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The value of product placement part 3: leveraging your placement

Social & Digital

The value of product placement part 3: leveraging your placement


In the final instalment in our series about measuring the true value of product placement in Australia, Michael Byers looks at how savvy marketers are leveraging their product placement.


Over the course of this series on gauging the value of product placement we have looked at in-program placement and audience engagement. Now, in our final instalment, we investigate ways that marketers are leveraging their product placement investments and ask whether the old rule still holds true – that for every dollar spent on placement should we spend two on activation?

We know that just by placing your product on screen is not the answer, merely a starting point, so let’s look at the way some of the MasterChef Australia sponsors have amplified their partnership by taking their message into their own channels.


The retailer

ColesA brand now synonymous with MasterChef Australia, Coles, which had been onboard since the beginning, were the first of the sponsors to recognise the opportunities and sign up for season two. As part of their ongoing relationship they looked to leverage their position with an integrated sponsorship package which would further harness the viewers interest through in-show promotions and take them from the screen to the store with various contestant challenges and promotions throughout the season as well online recipes and sponsored links on the MasterChef website.


The ingredient

Another of the original sponsors who saw great opportunities to optimise their relationship with the program and integrate its program with retail partner, Coles, was Campbell’s with its Real Stock brand.

Real StockMore famous for its soups, Campbell’s biggest challenge was to change market perceptions of stock and make consumers aware that Real Stock was different to the powdered varieties available. In a market with little brand loyalty consumers saw very little difference between Campbell’s Real Stock and others available, rarely understanding that a ‘superior’ stock existed.

Campbell’s understood that consumers were more willing to be creative and confident in the kitchen if they were assured of a good result. As such they needed to inspire viewers and imbue them with confidence. MasterChef provided just that inspiration with research showing viewers really connected with the program.

The package that was developed included segment play-outs for Campbell’s Real Stock, commercials for the product during the advertising breaks, contestant challenges using Campbell’s products and branded content on the MasterChef website, all providing unique opportunities for product demonstration in an inspiring way.


SunbeamKitchen equipment

The official MasterChef Australia sponsor of small electrical appliances for the 2010 season was Sunbeam with its in-program presence being supported by ads, online branding and a ‘Dine with a MasterChef’ consumer promotion.Sunbeam also became the major supplier for the Junior MasterChef kitchen, with appliances being used by contestants and judges alike.

To capitalise on their successful association, Sunbeam launched two consumer promotions for the busy Christmas 2011 retail period: a competition giving fans the opportunity to win a tour of the MasterChef Australia set, see filming and get a sneak peak behind the scenes, as well as a promotion for a free MasterChef Magazine subscription.

The network

In parallel with sponsors keen to optimise their relationship with the program, Network Ten invested in the show’s success by upgrading the MasterChef Australia website to include catch-up episodes, contestant interviews, profiles, viewer forums, video of the contestants’ signature dishes as well as enabling the viewing of episodes on Telstra mobile handsets. Not only were the audience being encouraged to engage more intimately with the show, as and when they felt inclined, but it presented greater exposure and resonance for the partner brands too.

Keeping a watch 

Like any marketing initiative it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and know what is going on in the field. With media and viewing habits evolving and becoming more complex it’s crucial to maintain an open approach and fluidity in campaign management by constantly ‘watching’ consumer reaction and adapting campaigns as necessary. It’s not just about developing a comprehensive plan for your own brands’ activity – it’s crucial to know what your competitors are doing and where. Only by measuring your program placement, closely watching audience reactions and leveraging partnerships can you develop and adapt campaigns that emotionally and financially benefit the product.


Plug: Marketing has teamed up with Showbrands to offer two exclusive resources containing vital information for brand managers and media agency teams involved, or considering being involved, in product placement activity.

Details and pricing information for ‘The Product Placement Handbook’ and ‘Brand Value Analysis Report’ can be found here »


Michael Byers

Michael Byers is managing director of Showbrands, specialising in branded entertainment creative strategy, measurement and project management. Twitter: @Showbrands

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