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Promotional Product Strategy

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Monday
Nov142011

Using Product Placements

Product placement subtly allows brands to promote their products through a non-traditional advertising technique. Earlier in the year I joined music commentator Carla Bignasca on Channel Seven's The Morning Show to discuss the growing trend of product placement in pop music videos (For the full segment and analysis of product placement in music videos see below). While pop stars are definitely taking advantage of this trend, product placement is now being utilised in all mediums from film, to television shows and the Internet.

Product placements are presented in a way that will generate positive feelings towards your brand. They are important because they create awareness and exposure for your brand, and they also prevent your competition from gaining awareness. Product placement also enables your audience to develop a stronger connection with your brand and provides justification for their purchase decision.

When product placement is written into the script of a television show or movie, or included in a music video it is known as analog product placement. Check out the recent examples below of product placement in Days of Our Lives and Britney Spears’ music video, and see if you spot the products they are promoting.

If you can’t view the video - click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGtig5DiTxc

If you can’t view the video - click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Edv8Onsrgg&ob=av2e

DIGITAL PRODUCT PLACEMENT

Consumers are becoming more knowledgable purchasers and decision makers and are becoming increasingly aware of the product placement trend. As a result there has been a shift from analog product placement towards virtual or digital product placement. Digital product placement occurs when products are inserted into the show after it has been built i.e. during the post-production stage. Advertisers like digital product placement because it allows for different products to be inserted into the same show for different audiences and distribution windows. A recent example occurred in an episode of the popular television show How I Met Your Mother where a television ad for a 2011 movie - Bad Teacher was digitally inserted into a re-run that first aired in 2006.

Digital product placement also allows for the production of television shows and films that are designed specifically to support digital product placement. For instance, actors might simply drink from a solid colour can, making it a simple process to insert the image of a Coke or Pepsi can later. It could also mean that actors appear to be drinking Coke in a film when it is shown in Sydney, but appear to be drinking Pepsi to people viewing the same film in Melbourne.

Digital product placement is set to take off here in Australia with television station Channel Seven recently signing an exclusive deal with UK digital product placement specialist MirriAd. MirriAd places products and signage into television shows in the post-production stage, putting products into scenes that were never there at the original shoot. The partnership will see MirriAd’s technology insert lifelike brand images into shows such as Home and Away and Packed to the Rafters.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT AND YOU

In the next few years this technology will become even more powerful, and also considerably cheaper, opening up new opportunities for advertising your product. When considering product placement for your own brand it is important to consider a number of things.

1. Relevance - Ideally you want your product to enhance the show and ultimately your brand. The best way to achieve this is to insert your product into the plot line or scene in a way that is not obviously noticeable. The key is to let the consumer discover the ad and create the association, which they then will own.

2. Avoid detracting from the entertainment - The worst thing you can do is make the show about your product rather than the actual plot line and viewers will perceive your brand as ‘trying too hard’ and will not respond positively.  Digital product placement does undermine the value of whatever you are watching if there is a blatant pitch.

3. Maintain authenticity and mood - It is important to ensure you do not take the technology to the extreme destroying the film or television shows mood, period authenticity and composition. This will leave fans of the program frustrated and annoyed at your brand.

Check out MirriAd’s show reel below and see if you can spot the products that they have inserted into some classic films.

If you can’t view the video - click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swz5L5Vjkmc

If you can’t view the video - click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIH8zDsupWE