Ofcourse, I had to keep everyone up to date on my favorite shows because this is where I most readily spot placements. I started off with the Real Housewives, which I must sadly say has ended its season. In it, we found many luxury and high-end items from Range Rovers to Tiffany diamonds… surprise surprise. Another reality show, which I have recently discussed, was MTV’s Inferno 3 which had only a few but quite relevant and prominent product placement of both T-Mobile and Schwinn gas scooters. I also found that cooking shows are a product placement heaven. Both Take Home Chef and Rachel Ray’s talk show featured several brand named food items. My favorites, ofcourse, were the prime time dramas and comedies. What can I say, I’m the typical college girl. I loved spotting brands in the Black Donnelly’s (which was cancelled too soon if you ask me), Desperate Housewives and HBO’s Entourage. I must say Desperate had the most effective PP by associating each main housewife with their car. In the episode I commented on, Bree and her family were shown many times driving her Chrysler 300C. A few movies were also worth mentioning, particularly Premonition and Blades of Glory who featured some more service-oriented brands such as Nationwide Insurance and Orbitz online travel assistant, respectively.
Lucky for me, this semester landed smack in the middle of the award season. Both the Grammy’s and the Oscars had very little product placement. This is a shame because with the Hollywood presence and celebrity appeal, many high-end brands would have fit beautifully within the star-struck guests.
Another major point that I liked to touch upon were the recent trends surrounding product placement. The one I mentioned like a broken record was ofcourse DVR: my love of it, and the need for more integrated marketing such as product placement because of it. Then there was reverse product placement like Bubba Gump shrimp from Forrest Gump and Wonka candy which began as brands within the movie and soon enough became real brands. Also, Nielsen launched their new PP ratings system, and companies like VideoAnalytica are developing technologies for “dynamic product placement” which will allow marketers and content owners to switch brands in certain placement slots. Video games have become a popular vehicle for product placement, especially to reach the young adult male market. Companies like Ford, Nike, T-Mobile and Jeep have begun utilizing in-game product placement.
Suggestions and forecast also seemed to become a theme of this blog with posts such as the one about the new iPhone and the possibilities for placements. Also, within my product placement spotting and analyzing I seemed to find and relay many instances that would have been perfect for certain brands. Such neglected opportunities should be given a second look by marketers.
Aside from my own active observations and analysis, certain publications such as Mediaweek and Brandweek helped to keep me up to date on all that is product placement these days. Other sources of PP news were the recently discovered MediaBuyerPlanner.com and the creatively named Product Placement News.
Finally, we’ve discovered companies like 1st Approach who work as a kind of third party to brands and marketers to help place their products in the most innovative and effective vehicles. If PP keeps up at this pace, companies like 1st Approach might have their work cut out for them in the near future. Clearly, product placement is only getting bigger and in all directions. It has become almost necessary and as marketers realize this I can guarantee we will be seeing more it in our favorite shows. So keep a lookout… where it is, how it’s evolving, and who’s using it. For those of us who are thinking about getting into the marketing field this is a must!