4 Creative Examples Of Product Placement In Television


Table Of Contents


Making Product Placement Exciting

When you think of product placement, your first thought might jump to a mental image of a character driving a certain car or maybe eating a bag of chips from a name brand. While some product placement does look like that, that doesn’t mean that all product placement has to look the same.

Just as much as TV shows can be creative with their plot lines, brands can collaborate and have creative and fun examples of product placement put into the productions they’re working with. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses three fun and creative examples of product placement in television!

3 Examples of Creative Product Placement In TV

Let's Get Creative 

Product placement can be found in lots of your favorite TV shows, movies, music videos, and even books. It helps for productions to cut costs, and helps brands boost their awareness making it a win-win for all parties involved.

product placement and promotion 101

So, while product placement is usually a business agreement of some type, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be creative or even fun! Many different TV shows have come up with out-of-the-box ways to incorporate placement into the show that help to enhance the storytelling!

Virtual Gordita Crunch, Anyone?

Prime Video’s original comedy, Upload, is set in the somewhat near future where people are able to upload themselves into a virtual afterlife of their choosing after they pass away. And much like things in our realm, in the Upload afterlife, you get what you pay for. Upload was able to take a creative route by setting the show in the near future where brands we’re familiar with have merged to create a number of unique partnerships.


In season 1 episode 8, Shopping Other Digital After-Lives, Nathan (the story’s protagonist) is looking for a new afterlife to upload into and his mother steps up to help Nathan tour various different afterlives. In the Upload-universe, Facebook and Panera have joined forces to create Panera Facebook’s Aeon, a Vegas-style afterlife and Apple’s Cove, a beach afterlife.

Upload x Facebook and Panera

And if you thought that characters would be able to escape ads in their afterlife, guess again! Season 1 episode 6, The Sleepover, features a partnership between the upload-universe Lake View and Nokia Taco Bell (yep, in 2033, they’re merged into one, too!) where the angels are required to give a pitch and offer a free gordita crunch to every resident of Lake View.

Upload x Taco Bell

Attention Cloud 9 Shoppers!

NBC’s hit comedy, Superstore, follows a group of oddball employees that work at a Cloud 9 superstore and the shenanigans they get into while they’re at work. While Cloud 9 is a fictional store (similar to Walmart or Target), Superstore constantly proves itself to exist in our world by the brands that are being stocked on the store’s shelves!


From interstitial moments where VSCO girls are shopping for Hydro Flasks and Fjallraven backpacks to moments where the employees decide to hide Charmin toilet paper in the ceiling during the height of the early pandemic lockdowns, Superstore provides a setting to incorporate brands in fun and natural ways.

Superstore product placement

This is proven even more true with the season 3 episode titled "Target," where the Cloud 9 employees find themselves in their local Target. Ousted district manager, Jeff Sutton, pretends to have a job as a manager at Target as a way to hide the fact that he’s unemployed, and as such, sets fear into the Cloud 9 gang making them think that Jeff is poaching employees. To prevent that, they go on a field trip to try to recruit new employees! This fun crossover is an innovative way to incorporate a real-life store into the plot of the show making the story feel all the more real for the audience at home.

Superstore x Target

Who's That Girl? It's A Ford Fusion!

New Girl ran on Fox for 7 seasons and it followed upbeat schoolteacher, Jessica Day, her three male roommates, and her model best friend, Cece, throughout their friendship. Following a wild birthday bash, Cece finds herself unable to take a modeling gig the day after. Because of this, her best friend, Jess, has to step in to save the day (Season 2 episode 5, Models).

New Girl

At the debut for the 2013 model of the Ford Fusion, Jess (not a model) finds herself struggling through the presentation of the car. This unique setting essentially allowed for a Ford commercial to be built within the show while still keeping audiences laughing! While the host of the event was spouting out the car’s features, Jess was onstage trying (and failing) to model the car’s features.

New Girl x Ford Fusion

All About Apple!

In Modern Family's "Connection Lost," the audience spends the whole, half-hour staring at the screen of a Macbook. In this episode, matriarch Claire Dunphy is stuck at the airport and worried that her daughter Hailey has gone. M.I.A. Through her Apple products, we watch as Claire facetimes and messages Mitch, Cam, Phil, and the rest of the Dunphy-Pritchett gang to get Hailey's whereabouts.   

Modern Family Product Placement Connection Lost

Though this is a pretty obvious case of product placement, I'd argue that the integrity of the show still remains fully intact. Even through a computer screen, the show still manages to grasp all of the Modern Family antics that the audience is accustomed to. 

Modern Family Connection Lost Apple Product Placement

But not every show can pull off an integration such as this one, as part of what makes this case of product placement work is the fact that it seems so authentic. If you've watched Modern Family since the beginning, then you know that many members of the Dunphy-Pritchett clan are avid fans of Apple. In fact, in one episode of season 1, titled "Game Changer," Claire tries to buy Phil, her husband, the new iPad for his birthday. That being said, this mega product placement in "Connection Lost" is most definitely not Apple's first time on the show, and this is part of what makes this integration seem so genuine and natural. 

Have Fun With It!

Product placement can truly be anything from a character subtly drinking out of a can of soda to an entire episode that takes place in a major retail store! Regardless of the brand you’re trying to place within media, the opportunities are endless as long as you are able to find the right production to work with.

Being creative when it comes to product placement and brand integration only enhances the experience for viewers and allows for them to feel like they’re living in the same world as their favorite characters. If you ever decide that you want to think outside of the box when it comes to your product’s next placement, take a look at some of your favorite TV shows and movies, because you might be surprised at what you can find!

Learn More About Product Placement!

Interested in learning more about product placement? Check out the Hollywood Branded blogs listed below to get creative ideas on how and why you should make product placement work for your brand!

Product placement doesn't have to be scary and your learning doesn't have to end there! Click the image below to learn all about product placement and promotions from the team here at Hollywood Branded.

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide