Why Is Product Placement Important?


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What Makes Product Placement So Special?  

Do you know how much brands pay for product placement? It's one of the most asked questions people email me about every day.  If you hang in for the read, you'll shortly find out. It's far less than you likely think. Product placement (if you do it right) is the gift that keeps on giving - a hidden gem of a marketing tool that a majority of global brands use to build brand awareness. What makes it such a mecca of branding opportunity is that series, films, and music videos are not one-hit wonders as content platforms and provide a phenomenally long-ranging life for the brand to be included within.

These productions air for years, or even decades, reaching audiences around the globe. And it just never goes away. The content is initially released by the distribution partner, whether that be theatrical, on a broadcast network, a cable station, on a streaming platform, or digitally. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares the true importance of product placement. 

Why is product placement important

It's Like The Energizer Bunny

But it doesn't exactly stop there. Rarely is this content just aired one single time. Even reality series have second lives in syndication globally in markets that favor American content.  And that content? It keeps airing. For decades. For marketers in the know who realize the power of not just slotting one-and-done 30-second ads around this content, the opportunity to win big in brand awareness is unbelievable.  The brand logo and identity become part of pop culture – forever, and the brand gains recognition and is built into being seen as a celebrity-approved brand.

That is some powerful marketing heft that drives sales.

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Is This You?

For those other marketers (you know who you are)... if they don't have a proactive product placement program, they are costing their companies a loss of billions of media impressions, that their competitors are getting instead of them.

Why can I guarantee that? Well, a production HAS to build a realistic storyline. And if they are not working with your company, they will work with whoever else is happy to help them out. If your brand does not have a proactive approach in Hollywood, then the production is going to work with your competitors instead to solve their onset needs. If your brand is not playing in the product placement game, you certainly have no chance of scoring a home run win.

Brands Doing It Right 

There is a reason Dell and Apple are so proactive in helping filmmakers. If either stops, the other brand and their remaining competitors are going to gain market share – with content marketing which they both find to be of extremely high marketing value. Apple even created an entire marketing channel for itself with Apple+, they so strongly believe in the power of content marketing.

Here's an interview I did for my podcast, Marketing Mistakes (+ How To Avoid Them) with Gary Moore, Dell’s lead for their in-house product placement program. He shared insight as to why they put so much effort into building and maintaining their product placement program, and he’s been instrumental in achieving astronomical success on screen for the brand using the same tactics and approach I am sharing. He and his team rock at product placement.

In fact, a lot of our clients have run product placement programs in part to ensure that their competitors do not get a chance to gain a foothold in that valuable market share.

And they have run those product placement programs at the cost of literally cutting only ONE SINGLE PRIME TIME AD SPOT from their media buy. Just one single thirty-second spot. ONE!!!!  I'm going to shout this from the rooftops again. ONE SINGLE SPOT. That is insane. Do you know in the scheme of things how very little that is?

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Hey Agency Marketers... Want Some Help?

Media agencies take note - we are talking about a single primetime ad unit, or at max perhaps a few depending on where you buy.  60% of our clients are agencies and we align with them to build comprehensive product placement programs for their clients. We get better deals for their fee integration partnerships too because of the on-set relationships we have. 

We are getting more and more inquiries from agencies who want to offer clients product placement as a way to increase impressions.  Give us a shout and we'll be happy to share how we work. The bare-bones fact is - if your team is not offering product placement as a service, your clients may look elsewhere...

Every week we get calls where the brand shares that their agency is not providing them with the opportunities they are seeking.  We make offering a product placement program to your clients become fully turnkey.  Many of our agency partners build in a management fee so that by offering our agency services, they create a billable service for their agency too.

Agencies managing other agencies can work very well - and your campaigns become even more aligned as there is absolute transparency.

There is absolutely no excuse for brands who advertise to not include product placement as a critical marketing tactic. If they have PR as part of their marketing/advertising strategies, they should include product placement.

hollywood branded sponsorship program

That's right. What I said above is true. One year of a product placement program can cost less than a single primetime ad unit.

Most brands can have a comprehensive product placement program for under $200k, and in some cases, based on brand category, storage needs, and life stage, up to only a quarter spend of that. At our agency, or at most of our competitors' agencies, those are the rates. Less than that range, and the brand is likely not getting the time spent for attention to detail to safeguard the brand that is needed. Much more than that, and the brand better have some significant inventory needs and multiple product lines with heavy staffing because those brands are otherwise overpaying. And should give us a call. 

That's not to say that it should not be priced higher. Trust me, as an agency owner, the amount of work that goes into our product placement programs with staffing and hour requirements is immense. But that is the market price - primarily because PR agencies have always been undervalued and underpaid compared to the almighty ad agency. It's just how it works and what the marketplace charges.

If A Brand Does PR, Then They Should Do Product Placement

The pricing is stupidly affordable because this marketing practice is similar to PR programs, and that is the going rate for securing earned media of any type. Print, digital, series, film… it's all based on a similar approach. It's pretty much the same. Whether our agency is building a PR campaign and working to secure earned media with editors and writers, or if we are building out a product placement campaign and working to ensure earned media with prop masters and set decorators – it's all the same. Just different content platforms.

Product placement is, at its core, content marketing. As is PR, and both are all about having solid relationships, excellent reputations, and knowing how to build a story and then knowing how to pitch it to successful wins for the client. And doing it again. On rinse and repeat, year after year after year – growing brand awareness and reputation directly impacting sales. And then, we report on all of that success, typically using similar measurement tools that provide overall impressions as the driving ROI.

Think about that for a moment. When you watch a TV show, you typically see 4 to 6 thirty-second commercials in multiple breaks across the episode. And then, that spot is lost forever. It doesn't repeat and runs again unless you pay for it. Yet giving up that single spot can net your brand hundreds of millions of eyeballs on your brand in dozens of films and series – for years to come. Including Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, and Disney +, where brands can otherwise not advertise.

Once you or your agency get your brand embedded as part of the storyline, there is zero cost for the endless replays that occur throughout the lifetime of the production—in some cases – bringing decades of exposure to your brand. Later, when it is running in syndication, you can even buy media around the episode - bringing even more attention to your brand and appearing darn savvy in the process of having built your product placement program.

Ready to cut that ad spot? Give us a call and we'll help you turn those millions of eyeballs into billions.

Eager To Learn More?

Now that you know why product placement is important, you need to learn how to best implement product placement into your marketing plan. For help with this, look no further than our blog! We have plenty of pieces on how to explore product placement like a pro!

Are you a pro podcaster? Want to share your marketing tips? Apply to become on our show "Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)!"

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