There are three basic types of product placement:
1. Visual – a visual placement occurs when a product, place, service, or logo can simply be observed.
2. Spoken – a spoken placement occurs when the product, place, service, or corporation is mentioned in the presentation.
3. Usage – a usage placement occurs when an on-screen personality interacts or handles the product, place, service, or corporation. A usage placement often involves a visual and spoken element.
In the movie “The African Queen” Katharine Hepburn is shown dumping Gordon’s Dry Gin overboard.
Integrated Product Placement –
1. HBO’s “Band of Brothers” – vehicles used for the World War II mini series were all Jeeps, whom helped fund the production.
2. American Idol – Coca-Cola (along with Ford) financed the production of American Idol. In return logo-ed beverage cups were placed in front of the three judges. The traditionally named “green room” was renamed to the “Coca-Cola Red Room”. Coca-Cola also received the benefit of special taped segments called “Coca-Cola Moments” that featured contestants. Ford integrated products into the show by providing a Ford Focus for each contestant to drive during the taping. Ford also received five to six dozen :30 spots for “Idols” entire 16-week run.
Product Placement –
1. Reese’s Pieces, “ET” (1982) – The decision to feature Reese’s Pieces in “ET” catapulted the product placement craft into the Hollywood mainstream. Reese’s Pieces leapt onto kids’ mental menus and sales shot up 65%; Mars, the maker of M&Ms had passed on the opportunity (Businessweek, 1998).
2. Budget Rent-a-Truck, “Home Alone” (1990) – Budget was a major player in car rentals, but its truck-rental business was being obscured by household names like U-Haul and Ryder. Budget struck gold when it put polkameister John Candy and his merry band – along with Jan Hooks, playing Macaulay Culkin’s mom – in a Budget moving van making the long haul back to Chicago (Businessweek, 1998).
3. Dr. Pepper, “Forrest Gump” (1994) – Tom Hanks as the saintly dimwit of the title visits the Kennedy White House and recalls, “One of the best things about meeting the president was you could drink all the Dr. Pepper you wanted. I think I had me about 12.” This is an example of an ideal usage product placement – a major star consuming a product and talking about it (Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Dec 26, 1997).
4. Ford, “Die Another Day” (2002) – Ford supplied Agent 007’s new $228,000 Aston Martin Vanquish, as well as Revlon, Omega, Phillips/Norelco, British Airways, and Visa in a worldwide deal estimated to be worth $100 million in product value and marketing support (Hollywood Reporter, April 30, 2002).
In lieu of cash, many negotiations call for the product company to contribute goods to the production for daily use or special events, such as the ‘wrap party’ for the crew at the finish of filming, as well as vehicles and legal clearances that can provide significant cost savings to the filmmakers. Contracts should stipulate if products are to be returned after filming wraps. Tie-ins and co-promotions also supplement promotion budgets for the film and help create awareness.
1. Production for a feature film can barter for product or charge $1,000+
2. 5% of product placements are paid for in cash; 95% of product placements are quid pro quo deals.
3. All placements are negotiable.
1. Image consultant Sam Christensen sites a recent example where Glad supplied paper products in exchange for the placement of a new paper cup in a film. Glad provided all the paper products for the movie, for craft service, including paper towels, trash bags, etc. It saved the production company thousands.
2. Steven Spielberg’s film “Minority Report” reportedly received $25,000,000 in product placement revenues. That’s about one-quarter of its production budget.
1. Tommy Hilfiger promoted its jeans line in tandem with Miramax’s “The Faculty,” combining the movie’s $10 million -$15 million media budget with the jeans $15 million promotional outlay.
1. Use an expert. Contacts with strong industry relationships are the key to a successful placement.
2. Ask to see a reel in order to evaluate an expert’s past successes.
3. Determine what placement situation involves from a financial standpoint and whether the goods will be returned.
4. Determine the product’s intended use in the film and what degree of exposure is anticipated.
5. If fees are to be paid, they should be conditioned upon minimum product exposure requirements in a form that is released nationally.
6. Don’t be late with products. Productions run on very tight, unforgiving schedules.
7. Stipulate the above issues in a contract (ERMA official website)
demanded that studios disclose to audiences when manufacturers pay to have their products placed in movies. The petition did not pass (National Post, June 28, 2002).
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Real-Life Product Placement -
1. Grass-roots marketing or street marketing targets Generation Y or Generation X audiences by bringing products to their turf – to raves and public parks for example (Gabriel, April 12, 2000).
2. Other forms of real-life product placement is young actors posing as tourists, asking strangers to take their picture with a sleek, new cell phone that doubles as a digital camera.
3. Volvo also utilized real-life product placement in Hollywood by giving cars to some of LA’s young trendsetters to drive for a couple of weeks and create a buzz (Sunday Morning Show - CBS, Sep 15, 2002).
The introduction of technologies such as TiVo and other replay machines has enabled audiences to view programs without watching the commercials. TiVo currently has approximately 1 million users and more than 70% of TiVo users fast forward through the advertisements (Advertising Age, Oct 21, 2002). Executives believe marketing plans will see an increase in all kinds of product placements in the future due to an increase in media options, rating erosion, and new digital technologies like TiVo.
I – Pictures of Examples of Product Placements
II – ERMA rating of Top Agencies
Examples of Product Placements
FINLANDIA VODKA WINS COVETED JAMES BOND ASSOCIATION In what must be every vodka producer's dream come true, Finlandia Vodka has been selected to be the vodka featured in the new James Bond film "Die Another Day." According to a Finlandia spokesman, there will be global advertising and promotion for the brand and the film. Of course, Bond is famous for his martinis, which he prefers shaken, not stirred. (PRNewsFoto)[JL] The star of “The Arrival” Charlie Sheen sports a pair of Luxottica sunglasses in the movie and the manufacturer parlayed that into a promotion with a counter card of Sheen, plus several other marketing spin-offs. Result: sales of the shades skyrocketed over 1995 levels.
E.R.M.A. Rated Best Product Placement Agencies
*The following are agencies and ratings based on price and services
*This rating was based on speaking with 100 crew members (props/directors/sets/producers) and major studios (ERMA official website).