Tagged: product placement

The importance of product placements in television

by Kristina Keeling

Waynes World Pizza HutProduct placement in television has become more important to marketers because of the way people are watching television. Viewers are able to skip over commercials and enjoy shows without any interruptions. Product placement advertises to consumers subliminally, if done correctly. However, marketers are becoming more aggressive with product placement promotions to reach their audiences.

How does it work?

To put it simply, product placement is when a company pays to have its product showcased on a television show or in a movie, but a lot more goes into product placement than we think. The film, “Man of Steel,” had more than 100 product partners, earning close to $160 million before it hit theaters. Product placement is also in books, video games and even on YouTube. When done successfully, product placements can have lasting impact on viewers. Some agencies actually specialize in product placement promotion because of high demand.


HERO, an advertising agency in Los Angeles, specializes in product placements. Its clients have placed products on well-known shows, such as “Two and a Half Men,” “Glee,” and “The Good Wife,” just to name a few. Its website states that “the brands in a viewer’s favorite shows have a much higher likelihood of becoming that viewer’s favorite brand.”

House of Cards

PS Vita MemeThe Netflix original series “House of Cards” is notorious for its not-so-subtle product placements. The series had such an overload of notable products that the Los Angeles Times said, “House of Cards? More like House of Product Placement,” mocking the hit TV series for its poor use of product placements. The very first sentence of the first episode referenced a Toyota Prius. Netflix spent a total of $100 million producing the first season, but offers no disclosures of any paid product placement, only crediting the product partners by saying all logos were “used with permission.”

Now that “House of Cards” is in its third season it is confirmed by Advertising Age that Anheuser-Busch is the exclusive beer brand for the series, along with Samsung being the tech-of-choice. Anheuser-Busch is not paying for this placement however, but rather supplying production with its product. Samsung also offered its customers Netflix subscriptions when buying select Samsung products. It is rumored that Coca-Cola, Dell and Nike are all working with “House of Cards” for similar deals.

Modern Family

JULIE BOWEN, ED O'NEILL, ADAM DEVINE, SARAH HYLAND, TY BURRELLThe Emmy Award-winning series, “Modern Family,” now on its sixth season, is another show littered with product placement. Steven Levitan, executive producer and creator, said the show turns down about 90 percent of its product placement offers, and for a good reason. ABC wants to stay true to the characters on its show. The Toyota Prius, an environmentally-friendly car, appeared on the first season, driven by Mitchell Pritchett, who is an environmental attorney. It wouldn’t make sense for him to drive a gas-guzzling truck.

“Connection Lost,” a recent episode of “Modern Family” has sky rocketed to the top of the list of brilliantly used product placement. The episode was shared with viewers entirely through Claire Dunphy’s MacBook Pro. In the episode, Claire is trying to find her daughter after having a huge fight, but she is stuck at the airport and has to use Facebook, iCloud, the app, Find Your iPhone and FaceTime to track her down. The episode didn’t feel like one long commercial, cleverly blurring the lines between entertainment and advertising.

Is this all too much?

Products are everywhere. Your favorite character is going to have to make a phone call or use a computer for research, so why not have them use an Apple product to do so? What do you think? Have “Modern Family” and “House of Cards” gone too far with product placement? Let us know in the comments below.

“It’s Not An ‘S’. On My World It Means Product Placement.”

by Jonathan Haile

man-of-steel-flagUnless you live under a rock, you know that last month Warner Brothers and DC Comics re-energized Superman on the silver screen with the release of Man Of Steel. So far the film has garnered over $500 million worldwide, and in a summer of mega box office failures, Superman is still flying pretty high against the competition.

The film cost $225 million to produce, and in today’s world, movie studios might need a bit of product placement to fuel their big budgets. That’s why Man Of Steel earned over $160 million before it was released. Companies and brands like IHOP, Sears, Burger King and Gillette are all reaping the benefits from the world’s greatest hero, whether they’re featured onscreen or not. Check out the clip from the movie and you’ll see what I mean. The 7-Eleven wasn’t placed there on accident.

Sometimes filmmakers get criticized for blatant product placement. On top of harsh criticisms of his films, Transformers director Michael Bay gets a lot of flack for product placement. People argue that they don’t want to watch a two hour commercial. They go to movies for the escapism. Man Of Steel is no different here. According to Bloomberg, there are over 100 promotional partners for the film. I’m not sure if that includes the Kansas City Royals, but it was nice to see some love for my hometown team.

Product placement, as UCM Public Relations students learn in Integrated Marketing Communication, is a valuable part of the marketing mix. If being visible was the goal, the companies that supported Man Of Steel are clearly benefiting, but at the end of the day, the bottom line is to make money.

So does Man Of Steel’s product placement turn you away from products or services, or does it make you more likely to buy or try them? Either way, Man Of Steel is a solid film (no pun intended).

Like Innovative Public Relations on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Image via IGN.com