How Your Brand Can Make It Big In Hollywood


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If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere!

Hollywood is - and always will be - one of the most difficult places to make it big. Whether you're an actor, director, or screenwriter, it can seem daunting to make a name for yourself. And when you're a brand trying to make a name for yourself in the entertainment industry, it can seem impossible to know where to start. 

Now, as much as you may want to, you can't just place your product in a blockbuster film; you have to start small and work your way up! And that's where we come in: we want to help you learn how to best make a name for your brand in the entertainment industry. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses how to best start getting your brand in front of Hollywood tastemakers. 

How Your Brand Can Make It Big In Hollywood

If You Want To Make It In Hollywood...

Yesterday I was sitting there, with a head full of hair dye, listening to my stylist talk about her son and how he is taking a gap year so that he can focus on becoming an actor. I, being endlessly inquisitive and shoving my nose into what is none of my business as the consummate fixer I am, asked what he was doing to get himself roles on-screen proactively. She told me he had a theatrical agent for Broadway, whom his TV/film agent didn't know about. And that he was booking auditions on the rare that his parents would fly him to New York to try out. But never getting cast. He's 18. Supposedly a triple threat who can dance, sing and act.

It's his dream to become a giant on-screen. Not on Broadway. He lives in Los Angeles, a heartbeat away from endlessly filming productions. Not surprisingly, his TV/Film agent doesn't get him booked on anything.

And he's never been on a film set. Not even as an extra. WHAT!?!?

Movie set movie extra small budget film

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Don't You Want To See If You Will Even Like Your Dream?

I was gob-smacked. Seriously. He has no idea if he even will like the often dull and endlessly long days on set. Where scenes are filmed over, and over, and over and… you get the idea. Life on set is BORING. Really. It's more downtime than action. It's a craft where everything is meticulously done on repeat to secure the absolute best scene. There aren't too many directors out there that shoot once and move on to the next scene. You hear of productions going so over budget often because of the endless quest to get the scene right – on the thirtieth try.

You Have To Work For It

My stylist’s son is living the dream that dare says tens of thousands around the world would give their eye teeth for. He lives in the heart of the land of Hollywood. His parents are footing his bill. He has a year he can do absolutely anything, and that year is almost played out already.

I sat for a moment thinking how I could maybe help, as I certainly have a lot of connections. I asked if he subscribed to Backstage and actively applies for extra gigs. Nope. He doesn’t want to be an extra she patiently explained to me. He wants to be a star with speaking lines. In fact, she said he probably would be bored as an extra, but thrilled if he had a couple of lines.

What?!? Where is the hustle? Where is the desire? Where is the chutzpah?

And there... went my desire to help. Swoosh, out the door. Goodbye and good luck. Enjoy city college this fall, as that’s where your parents are mandating you end up versus just sitting at home. It's taken a long time, but I am done trying to fix things for others when they are not even putting in the most basic level of effort.

movie set movie extra entertainment industry

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Paying Your Dues

In Hollywood, with rare exceptions, you have to pay your dues, put in the time, and network. Endlessly. If your goal is to be a producer, writer, or director one day, you do the same when you come out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to Los Angeles. You get short-term jobs as a production assistant, experience on set, and meet people. You work odd jobs that will let you make money on the side. In today’s gig economy of Uber and Lyft, you can make ends meet a lot more easily than when I moved to Los Angeles 26 years ago.

But he isn’t hungry, and the likelihood he is going to become a star is infinitely small. He just hasn’t paid his dues. And he is unlikely to magically be discovered and cast in a role that will lead him to stardom.

Brands Have The Same Issue - They Need To Pay Their Dues 

That’s the same issue most brands have. They don’t understand the true POWER of product placement. They would love to be seen in Tom (fill in the blank here… Hanks, Cruise’s, Hardy’s, Hiddleston’s, or in distant years, Selleck’s) hands starring alongside them, getting recognition around the world. But they don’t pay the dues needed to be successful in Hollywood by becoming a friend to Hollywood – a true helper and solver of problems.

And it’s so easy to do and ridiculously affordable in comparison to pretty much any other mainstream marketing or advertising tactic. Hollywood NEEDS brands to help tell the story better. It’s painful watching a scene filled with fake brands, it takes you out of the world you are supposed to be able to step into. But brands who are not ready to be part of the daily hustle of Hollywood – of getting their product to sets, providing solutions to productions to help make their content better and more real, and ultimately helping lower that production budget just a little so they can afford yet another take of the same scene. 

Don’t be like my stylist who said no one in Hollywood told them what their son should be doing. With hope, she shared my message with him and the next time I drag myself into the salon to help turn back the years of time, I’ll hear he’s proactively trying to launch his career.

Making It Happen

For your brand, the first step is signing up for a product placement program. You likely have a PR agency and understand the value of earned media in print and digital. Don’t miss out on that same earned media value you can get in movies and series. You need a product placement agency too. Whether Hollywood Branded or one of our competitors, there is not a lot of us who specialize in this field. With our help, your brand will most certainly become a star. It’s otherwise going to be a long wait of crossing your fingers and thinking magic will just, well, magically happen. Be proactive – and you can make that dream come true.

The opportunity is there, as is the need. If you are interested in exploring how your brand can best support Hollywood, and its diverse creative communities and productions, shoot me an email. Our team would be happy to help you build a proactive strategy.

product placement in movies hollywood entertainment marketing

Eager To Learn More?

Want to learn more about how to start utilizing product placement with your brand? Look no further than our very own blog! We have become experts in entertainment marketing and always love sharing our new insights with other marketers! 

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