The major companies have been flooding the highest-rated programs with commercials over the past few years to increased business success. However, with commercial-free services like Hulu and Netflix, this now results in networks cutting back on commercials because viewers can stream shows without advertisements.
So, what can an advertiser do in place of running their commercials? How about product placement?
Product placement allows for companies to insert their products into the highest-rated TV programs, and in movies. The highly-rated show’s audience may see that their favorite characters use the product, and develop a stronger connection with the consumer.
Product placement has been successful in the past, and here are five examples of why it can work for you.
1.) James Bond films.
Mr. Bond, James Bond, uses only the finest products for his life. Bond drives an Aston Martin DB10 in the 2015 movie Spectre, and he completes his mobile phone calls on a Sony Xperia Z5. In the 2008 film “Quantum of Solace” he operates a Sony Ericsson mobile phone, and he has worn Rolex and Omega watches in several movies.
And of course, Mr. Bond likes to indulge in his own choice of alcohol on occasion, from shaken to stirred and now even brewed. Reports say that Heineken paid $45 million dollars to have their beer replace Bond’s vodka martini in 2012’s Skyfall.
2.) E.T. likes Reese’s Pieces.
During the time he spent on our home planet, E. T. the extraterrestrial, took a liking to Reese’s Pieces. Hershey’s did not pay one cent for Reese’s product placement but did agree to spend $1 million on promotional advertisements. According to reports, E. T. director Steven Spielberg, wanted to use M&Ms but was turned down by Mars. Hershey gained a 65% profit for the product placement increase as a result during the movie’s run.
3.) New Girl and the Ford Fusion
In 2012, the television series “New Girl” incorporated a Ford Fusion plug into one episode. A conversation between four people in the car started with “Loving the new Ford Fusion!” according to Hubspot. The conversation continued about the car’s roominess and its great gas mileage. Perfectly normal, but the fact is just because the product placement wasn’t trying to hide what it was selling, it still succeeded simply because it got people thinking about the new Ford Fusion.
4.) Cast Away and FedEx
The 2000 movie “Cast Away” starred Tom Hanks as a Federal Express problem solver who got shipwrecked during a delivery. FedEx allowed the use of their name in the film at no cost. Definitely a subtle approach to product placement, as it ties into Tom Hanks’ character in Cast Away.
5.) Modern Family used an iPad.
Yes, technology has not been left out of product placement. An episode of the highly successful series “Modern Family” actually helped to introduce Apple’s first iPad in 2010.
The plot of the episode “Game Changer” was simple; the Dunphy family wanted to buy Phil an iPad for his birthday. But Phil’s birthday falls on the day the iPad is released, and then the fun begins. While viewers might criticize this episode for the way it brought in the product placement, the point it makes offers a relatable view at product value from a family perspective, while also poking fun at Apple as well.
Reports say that incorporating product placement into prime time television today can run as high as $10 million. And movies run into the tens of millions. But they cost less than 30-second television advertisements. There are less expensive ways to have your products make a connection with the viewers, but it’s interesting to note the major advertisers who’ve tried product placement in the past.
Apparently, it’s coming back soon.