Product placement: The way of the future

By: Nicole Raymond

Digital disruption has been taking place over the years as technology has evolved dramatically. With the popularity of digital-streaming sites, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, less people are seeing advertising commercials, which means there are fewer eyes to market to. In fact, many homes now have a DVR and are fast-forwarding through commercials. So, what can marketers do to make sure their consumers are seeing and more importantly, buying their products?

The answer for many marketers is product placements. Product placement accidentally became one of the best marketing strategies for all types of brands from Apple to Reese’s. Product placement is when a company or brand pays for a movie or TV show to use the brand’s products in their productions. I’m sure we have all seen some of our favorite products on our favorite TV shows or movies, and it most likely is no coincidence. The Chevy Camaro in the “Transformer” series, the Reese’s Pieces in the movie “ET,” and the Wilson volleyball in “Cast Away” are all examples of product placements. The brands that use product placement generally have positive sales after the TV show or movie premiere, and see an increase in popularity.

A good product placement will be noticed, but not dwelled upon. Product placements are supposed to feel natural, which means product placements need to make sense. A marketer wouldn’t want to place a cigarette brand in a movie meant for young children. The placements need to be subtle, natural and make sense.

A whole episode of “Modern Family” was used for product placement when the iPad came out on the father’s birthday, and that was the only thing he wanted for his birthday. The episode focuses on the family running around on the day of his birthday to try and get him an iPad. It aired just three days before Apple released its newest iPad, and of course it had a positive impact on sales.

Product placement is the way of the future. Less people are watching commercials and more people are binge watching Netflix. Even a subtle product placement like a Pepsi instead of a Coke, can have an impact on the brand. The non-selling aspect of product placement also draws in advertisers and marketers alike. By placing a product in a movie, the brand is not directly selling to consumers, but rather encouraging them to notice the product and think about it on a subconscious level.

What are your favorite product placements?

Nicole Raymond is senior majoring in public relations and double minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first year serving on EMU PRSSA’s E-board as VP of External Relations. Nicole is a wife, aunt, daughter, sister and friend. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @nicoleraymond74.


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