We believe that bringing brands, content, celebrities and influencers together makes storytelling more meaningful and impactful.
Music is a driving force that unites generations, crosses geographic boundaries, and cements memories into visceral and easy to remember experiences. Thanks to the digital universe, consumers can now watch music videos from their phones or their computers anywhere in the world at any time. And companies have a phenomenal opportunity to advertise their brands to a global audience - for incredibly affordable rates compared to traditional advertising.
Consumers see brands in music videos and hear brand mentions in song lyrics all of the time - often subconsciously. But sometimes the product placement can be a little too blatant. A little too in your face. So, what makes a product placement a home run win? In this blog, Hollywood Branded looks at the immense amount of product placement in recent music videos and songs and discusses the most obvious top music video product placement case studies.
We can see product placement in almost every entertainment outlet. From television shows to movies it has been around since the 1920's. The business is certainly only growing, and expanding into new entertainment platforms as brands seek to engage consumer awareness. Over the last few decades, brands have been focusing in on integrating into the powerful platform of music videos. In the 80's and 90's it was more difficult to place brands in music videos based on the controls of the distributor, namely MTV. Now, with the expansion of the digital universe, the opportunities are unlimited. Whether on YouTube, Vevo, or even the artist's own digital or social platform, music videos offer a self contained story for consumers to stop by, visit, and leave with the visual memories of their favorite artists.
Let’s start with a simple question: why do artists incorporate brands in their music videos and songs? First, and for the most obvious reason, is for money. Brands pay to be included in an artist’s most recent video. The bigger the artist, the higher the cost. But at the same time - the higher the consumer reach. The brand gets exposure, and the artist makes money that typically goes directly back into producing the music video. Gone are the days of the high priced music video. Music labels are cutting costs, and artists need extra funding to produce their videos.
A second reason is for the benefits. Some artists will have mutual agreements with a company, where the brand gets exposure in a song or music video and the artist receives free products from the brand. This typically is for lower tier artists, which are typically called "emerging" artists. The brand may also assist the artist in reaching more consumer eyeballs through the brand's own marketing efforts promoting the music video.
Another reason an artist may include a brand is for pure fun or because the brand becomes a central theme or element to their song. Case in point, Toby Keith's Red Solo Cup. If an artist really loves a brand and wants to support them, they will include their products in their music video.
Through all of these reasons, we can find product placement in the music industry almost anywhere.
Ariana Grande – “Focus”
Sometimes, the amount of product placement in a music video can be overwhelming and unnatural. Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious product placement in the past.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5: The Galaxy Note 5 is almost impossible to miss in Ariana Grande’s song “Focus”. Not only does she focus on the phone for the duration of the music video, but the theme of the video is galaxy like.
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Beats: Beats are very prominent in the music video world; you can find them almost everywhere. And the reason you can find them almost everywhere is because their founder owns Interscope Records, and required their talent to wear them in music videos and real life.
Nicki Minaj represents her pink Beats Pill in this music video (along with many of her other videos), but you can also see examples of Beats in videos by Coldplay, Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus.
“We Can’t Stop”
EOS Lip Balm: Joining a variety of other brands, EOS lip balm made its way into Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” music video. Other brands presented in the video are Beats by Dr. Dre and Tom Ford sunglasses.
Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce - "Telephone"
Diet Coke - Lady Gaga's "Telephone" is known for its immense amount of product placement. Some of the brands are more naturally integrated than others, but most are randomly placed throughout the video. Other brands shown include: Beats by Dr. Dre, Wonder Bread, Virgin Mobile, Polaroid, 'Plenty of Fish' dating site, and Miracle Whip.
Migos - Bad and Boujee
Chanel: Chanel is one of the many products shown in the "Bad and Boujee" music video. Migos not only displayed various companies and products in his music video, but also sang about them in his lyrics. Some of the other brands in his lyrics include: Crockpot, Instagram, Segway, Subway, Ferrari, Jacuzzi, Gucci etc.
Our team created this infographic that talks more about what brands have done product placement with different music genres includng pop, hip hop and country.
Product placement with music is a solid marketing tactic. Brands can build upon their lyric or music video, and expand to having an artist social influencer layover program, in store retail music download partnerships, or even a larger celebrity endorsement capitalizing on the brand's relationship with the artist.
We've written some other blog posts on product placement in music videos, which you can check out as well!
Our video What Is Product Placement provides more insight into how product placement works for your brand.
Topics: Celebrity Partnership
Sarah is a marketing and advertising student at the University of Oregon in the school of Journalism and Communications, and former intern at Hollywood Branded.