Placing your products in a TV programme, film, radio or music vidceo can increase your brand awareness among an active and engaged audience.
Product placement, often called embedded marketing or brand placement, can be beneficial to your business by doing the following:
• Increasing brand awareness
• Reaching a mass audience
• Costing less than other forms of advertising
• Offering a fresh more subtle form of advertising
• Boosting sales
What is product placement?
Product placements can be carried out in a variety of ways, including:
• The placing of a concrete object such as a branded food or drink item in the programme, music video or film
• Showing a poster or something advertising the product in the background of a story line
• Showing a character using the product or visiting the company. For example BMW cars have been used in the James Bond films
Product placements can be used within media channels such as television, radio, films, and music videos and can be cleverly worked into the script to disguise the advertising message.
Although product placement has been big business in the US for some time, in the UK there have been strict rules prohibiting it until recently. From February this year (2011), Ofcom made it legal for UK television shows to contain product placement, provided they comply with its rules.
While adverts send a clear and direct marketing message to the consumer, product placement is a subtler form of advertising as the product or service is either integrated into narrative plot or present in some way, for example a presenter use a certain brand of product.
Principles of product placement
Product placement must, according to Ofcom’s guidelines, allow broadcasters to maintain editorial direction, ensure there is a clear distinction between editorial content and advertising, protect audiences from surreptitious advertising and ensure the sponsorship is suitable. Products such as cigarettes, alcohol, high fat foods and medicines can’t be placed.
It is a legal requirement for any product placement advertisements on TV to contain a ‘P’ symbol either during or after the placement to let viewers know they are watching a product placement.
Pros and cons
Product placement can be a good way to reach customers who may not have previously bought from you or been attracted by previous advertising campaigns. A well-placed product placement, for example in a popular television drama or soap, can encourage new customers to buy, as well as reminding existing customers of your brand. Such forms of marketing can also help change people’s attitudes and perceptions of your company.
On the downside, product placement is expensive. Earlier this year, Nescafe paid ITV television programme This Morning £100,000 for a three month product placement slot in the show.
If you have some cash to splash and are interested in using product placement then the following companies help organise and set up product placements and can talk you through the process, costs and set up a placement to suit your requirements.
• BRANDirector organises and helps set up product placement in broadcast media. www.productplacement.co.uk
• Seesaw media arranges product placement opportunities in television, film and in music videos. www.seesawmedia.co.uk
• Hatched Brands offers bespoke placement packages for organisations. www.hatchedbrands.co.uk