Getting a company’s product included as part of a television show, movie, video game, special event, or book is called a product placement. When you watch reruns of Seinfeld, you often see different Coca-Cola products being consumed. Likewise, you might see a Nissan Maxima on Desperate Housewives. Over four hundred product placements typically appear in each episode of The Biggest Loser. Apple placed products in twenty-four movies that reached number one between August 1, 2008, and August 1, 2009, while Ford products appeared twenty times and Budweiser products appeared twelve times. 1
Typically, a company pays a fee to have one of its products placed. But sometimes the company pays nothing if the product is needed for a show in some way or as part of the plot. FedEx did not pay for product placement in the movie Castaway. 2Product placement can improve a brand’s awareness and exposure and often increase its sales. Given the number of exposures an organization receives with product placement, the cost of a product placement can be less expensive than commercials might cost.
Although most product placements appear in television shows and movies, corporations are pursuing other options. For example, they are now placing products in online videos, computer games, and books. The number of product placements is expected to increase as consumers continue to skip commercials and advertisements using digital video recorders (DVRs).
Public relations (PR) are the activities organizations engage in to create a positive image for a company, product, service, or a person. Press releases, sponsorships, and product placements are three commonly used PR tools. Press releases are designed to generate publicity, but there is no guarantee the media will use them in the stories they write. Sponsorships are designed to increase brand awareness, improve corporate image, and reach target markets. Product placements are designed to generate exposure, brand awareness, and interest.
- Why are public relations efforts funded by firms?
- Who does the public relations for a firm?
- Identify three public relation tools.