Given that we spend most of our time talking about brand strategy, positioning, innovation and insight it’s great to sometimes think about something quite different. In this case, product placement. This year product placement laws in the UK were relaxed and we spent a lot of time thinking about the implications for this. Product placement, like brand positioning, has to be got right and positioned appropriately – brands need to think about which products are best suited to which target markets, which tone of voice for different tv / films is best suited to their brand personality and which competitors they’re like to be competing with for the licence.
So, we were delighted to read Lou Ellerton’s (one of our senior consultants) comments in a recent feature article in the Press Assocation, focusing on just this and drawing comments from Morgan Spurlock, the Super Size Me star who has recently created a film documentary exposing the power of advertising and product placement..which, as if in a perfect full circle, has a sponsored title itself: ‘Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.’
In this article Lou notes that “We have the ironic situation that there are more ways than ever to market to consumers and yet it’s much harder than ever to take their attention…It’s always been seen as an almost dirty secret, because people regard it as almost a more subliminal attempt to sell to them – but the fact is it’s always taken place,” says Ellerton.
“In the 1950s, Walt Disney was having difficulty finding the backing for his first theme park, so he created a TV series called Disneyland to promote the idea of a Disneyland. So it’s nothing new.”
So…what do you think of product placement? Are there any particularly successful or overly profiteering and unsuccessful examples you’d like to share with us? As ever, we’d welcome a debate!