What You Might Not Know... That I Take For Granted
I've lived in the world of branded entertainment for over twenty years, and often forget that things that seem so natural to me as making sense, aren't that well known outside of our industry. Which means there is no way most clients or prospective clients likely have any insight into the mechanisms that make Product Placement, Celebrity and Influencer partnerships work.
What I forget is... that our own team when they begin to work with us also learns, just like our clients. And what they have learned may prove valuable to you! In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares what our own team members have learned, that will help entertainment and influencer marketing make more sense to you.
So in this blog, I surveyed our team members to find out what they didn't know before they started their careers working in influencer and entertainment marketing, and what else they've learned since joining Hollywood Branded.
Let's take a look at what they said:
I had no idea about... brands leveraging a promotion for exposure in a film. That the brand actually can get better exposure in the film, if they will help market the film through their own media, retail or packaging on the brand itself. The studio actually benefits from the brand helping to advertise the film, so that when the partnership is substantive enough, and exposes the film to a lot of people, it's considered a really major benefit. And then the studio actually works harder to make sure the brand has great product placement exposure.
I had no idea about... network media buys being the only way to get on most TV shows, and consequently WHY that is (because the network doesn't want to p.o. advertisers by have non-media-buying brands getting exposure in shows and not having to pay the same rates as the bigger brands.) In fact, the networks are so nervous about upsetting their big brand partners, they close the door to a lot of money they could be making.
I had no idea... that there was a system (even if kind of in general) of determining the effectiveness of placements or value. Our team's placement score card actually lets a brand track their results and see how much of an impact they make. Plus they can use it to compare different campaigns to see what works the best for the brand.
I had no idea... what things cost. I feel like prices of things also was a surprise to me – that film is way more affordable than TV, and just what fees are in general for things. I've learned about cost per thousand pricing, how many impressions can be secured globally from a single product placement. And that brands who buy media should be saving some of those dollars to create product placement campaigns - because they are going to get a lot more engagement and actually be seen by a massive amount of people in comparison to that one ad spot. And a single ad running in prime time network television could cost more than a single product placement in show that lives forever. Craziness!
I had no idea... about the negotiation process. I had no idea how much time went in to negotiating a partnership for a brand. And how much you can actually ask for. I thought pretty much what the production said, would be all that they would be able to do. Yet our team keeps coming up with requests, and building upon the ask, that at the end of the negotiations, the brand has the awesome partnership opportunity, that didn't exist at all originally.
I had no idea... how important having an inbound marketing program is for any business in today's age. Our team gets so many business inquiries and clients from our blogs and the ebooks and materials we create to help people better understand the marketing potential our services offer. And it is amazing how many people read our blogs and listen to our podcasts!
I had no idea... how much brands need 'guarantees' of performance. So many brands go with direct response instant sales strategies, but they leave the whole 'building a brand' experience on the table. It's great that a Facebook ad can generate immediate revenue. But as soon as you stop spending, that revenue stops too. Building a brand will keep consumers interested in purchasing even when they aren't looking at a 'buy now' ad.
I had no idea... what logistics went into product placement integrations, and how many different components were included. It goes beyond 'take my money and put 'x' product in the shot', and proves to be a lot more complicated, with multiple moving parts. It's totally nuts how much goes into building out a single brand partnership. There is no media rate card on how much something costs. There is no contact list for who to talk to at a production. Everything is research and negotiation and leveraging relationships, leveraging money, leveraging against being able to expose the property to new people, or by leveraging bringing something to the table that the production can't easily get on their own.
I had no idea... in general the 'behind-the-scenes' work that goes into product placements, and the different ways agencies like ours work with/on productions, (ie. hunting down prop masters, script readings, negotiations, etc.) It's a lot of work!
I had no idea... the effectiveness of social influencer marketing, just in general. The sales some of our clients have seen, or the cool content and massive engagement they've gotten from our influencer campaigns is incredible.
I had no idea... and never knew/understood just HOW much of an asset agencies like ours are for brands when it comes to negotiating with productions, working with networks, and just having knowledge of the in's and out's of Hollywood. It's a lot more complicated than having a product and tossing it at a TV network. It's a specialized service taken for granted because we do things so seamlessly!
I had no idea... or noticed how MUCH product placement/integration actually takes place in TV, films, events, etc. Not until you're trained to watch for it do you really notice the scale (aside from the very obvious placements). It's spellbinding. And the fact is - most of that is secured WITHOUT paying for it - strictly through relationships like our agency has. I don't get why every brand doesn't do product placement. It should be part of every marketing plan. Plus it is just so cool to be part of pop culture. People really notice.
Opportunities With Product Placement & Social Influencers
So if our own team didn't know how effective product placement and influencer marketing is - and how it actually works, obviously a lot of brand marketers don't either. Which is why we've spent so much time building materials that help explain the wonder world and magic of content and influencer partnerships.
To learn more about making product placement work for your brand, read our blog on 3 Reasons Why Productions Use Product Placement, as well as these blogs:
- 4 Common Myths About Product Placement Debunked
- 10 Surprising Reasons Why Brands Do Product Placement
- 8 Ways To Use Product Placement Assets To Amplify Your Brand Into Sales
- 3 Important Steps In Planning Product Placement Strategy
- Thinking Product Placement Cost Is High (It Isn't!)
And if you are interested in learning more about social influencer and celebrity partnerships... then check out our Influencer Marketing School! We've created three course options that will help your team better understand the landscape and get the most out of your time and money spent in the influencer marketing space.