Product placement in television and movies is certainly no secret. In fact, it seems pretty clear that product placement has infiltrated every aspect of media, from behind the scenes interviews to gossip magazines.
Peyton Manning’s post-Super Bowl 50 interview left no doubt in viewers minds that Budweiser was definitely what they should be drinking to celebrate the victory.
The blatant use of Apple products in films, an actor’s casual sip of Coke — these subtle advertisements, also known as embedded marketing or brand integration, can be traced down to the earliest moving pictures.
Arun Jain, a Samuel P. Capen professor of marketing research at the University of Buffalo, cites James Dean’s seeming affinity for Levi’s jeans on screen. A classic example of the success of product placement, Levi’s solidified the iconic image of their jeans.
Today, the same technique is used and is just as effective. Whether it’s Beats by Dre headphones in a music video or a bag of Doritos in a sitcom, the marriage of a product with the mere idea of a specific lifestyle, icon or personality does wonders for sales. Jain points to the whooping $45 million Heineken is said to have paid for Daniel Craig’s James Bond to sip a beer in “Skyfall.”
The “Entourage” movie, a film adaptation of the hit HBO show, has been noted recently for its particularly high rates of product placement. With an impressive 65 products placed, Entourage beat “Spectre,” another James bond flick, and last year’s “Jurassic World.”
With online purchases only a click away and global e-commerce sales generating $1.2 million every 30 seconds, product placement can influence buyer’s to do a quick search on Amazon and click just once to place an order.
However, experts note that another field might soon fall prey to the lure of the funding provided by corporations for the strategic placing of their products: podcasts.
As this new media form gains more and more popularity, services and companies will pay for an on-air mention.
MailChimp, the email marketing service, won attention when it was mentioned on the hit podcast “Serial” and will be mentioned in three separate episodes of “Fruit,” which airs exclusively on Howl.
It is first mentioned in the second episode — a character says to her agent: “Can you go over the mailing list from MailChimp for next month’s fundraiser?” The small mention is designed not to interrupt the flow of conversation.
This classic, sneaky, suggestive marketing method looks like it will be adapting with the times.