Product placement has been a staple of advertising for decades, with companies paying to have their products featured in television shows and movies. This form of advertising allows companies to reach a captive audience without interrupting the flow of the content they are consuming.
One of the most famous examples of product placement in movies is Reese’s Pieces in E.T. In this 1982 classic, the main character, a young boy named Elliott, uses Reese’s Pieces to lure E.T., the extraterrestrial, out of hiding. This clever product placement resulted in a significant increase in sales for Hershey’s, the manufacturer of Reese’s Pieces.
Product placement has also been used extensively in television shows. From the Coca-Cola cups on American Idol to the Apple computers on The Office, product placement is everywhere you look. According to a study by PQ Media, product placement spending in the US reached $10.63 billion in 2020, up from $7.48 billion in 2015.
However, as technology has evolved, so too has product placement. With the rise of online video and streaming platforms, companies have found new ways to integrate their products into content. One popular method is through sponsored content. This type of advertising involves companies paying for a piece of content that features their product in a subtle way. For example, a company might sponsor a cooking show on YouTube, where the host uses their product throughout the episode.
Another form of product placement online is through influencer marketing. In this case, companies partner with social media influencers to promote their products. This can be done through sponsored posts, product reviews, or even by sending free products to influencers in exchange for a mention.
Despite the evolution of product placement, its goal remains the same: to reach consumers in a subtle way that doesn’t interrupt their viewing experience. By integrating products into content, companies can create brand awareness and drive sales without being intrusive.