Saturday, May 5, 2007

Some Last Words...

Spending a semester decoding product placement has indeed been an eye-opening experience. It is everywhere, even in some of a consumer’s most private places, and I didn’t even know it! It shocked me!

While product placement is indeed everywhere, what equally shocked me was the incredible need for it. Many argue that the technique intrudes on people’s lives in a world where advertising is already cluttered. They say that it is unnecessary and takes away from the original quality of a movie, TV show, etc. However, the advertising world is struggling very, very much and needs product placement desperately. TiVo is allowing people to skip through commercials; it is more than easy these days to click out of an Internet ad that pops up on a computer screen; also, consumers live day to day multi-tasking, so it’s more difficult for radio ads to be heard by its listeners, as they are doing a million other things while the ads is running in the background. With all of these new ways to “escape” advertising, businesses and products are finding much difficulty in advertising and getting their products into the market. This is where product placement comes into play.

Product placement is a very efficient and effective way to expose a product to its audience in places and times when they least expect it. As I said that traditional advertising is becoming more predictable and easier to get away from, there is no way of escaping product placement. From the Apple computer in Sex and the City to Corona inflatables on the beach during Spring Break to a Coca-Cola cup placed in front of Simon Cowell during American Idol, product placement is the best way to generate awareness and recognition of a brand without being too obvious. The method permits the consumer to see the brand name, acknowledge it is there, and make a mental note of it. When the placement is in a proper and unique setting, people are more likely to remember it when it comes time for a purchase, and hence a sale results!
So, that is why product placement has become so bizarre, so appealing to marketers, and so prevalent in our society – it has much opportunity for creativity and uniqueness. As I found, product placement can take the form of a video game, a book, a brand encompassed into a reality show, a ballpark, even Oprah is taking part in some product placement. The entire practice is out-of-the-ordinary and gives marketers the chance to break out of the traditional medium of advertising. They can then catch their audience in a different way where they will not only notice the brand, but, more importantly, remember it. All brands want to be remembered, and this is what product placement can do.

It will be interesting to see where the technique continues to go in the future. It is on the rise now, and I believe that it will continue to grow as technology becomes more advanced and advertising becomes even more difficult to do. As an Integrated Marketing Communications major, I can definitely use product placement to push and position a brand or client into the public eye, making consumers want more of it. I continuously find myself on the lookout for product placement now, as a trip to New York City a few weeks ago gave me much opportunity to do this. It was very interesting to find all of it, and it definitely was everywhere. The technique is fascinating to me and maybe, I will be the one breaking into your bathroom stall in a few years. Will that really be necessary, though? You may not think so, but how else can I get your attention?

Thanks for reading!! I enjoyed "Playing with Product Placement" very much and learning the blogosphere, too!