Tag Archives: Product placement

Uncle Drew – Chapter 4


After a two-year hiatus, Uncle Drew is back and it’s about time! The fourth installment for Pepsi Max shows Uncle Drew and his teammates taking over local basketball courts in Miami where a game of H-O-R-S-E determines the winner. But, when asked if he could spell “horse,” Uncle Drew replied that he’s never had to ”go beyond H.”

Reprising his role as Uncle Drew is Cleveland Cavalier’s star Kyrie Irving and this time he includes new players Ray Allen, Caron Davis, and J.B. Smoove in his adventures. Set in Miami, the video once again shows that things are not always as they seem. Although the old guys start off slowly, they are soon showing the youngsters how basketball is really supposed to be played. As the stars say – “it’s all about the buckets.”

The videos are a big hit for Pepsi Max and illustrate the product’s tag line of “a zero-calorie cola in disguise.” As a product in the mature stage of its product life cycle, Pepsi brings an “A-game” to the courts. A lesson to marketers: things are not always what they first appear to be.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a discussion about product life cycle.
  2. Have students identify products that fit into each of the product life cycle stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
  3. Discuss how products can maintain market share in the maturity stage. What tactics work best? What happens in the competitive space?
  4. Then show the latest Pepsi Uncle Drew video: https://youtu.be/ZY6GAOPGuPs
  5. The videos are also being used to promote the PepsiPass app: https://www.pepsipass.com/
  6. How do these videos fit the techniques needed for products in a mature industry?
  7. Divide students into groups: Similar to the Uncle Drew videos, have each group develop a tactic that could be used for a product in each of the product life cycle stages.

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Big Mac Décor for the Home


Branding is an incredibly valuable part of a company’s portfolio. Companies strive to get logos and products placed in unexpected places. While we are now used to seeing brands promoted in movies and television shows, companies have to do more surprising placements to get our attention. Enter McDonald’s “lifestyle collection” of Big Mac- themed items available for purchase online.

Big Mac is the most popular hamburger in Sweden, and McDonald’s sponsors the Swedish Alpine and Cross Country Ski Team. As part of the sponsorship, thermal underwear carrying Big Mac icons was produced for the team members. Now, the collection has been expanded to include such items as Big Mac wallpaper, Big Mac sheets, Big Mac raincoat, Big Mac Wellington boots, and a Big Mac dog coat.

No word yet on what seeing the Big Mac picture everywhere does to one’s appetite for burgers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss product placement and branding.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team list the product placements they can remember.
  3. Show the Big Mac Shop Web site:


  1. Divide students into teams and assign each team an iconic brand. Have the team develop a series of products using the brand, logo, or product image.
  2. Have each team present its product set, and then have the class vote on which products best represent the brand and have the opportunity to increase awareness or sales.

Source: Ad Age Daily

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Best Product Placement – “Modern Family”


Consumers have gotten somewhat used to seeing products placed in movies and TV shows. We realize that this is part of marketing, and that companies will pay to get products and logos seen in a realistic setting. We see cars, food, beverages, clothing, electronics, stores, and more on a regular basis inserted into entertainment. But, in what might be a first for primetime TV, an entire episode of the ABC comedy, “Modern Family,” was filmed and produced entirely on Apple devices. Talk about extreme product placement!

In the episode, mom (Claire) is stuck at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and uses FaceTime to talk with the entire family and track down daughter (Haley), with whom she fought before leaving town. The episode is shown entirely on Claire’s Apple laptop with family members using laptops, tablets, and iPhones to interact with each other and Claire.

How will Samsung compete with this?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What products can they recall seeing recently in TV and movies?
  2. Show videos:



  1. Discuss product placement as a tactic in marketing.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product and then storyboard a TV episode into which the product can be placed in a realistic setting.

Source: USA Today, Brandchannel.com, CNN, ABC, other news sources

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