Branding Agency London – 3 Colours Rule is a creative brand design agency. Our London branding consultants have worked on numerous projects to help our clients showcase the uniqueness of their brand. Branding your company effectively is crucial for your success. If you want to create your brand or revamp your existing one, please do not hesitate to contact us for a complimentary brand review or to find out what we can do for you, click here. In this article we review the strategic use of product placement.
Have you ever caught a brand while watching a movie? Did you think it was the result of randomness? Well, it was not: it was a product placement.
A product placement is a marketing operation which consists of putting in evidence a brand in one or few scenes of a movie. It can take the form of the simple presence of an object in a scene, or the character mentioning the brand. The best is still when the hero uses the product in front of the camera. Contrary to what one may think, the product placement was born not in Hollywood but in France. The Lumières brothers are well famous for being the precursors of cinema. The Lumières brothers placed two boxes of Sunlight Savon, soap in French, in one of the first scenes they filmed. Soon, the soap company realised a sell increase. The product placement was born.
The washer, Lumières Brothers (1896)
Product placement is a costly but extremely efficient branding and marketing technique. Professionals consider it is four times more effective than television ads. However, if the product placement is too obvious, it can be negatively perceived. However, product placement has a pictorial value: it helps spectators be immersed in the reality of a movie. Indeed, this is easier to « be in the story » if you recognise everyday life brands. The brand becomes unconsciously a norm. You also need to keep in mind that producing movies is really expensive. Product placement also helps fund movies. Some cinematographic masterpieces we know would have never been filmed without any product placement.
Let’s keep in mind that some movies and characters would not be truly authentic without great product placements. The perfect example is James Bond. Who would James Bond be without his Aston Martin and his bottle of Bollinger?
Unfortunately, Hollywood used too much product placements these last few years. Companies who paid to see their product on screen began to ask for more and more. Some film directors needed the money to produce their movie and accepted to create a whole scene for the only purpose of enlightening the product. This is the case of I Robot. Even worse: some movies were created only with the only aim of promoting products or a company. Can you recall the Herbie’s serie? More recently, the movie “the Interns” was Google propaganda. And it worked.
It is funny to see how product placement has become an artistic choice for films directors these last few years. Michael Bay, for instance, is well known for being keen on it. He placed more than 45 brands in Transformer 2!
On the other hand, some movie directors are simply against such promotional operation. Quentin Tarantino created a fake cigarette brand and placed it in almost every movie he directed.
To conclude, Product placement is an effective way to communicate on your product but it is criticised by the cinema puritan amateurs. This marketing operation is a real issue. Now it is for you to decide if you are for or against it.0