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With the rise of streaming platforms and their libraries of owned content, we have access to an endless supply of classic shows to binge-watch. And as we re-watch old favorites like Cheers, we can't help but wonder about the brands that made an impact on the show and how effective their product placement really was.
Whether you're a marketing guru or a pop culture fanatic, there's something for everyone to learn in this exploration of the power of product placement in old TV series. In this blog, Hollywood Branded takes a closer look at some of the brands that won big in Cheers and the lasting impact of their product placement and the effectiveness of product placement in general, exploring its power in other forms of media like video games and music videos.
I live and breathe entertainment, and my husband does the same - plus add in his 5 am EPL, afternoon baseball, the longest golf tournaments ever, and whatever else is on in the world of sports. This means we have much TV 24/7 to always be up to speed on whatever drives pop culture.
Eventually, we somehow run out of new things to watch (or to have running in the background). As of late, we've gotten on a kick of old TV thanks to streamers serving them up in easy, non-stop binge-watching. Part of the power of the streamers outside of Netflix is their powerhouse of libraries of owned content. They've made themed and curated channels you can watch, like Peacock's 80s sitcom or Law & Order media.
This brings me to my current viewing existence of season after season of Cheers. I was always just a little too young to appreciate the series then, despite it being one my Boston-born father loved to watch. Fun fact: Did you know that when Cheer's debuted on NBC in 1982, they were #77 of the 77 least popular shows on the air?
And in year two? Number one. And the rest - is history.
Today that wouldn't happen. The network big whigs would take one look at those stats and lack of ad dollar interest by the media behemoths... and adios the show would go. Instead, Cheers lasted 11 seasons, becoming one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed sitcoms ever.
And that would have been a shame for the plethora of product placement for prominently featured brands who were there to help Sam and the gang tell a better story.
Here's a look at which brands won big at the time... and now still, FORTY-ONE YEARS LATER. Product placement is still delivering - it's fair to say that whatever the brands paid, including the time it took to coordinate getting the product to set, has paid off.
THAT IS CRAZY TALK!!!!! And some marketing power.
It's impossible to know the exact viewer reach, but here are some rough, difficult-to-understand, precise numbers of people who have watched Cheers since its premiere in 1982, but we have some estimates.
For anyone who still questions the value of product placement, I'll take one TV show over a single ad unit any day of the week. It makes you wonder why every brand marketer must rise to embrace product placement's power. And they aren't - which means those savvy brand marketers can be easily positioned to win more than their fair share of screen time.
Most often for free, and on occasion as a value-add to media, like these brands did in Cheers:
The show was known for its clever use of product placement to create a sense of realism in the bar setting and generate additional revenue. Cheers has remained popular in syndication and continues to be watched by millions of viewers around the world.
Like me, I have always associated Sam Adams with Cheers, so the science experiment is officially done. Product Placement works. I'm proof. :)
Check out some of our other agency blogs to learn more about the Power Product Placement in video games, music videos, or even more movie productions:
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Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded's founder and CEO, has over twenty six years of leadership experience building global entertainment branding campaigns for top Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of brands. Her career started after receiving her BFA in Theater Production & Scenic Design from the University of Arizona. Acknowledged as an expert in the field, she has appeared on CNN and MSNBC; spoken at conferences around the globe from Germany to Beijing; and has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Financial Times, The Economist, Brandweek, Advertising Age, Variety, B&C and Mediaweek amongst others. Originally from Texas, you will still hear her ya’ll as she gathers the team for strategy planning sessions. Like all true entrepreneurs, Stacy is an adventurer at her core – having sky dived, hang glided off bi-planes, swam with crocs while rafting the Zambezi in Africa, photographed grizzly bears in Alaska, trekked Mayan ruins in Belize, explored the ocean as an avid scuba diver, and who loves owning an advertising agency where she swims with a different type of Hollywood shark on a daily basis.