Product placement: An ad you can’t skip

Kai Ryssdal and Adriene Hill Sep 11, 2015
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Product placement: An ad you can’t skip

Kai Ryssdal and Adriene Hill Sep 11, 2015
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The fall television season is nearly here, which means new shows and new challenges for advertisers, who we’ve gotten really good at avoiding. But they still have to get their messages in front of us. We are about to enter a whole new world of product placement. 

What is product placement? Think about American Idol and those giant Cokes the judges were always drinking.

Product placement goes back decades before that.

“In many ways, the product placement in the 1950s, was in some ways more sophisticated than it is today,” says Syracuse University professor Robert Thompson.

Many marketers are rediscovering that over-the-top integration ’50s model.

Other programs, like Neil Patrick Harris’ “Best Show Ever” coming to NBC, might build product giveaways right into show. These sort of product placements work really well on talk shows, variety shows, and reality shows — where you can actually make them part of the fun.

But we’re also likely to see more and more subtle “brand integration,” where brands get woven into plot lines and scenes in ways that don’t make you groan. 

Editor’s Note: In the on-air version of this story, we said that Bloomberg had “paid” to have its financial terminal featured on HBO’s “The Newsroom.” In fact, a consulting firm working on behalf of Bloomberg negotiated the deal with producers of the show and no money was exchanged.

 

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