Product placements in movies and TV shows can be a great way to build awareness – as long as they don’t take away from the story.
Take a look at these way-too-obvious product placements from US soap operas. When you’re done cracking up, consider the similar feeling of being in the wrong dimension that Mazda’s misguided cobranding campaign with the Dr. Seuss movie The Lorax has created.
Whether they show up in movies,TV,or any other medium, advertising messages that are placed thoughtlessly defeat their own purpose. If they show no evidence of being part of any coherent brand strategy or if they’re just jammed into places they obviously don’t belong, they do more harm than good. If a message causes consumers to laugh at (not with) your brand, guess what? You’ve got a problem.The Mazda misfire falls into that category.
A better example is the impossible-to-miss Coke cups on the judge’s table at American Idol, which aligns perfectly with the brand’s strong associations with youth, energy, and the world of entertainment. Notice, too, that the product is consumed on the show – without that feeling forced or staged. Another example I like is the inspired decision, back in 1982, to have ET eat Reese’s Pieces onscreen. This early product placement, which feels completely seamless and organic in the film, led to a huge increase in sales.
There are reports out now that, in the next James Bond movie, 007 will down a Heineken onscreen. It will be interesting to see how the producers pull this off. Bond is supposed to be a martini guy: “shaken, not stirred.”
What’s the most blatant, out-of-place product placement you’ve seen?
What’s the most effective product placement you’ve seen?
Urlesque: Days of Our Cheerios’ – Awkward Soap Opera Product Placement
Autoblog: Mazda under fire for “crass commercialization” of Dr. Seuss’ Lorax
Jumbo Sell Out: American Idol
YouTube: Product Placement: Reese’s Pieces on E.T.
NY Post: James Bond ditching the Martini ‘shaken, not stirred’ for Heineken