Your Favorite Media Has Brand Exposure


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I See It, I Want It

We've all been there: it’s Sunday night and you are sitting on the couch deeply invested in your favorite TV show or movie. All of the sudden, the lead character reaches for a stand-out brand of food or drink and indulges. Maybe they’re drinking an ice-cold Coca-Cola, or just went in on some Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. You think to yourself, “I could really go for that right now” and momentarily consider running to the nearest convenience store to grab one for yourself. If in fact, you have been in this position, then that brand’s marketing team has done their job!

Product placement and brand integrations are everywhere in Hollywood and can be seen across all forms of media including television, film, music videos, and even video games. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses some of the most iconic brand exposures in popular media and what they do to benefit brands.

Your Favorite Media Has Brand Exposure

A Brief History of Product Placement 

Product placement has been around much longer than most people think. In fact, one of the earliest examples of product placement dates back to the 1920s in the film Garage. In this film, characters interact with a sign for Red Crown Gasoline as it makes repetitive appearances throughout the picture. While it’s not confirmed as to whether Red Crown paid for the feature, it caused a degree of buzz and even some controversy at the time.

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Product placement and brand integrations were definitely not obsolete throughout the beginning of the twentieth century; however their inherent value and power were not fully realized until later in the century. A film that really put the power of product placement on the map was E.T. in 1980. In this instance, Hershey's made a groundbreaking deal for Reese’s Pieces to be the go-to candy for E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. According to The Beat, the candy giant paid $1,000,000 in tie-ins and cross promotional advertising for the placement. In just two weeks of the movies launch, Reese’s Pieces sales more than doubled.


Who Benefits?

Product placement serves two main parties in the world of media: the brand and the production. In an ideal placement the two parties benefit mutually. But in order to understand what makes a really solid placement, it’s important to grasp who gets what in a deal.

Brands benefit from product placement in multiple ways. The first is perhaps the most obvious - product placement builds positive association towards a brand. Human beings are social herd animals by nature and respond well to the influence of those we respect or admire. Think about it: if your favorite celebrity is showcased enjoying a brand-name beverage, raving about how good it tastes, your subconscious is going to latch on to that statement. This mentality builds the basis for all sorts of celebrity and high-level influencer endorsement campaigns. An example of an iconic celebrity endorsement campaign was Taylor Swift for Diet Coke. In this partnership, Swift was featured in multiple media pushes for the beverage giant. The deal sat pretty at 26 million dollars.

Taylor Swift Blonde Guitar Coke Soda Diet Coke wallpaper | 1920x1281 |  248065 | WallpaperUP

Not all endorsements revolve around a big name celebrity. In fact, brand integrations and product placements often take place in the very fantasy worlds us as viewers find ourselves lost in. A class example of product placement, Acura becomes the official car of the Avengers. In this instance, Acura models make consistent appearances throughout the 2012 Avengers film, both as action shots and as main characters' rides of choice.

Most notably, the Acura RDX was visible very clearly for a couple of seconds in the middle of the movie and the sexy Acura NSX Roadster secured its role as the official vehicle of S.H.I.E.L.D., the international peacekeeping agency of the Marvel Universe.

Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours

Another way brands benefit from placements and integrations is through the brand awareness that is built through placements, campaigns and integrations. Not all deals are backed by tens of millions of dollars and have big names like Taylor Swift behind them. In fact, many product placement deals are rooted in trade. This means product is exchanged for product placement. In this instance, value is found in both the exposure provided by a production as well as the functionality of the brand becoming an organic part of the set.

For example, most placements are “in kind” placements, meaning productions are spared expensive set decorations or props by using gifted or loaned brand products. To put it plainly, imagine being the set decorator or prop master for a major motion picture. your production takes place in modern times and it is your job to outfit your 10 main characters with their own cellphone. With everyday mobile phones averaging around a thousand dollars, costs begin to add up... and that's just for cell phones!

That is where brands step in and loan or gift product in hopes of gaining brand awareness across productions and other forms of media. The more a product is seen throughout pop culture, the more relevant it becomes.


Let The Credits Roll

Pop culture is ever evolving and more and more digitalized each day. Because of this, the value of product placement continues to gain immense traction and recognition in the world of marketing. With artists and celebrities like Taylor Swift signing 26 million dollar deals to promote soft drinks and avengers driving Acuras, it's difficult to ignore the effect brand shapes the media we consume and its effect on our every day lives.

product placement infographic - free download

Learn More On The World Of Product Placement and Brand Integration

Want to learn more about Influencer Marketing? Be sure to check out other blogs that Hollywood Branded has written about influencers! 

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