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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Is Product Placement Getting in Your Face?

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Is Product Placement Getting in Your Face?

"When I notice very deliberately positioned food brands in a film, I find it hard to maintain any suspension of disbelief. But Cynthia thinks product placement adds to authenticity. She says, for those of us living in consumer cultures, brands are so much part of our lives that seeing them on screen makes us connect more deeply with the characters. And even if audiences are increasingly aware of product placement, it's still effective.

'Being self aware, makes us feel very smart. And whenever we feel smart advertising tends to work'...

‘They have a certain budget that they need to keep within. Say, there's a grocery stores and you have a set decorator who has to recreate entire grocery filled with food products. And not only is that a challenge for costs. Now, it's also a challenge for clearances because they need to actually have approval in many cases for the brand to be incorporated… it can go from nothing and free and it's just you're in the right place, and you have a great reputation and you're able to leverage that awareness. It could be that the script calls for something very specific and key and the producers are less interested in trying to secure dollars.

And really, you're just looking at the creativity and what makes sense to the storyline. Netflix is also very notorious for not wanting to do dollar deals. Because it's a subscription basis. They're not reliant on advertisers and commercials, and it's more about artistic integrity.’

Stacy insists that in her experience, even when films are reliant on advertising, art always trumps money. And whilst she's negotiated deals for up to half a million dollars she's also seen producers turning away companies offering hundreds of thousands because they didn't feel the brand was right for the story.

‘Most consumers think that anything that they see in a movie or TV show is paid for. And I would dare say that 90% of the items that they see of any sort of brand category are not paid for. And that's always a surprise to people’...

Shortly after [ET]’s release, sales of Reese's Pieces doubled...

‘Is it only good characters that they want to see? Would you only want Batman to be drinking your drink? Or would you mind if the Joker was drinking it too?’

‘It really comes down to the brand and their sense of humor and their sense of control. Brands typically don't want to be associated with the bad guy. But many times it's a character that might be a little bit more edgy, and sometimes even a little bit more favored as the underdog that can allow a brand to have higher engagement. But I would say most brands would always rather be with a good guy, than the bad guy’...

We did want to play you a bit of [the Nigerian] Glamour Girls, too. But when we contacted its producer, he told us he destroyed the master tapes after finding Jesus'"
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