PRODUCT PLACEMENT-Where the real money is!

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Product placement, also known as embedded marketing, is a marketing technique where references to specific brands or products are incorporated into another work, such as a film or television program, with specific promotional intent.

While references to brands (real or fictional) may be voluntarily incorporated into works to maintain a feeling of realism or be a subject of commentary, product placement is the deliberate incorporation of references to a brand or product in exchange for compensation. Product placements may range from unobtrusive appearances within an environment, to prominent integration and acknowledgement of the product within the work. Common categories of products used for placements include automobiles and consumer electronics. Works produced by vertically integrated companies (such as Apple) may use placements to promote their other divisions as a form of corporate synergy.

ORIGINS

Product placement began in the 19th century. By the time Jules Verne published the adventure novel Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), his fame had led transport and shipping companies to lobby to be mentioned in the story. Whether Verne was actually paid to do so remains unknown.

Similarly, a painting by Edouard Manet (1881-1882) shows a bar at the Folies Bergere with distinctive bottles placed at either end of the counter. The beer bottle is immediately recognizable as Bass beer. Bass had become the largest brewery in the world.

Films produced by Auguste and Louis Lumière in 1896 feature Sunlight soap, which may be the first recorded instance of paid product placement in film.

This led to cinema becoming one of the earliest channels used for product placement.

NOTABLE PRODUCT PLACEMENTS IN FILMS

This James Bond film featured the exotic Toyota 2000GT. Read More

640px-TOYOTA_2000GT_Bond_vehicles

The Trans Am made it debut in this Iconic movie.

To promote the film, The New York Times reported that Warner Bros. had licencees for 34 products including posters, Pepsi-Cola, pajamas, and T-shirts with Superman carrying the American flag. They had also enlisted their publishing division to produce calendars, pop-up books, a film novelization, a behind-the-scenes book, and a children’s dictionary.

The Philip Morris Company had paid $40,000 for their Marlboro cigarette to appear in the film. During the Metropolis battle, General Zod throws Superman into a Marlboro delivery truck, although actual vehicles for tobacco distribution are unmarked for security reasons.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was a colossal movie blockbuster success in 1982. It surpassed Star Wars as the highest grossing film of all time. Reese’s Pieces, made by Hershey, accepted the deal before Amblin could fully pitch the offer to them. The parameters of the agreement were, Hershey did not have to pay for Reese’s Pieces to be featured in the film, in return, Hershey agreed to promote E.T. with $1 million worth of advertising in 1982 which is about $3 million dollars in 2021. Reese’s Pieces sales blew up! There’s a dispute about the actual numbers, but its estimated sales went up 65% to 85%. The power of marketing and branding, right?

SkyfallWhile Bond has always been associated with Martinis, shaken not stirred, Skyfall decided to mix things up with the introduction of Heineken beer, in which the company reportedly paid a massive $45 million to be a part of. 

PRODUCT PLACEMENT TYPES

The Shining 1980

Simple presence on screen

Probably the most discrete product placement in movies as nobody interacts with it. (The Shining)

Matrix Duracell 1999

Interaction with product

Product placement in movies in which the main character or cast of characters interacts with the product. (The Matrix)

fedex Castaway 2000

Product becomes the actor

Probably the most intense product placement in movies as the product takes an important place in the scenario and is inseparable from the movie. (Castaway)

gran-torino-movie

Product placement is on the poster!

The car is the title of the movie!

Benefits of the product are shown

This scene is the perfect illustration. He knows that his Mercury Sable 1989 has an airbag.

irobots-audi 2004

The product is customised for the movie.

Brands can enter their vision of the future. They can also take this opportunity to test new products, designs and survey for reactions.

AUTO-PROMOTION

Sleepy Hollow
See how the scarecrow looks like Jack, from The Nightmare Before Christmas, also released by Tim Burton.
Monsters Inc
The toy the little girl is giving to the monster is… Nemo, whose movie wasn’t released yet, also produced by Pixar!
John McClane’s seatmate is holding a newspaper where we clearly see an ad for Lethal Weapon 2, released a year before.

POP QUIZ- how many KFC products do you see?

What other products are also present?

Re-placement

Re-placement

Re-placement

Placing contemporary products into existing content creates new opportunities for marketers. These can be during reruns or video release. An early example of product replacement is the 1993 Sylvester Stallone action film Demolition Man. The film includes a plot point that in the future world of 2032, Taco Bell is the only remaining restaurant franchise. Since Taco Bell was not well known outside of the U.S., for the international release of the film it was replaced with Pizza Hut another restaurant chain owned by Yum! Brands. Lines were re-dubbed and logos changed during post-production.

Reverse placement

So-called “reverse product placement” creates real products to match those seen in a fictional setting, typically as a tie-in.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) led to a real Willy Wonka candy company, established soon after the film’s release.

Wanka Bar
Willy Wonka

Television Product Placements

The list of television shows with the most instances of product placement (according to Nielsen Media Research) included:

Product Placements Companies

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