Product placement winners – who are they?
Which brands are winning with product placement? Just look around, writes Michael Byers.
Australian prime time TV is in love with product placement. From MasterChef Australia, The Block to My Kitchen Rules and soon Recipe To Riches season two, it’s a love affair that appears to have no end.
So just which brands are winning in this relationship and, more importantly, how are they winning? Well, why don’t you judge? Here are a couple of simple definitions I would like you to consider.
First, the difference between ‘product placement’ and ‘product integration’. A placement is where a product is simply shown in a scene, whereas integration is where a product is woven into the program, script and scene.
Second, a winning product placement is not just about the on-screen exposure time. It’s really all about leverage and support.
Let’s look quickly at the Australian TV product placement model and the key elements. Essentially, if you want to place a product it needs to be supported by a spend on airtime, such as TV commercials and station promotions (spots and dots). But that‘s not the end of the support you need. When you negotiate for your on-screen exposure, usually it will be for an agreed amount of time with no guarantees. So, even with exposure to an audience of potentially a million-plus, you need to be thinking of how to extend that on-screen exposure for maximum ROI.
The real winners of product placement are the brands that have clear objectives for their products appearing in the program, which leverage and amplify their on screen exposure, create and develop cross platform strategies and measure their ROI.
One company that executed this well was Coles, who maximised its investment in MasterChef Australia by ensuring that both product and recipe cards that featured in the TV show were available in store. In some stores this was the following day, a leverage strategy that Recipe To Riches and Woolworths took one step further, successfully combining an on-screen new product launch with following-day national in-store support and on-shelf product.
There is growing evidence that TV audiences are growing tired of product placement. They see some program as becoming a blatant extension of a TV commercial and the opportunity to ‘push’ products and brands whenever and however possible.
Brand owners and their agencies should be aware of this and to avoid the ‘hot zone’. However, when planned and executed professionally, product integration is generally accepted by audiences.
Indeed as we move closer to second screen technology applications, the art of getting your product from the screen and into the hands of your customers will become an essential part of the support and leverage story and will re-define which brands and products are the winners.
Now, take a look at the various product placement TV program, then look around you and you decide who the product placement winners really are!