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4 Common Myths About Product Placement Debunked

Posted by Hollywood Branded on January 23, 2017 at 9:18 AM


There Are A Few Common Misconceptions We Want To Dispel

You walk into the movie theatre, sit down with your popcorn and soda and wait for the movie to begin. After the opening credits you see the hero of the movie playing basketball (Spalding) with his friends in Converse sneakers. Afterwards, he puts his Beats headphones on for the subway ride home, which has signage on the wall for Redbull. "Beats, Spalding, Converse and Redbull probably paid big bucks to get in that movie," you think. The truth is, not necessarily.

Most people think they know about the world of brand integration and product placement, yet many people don't understand that many things they hear about the practice are just that - myths.  In this blog, Hollywood Branded busts 4 big myths about product placement and brand integration, and how your brand can start using TV and film as part of your marketing plan. 


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1. Product Placement Costs Big Bucks

Okay, back to our first scenario. You see a brand or logo onscreen and automatically assume it's a multi-million dollar deal and that your brand could never afford that. While yes, some massive integrations cost large companies lots of money (think Chevy in the Transformers franchise or Heineken and James Bond), but the truth is, most placements are cheaper than you think.

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Producers, set designers, prop masters, costume designers and pretty much the entire crew of a film are constantly looking for brands to use in their film. Smaller integrations come with a much smaller price tag, and many times placements happen without cash even changing hands. Often, placements are made for free, simply with your brand providing product to work with.  Why?  Well check out our blog on 3 reasons why productions use product placement.

The most important part of getting your brand in a movie or TV show isn't the money - it's the access. As an entertainment marketing company that has been in the Hollywood industry for years and years, we have valuable relationships with the crews of these productions, and they look to us to partner them with brands they can use onscreen. 


2. You Have To Be A Big Company To Do Brand Integration & Product Placement

Nope! Not true. Even the smallest brands can wind up on the big screen. In fact, many times productions love lesser known brands because they make the content feel more authentic and not forced with all sorts of mainstream logos and branding.  Plus ad sales at the TV networks are more forgiving to brands who don't have mega dollars to spend on advertising.

Tons of small companies over the years have benefited from this practice. For example, Ray Ban was a small sunglass company that had been losing money and customers for years before Tom Cruise wore his Wayfarers in the cult classic Risky Business. The year after the movie premiered, Ray Ban sold 360,000 pairs.

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Even mom-and-pop brands can find success in product placement if they have enough product to spare for production use. 


3. Your Success Ends After The Placement Has Aired

This is one of the biggest mistakes brands make after they've had a successful placement. Your success has just begun! Make sure you capture your placement and use your social media to amplify it. Tell everyone just how cool you are for showing up in Netflix's latest original series or the newest blockbuster hit. 

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Even then, your success isn't finished. Many times, your placement will become relevant during awards season. Congratulate the show or movie you were in on their awards success, reminding everyone you were a part of it. Incorporate your placement into social media trends like #throwbackthursday. Include it in your year in review.

For example, BlackBerry phones were featured throughout the first and second seasons of Mozart In The Jungle. At the times, they shared their screenshots with their fans, but come awards season when the show won 2 Golden Globes, they shared this image across their social media reminding their followers of their cameos:

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Your placement wasn't just a one-time marketing move. It's something you can use in promotional materials, on social media and even in conversation while talking up your product. Product placement is truly the gift that keeps on giving - if you let it!

For more ways you can amplify your integrations, read our blog on 7 Ways To Use Product Placement Assets To Amplify Your Brand.


4. If Your Brand Doesn't Get A Verbal Mention Or Front And Center Placement, It Doesn't Count

This is one of the most common misconceptions about brand integration. The idea itself of product placement often relies on the effectiveness of subtle integrations. A sign in the background or a logo on a coffee cup can be just as meaningful to a viewer as a more obvious (or annoying) placement.

Oftentimes, viewers prefer subtle placements to blatant ones. Tasteful, natural and organic placements have a more favorable effect on consumers. And while viewers may not instantly realize they saw your logo, studies show they more than likely did and have committed it to subconscious memory.  After all - it's the same logic that is applied to why print ads or TV ads work.  One ad isn't going to make a consumer race online or to the store - but when they are in the shopping mindset, the goal is that your brand will be top of mind.  Those product placement exposures help make that happen.

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This is also an example of using your social media and marketing tools to amplify your placement. Make sure your fans and potential consumers know you made an appearance in the latest TV show or movie by capturing it and creatively sharing it.


Could Your Brand Be On The Big Screen?

Could entertainment marketing be right for your brand?  Watch this video to learn more about how this marketing practice works, what brand categories it works for, and the results brand marketers see!

Watch the video to learn what is Product Placement

Topics: Branded Content & Integration

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