If a brand wants to get a customer’s attention, marketers know that there is no substitute for showing the customer how a product fits into real lives in the real world. And to show a lot of prospective consumers this at one time, brands need to show them the product on a large scale such as in a television show or a movie. This can be globally, not just in the U.S.
Take Subway’s experience in South Korea. South Korea prevents TV stations from inserting commercial breaks into programs. This limitation has caused many companies to get very creative in how they showcase their wares. As a result, Subway has placed its products, stores, and logos in at least 17 different shows. And, when the shows eventually get released on Netflix, millions more viewers will see Subway product placements.
A U.S. show, Cobra Kai, began on YouTube but moved to Netflix distribution last summer. The product placements in that show reached consumers who don’t usually watch network TV, but will stream shows, where advertising is either scarce or expensive. Top product placements on Cobra Kai were Coors, Mercedes Benz, and Dell.
Product placement has grown to more than $10 billion a year in the U.S. as brands search for new ways to reach consumers. Streaming is now estimated to account for nearly 25% of total TV viewing. While there are times that the product is very noticeable (such as BMW cars in James Bond movies), there are many times when products are used subtly (but still get our attention).Companies that are able to get their products shown on the big screen – or even a small screen – bring their products to the attention of millions of viewers, all of whom have opted-in to watching a show or movie.
What products catch your eye?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss product placement as a promotional tactic.
- Show BEN website: https://ben.productplacement.com/
- Ask students to name their three TV shows and/or movies that they recently viewed.
- Next, ask them to name at least three products that they can recall seeing in the show. Were those products there by accident?
- Show a video clip of one of the TV shows or movies. Most clips can easily be found on www.hulu.com, www.youtube.com, and other sites.
- Divide students into teams. Have each team choose two products they would like to have placed in a TV show.
- How would these products be incorporated? What is the desired result?
Source: AdWeek; Media Daily News; New York Times