What is Product Placement?

Definition: Product placement is a marketing technique that promotes a brand by placing the branded product in a non-advertising context, usually a TV show or a movie. The product is inserted into the program and is often seen as a natural part of it.

What Does Product Placement Mean?

With product placement, companies take advantage of popular motion pictures or TV shows where many products are used. These movies and shows usually require food, drinks, cars and clothes as elements of the narrative. In this regard, some firms decide to place their brands there with the purpose of promoting them in a subtly manner. Sometimes the company wants to associate the brand with a particular film, movie character or TV program.

The product or brand can be seen in the background, mentioned in the narrative or be part of the action. The appearance can be paid or not paid, depending on the specific agreement between both parties. Product placement has been steadily growing as a marketing technique and now most firms intensively use it to promote their brands.

Example

A popular US model was hired to conduct a new TV show named “Natural Beauty”. It is a talk show where the conductor will interview experts and celebrities that promote a healthy lifestyle and natural methods to look beautiful and young. The producers are worried about the budget so they are looking for additional income sources. The chief producer therefore tried to obtain income through product placement. He reached an agreement with an apparel firm that will provide the model’s wardrobe.

Also, an organic food brand will be mentioned in conversations twice a month. In some episodes, the model will leave the studio to do outdoor sports and all equipment will be provided by a popular outdoor brand. In these occasions, the car that will appear when driving to outdoor locations will also be a part of a product placement agreement. All those firms will pay a monthly amount to the TV show with the expectation of being positively related to health and beauty topics presented during the episodes.