where references to a specific brand or product are "part" of the script and incorporated to promote that particular brand or product.


 Brands pay a fee (anywhere from $40k to $300k annually, depending on the desired scope.)


Are film / Tv show placements worth it?

Dominic Artzrouni is the founder of Concave Brand Tracking, a firm that offers detailed analytics on the performance of product placements in film.

Artzrouni provides brands like Dell with data on screen time, discernibility, logo visibility, context (location, associations), and — most importantly — the value they derive from their placements.

The process of determining this value is complex and varied, but Artzrouni says it can be simplified into a basic formula:


(Exposure on screen) x (Viewership) x (Cost of T.V. commercials)

It's not an exact science, but it spits out a rough dollar amount that equates a brand's film placement to the value it would've derived from traditional T.V. commercials. 

Each year, he publishes a list of the brands that derive the most value from product placements.

In 2020, the top brand — the British clothing and shoe manufacturer Lonsdale — generated an estimated $16.5m from 16+ minutes of screentime in The Gentlemen.


Artzrouni says brands that appeared in the 2020s 50 highest-grossing films reaped $890m in combined ad value. Extrapolating across all films, he estimates that brands saw $1.2B in ad value from movie product placements in 2020.


But that only tells part of the story: Unlike traditional commercials, good films are timeless, and those values can increase exponentially.

"Product placement is the gift that keeps on giving," he says. "The ROI can be ridiculous; a brand might get into a film for free and get $3m in value from it."

Outside of equivalent ad value, brands can reap both short- and long-term sales benefits from placements:

  • Reese's saw a reported 65% spike in sales after E.T.

  • Ray-Ban sales skyrocketed from 18k to 360k after Risky Business.

  • Etch A Sketch saw sales balloon by as much as 4,500% in the wake of Toy Story(1995).

  • Chevy Camaro sold 80k cars after playing a starring role in Transformers (2007), jumpstarting the ailing brand. The film was such a hit for the carmaker that it was later called a "G.M. ad in disguise."


And academic research has shown that product placements can raise brand awareness by 20%, resulting in a greater recall rate, more positive attitudes, and a stronger intention to buy.

Brands are flocking to the space.


Jones of Hollywood Branded says there has never been a better time to get into product placement in the film.

"I've never, in 25 years, seen more opportunity in the space," she says. "We've never had our phone ring more. The level and number of brands getting into the space are astonishing."



She attributes this to a confluence of factors:

  • A changing of the ad guard: Traditional T.V. advertising is declining, and brands are looking for creative ways to leverage digital media.

  • A content boom: Streaming services have been pumping out historically high quantities of content, leading to more product placement opportunities.

  • Budget awareness: Rising production costs on the backside of the pandemic have caused producers to think more deeply about ways to save money on films.


Why are product placements with streaming channels good for brands?


Virtual product placement offers brands a new way to reach viewers from within the streaming T.V. content that audiences love in a landscape with an ever-increasing number of opportunities to capture consumer attention. It's a compelling chance for advertisers to grow their brands.


Why Brands Should Take Advantage Of Product Placement


Capturing Without Distracting

People pay attention to their favourite T.V. shows and movies. By integrating products, brands can capture attention without distracting from entertainment. Consumers can't swipe away or block and usually don't fast-forward product placements. This is why it's one of the most organic and influential ways to reach consumers in 2020. If your favourite actor rides a Super73 Electric Motorbike or drinks Empathy wine, the audience subconsciously has more trust for those brands and is more influenced to purchase from them.



Undoubtedly, over-the-top (OTT) media streaming networks have people's attention. Devices such as Apple T.V., Roku and Amazon Fire are in so many homes around the world, currently in over 200 Million homes combined. That number alone speaks volumes to the potential power of in-media marketing. If your area brand or company gets your products on a new streaming channel, it can open up much potential, even though it's slightly less challenging than getting product placements on a huge cable T.V. network. Streaming channels are growing, and not all will accept product placements unless you are a large company, and this is where For Us Tv differs.



Organic Versus Paid Product Placement

Essentially, a brand has two ways to make its debut appearance on the big (or small) screen: organic and paid. For a paid placement, the brand usually works directly with the network instead of with the creators. The network sets a price, a contract is executed, and scripting or product usage is agreed upon and guaranteed upfront. The price tag for this type of placement can range from a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars. While this can be on the expensive side of in-media entertainment, it's still a lot cheaper than most traditional marketing mediums. Paid placements come with guarantees, which can't be found with organic placements.


Organic product placement comes without the price tag, but there's also less control and no guarantees. Organic placements are typically negotiated directly with the creators — set decorators, prop masters, and costume designers.


Brands get their leverage by offering free products, which saves on production costs for the creative teams. If the product adds value to the production and it's a creative fit, the creators will usually be happy to include it. Research is essential, however. It's easy to waste time and money if the product isn't a creative fit for the show, as it will ultimately never make it to air. It's just as crucial for the brand as for the production to integrate with the story and not disrupt it.


( Via Article)



Types of Product Placement

Overall, there are four main types of product placement.

  • Verbal placement: the product is named, but the actors do not interact with it.

  • Passive placement: the product is part of the background set of the series, but nobody uses it or names it.

  • Active placement: the characters interact with the product.

  • Hyperactive placement: the characters interact with the product and make explicit references.





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