MediaPost: Product Placement In The Golden Age Of Video

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Cory Treffiletti
October 26, 2023
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Cory Treffiletti
CMO, Rembrand
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Product Placement In The Golden Age Of Video
Seen any good movies or TV shows lately?

Your answer is, of course, yes.  We are in a golden age for video entertainment.  You can expand the landscape to include video content online that is created by all sorts of creators in different shapes and sizes.  What’s also interesting is there’s a rapidly expanding category of product placement that is emerging.

Product placement has been around for almost as long as TV.  It all started with things like the Texaco Star Theater — original programming brought to you by Texaco, with the brand embedded through it all.  Fast-forward to ’80s movies, when product placement truly entered into its own with things like Ray Ban featured in “Top Gun.” Even “Wayne’s World” got into the game, lampooning product placement while at the same time prominently displaying shots of Pizza Hut, Doritos and Pepsi products.

Product placement works great — and in the ever-expanding world of digital video, the opportunities are expanding as well.

There are a bunch of agencies, platforms and marketplaces dedicated to enabling product placement as this entire category begins to take off.  Amazon has a virtual product placement group for its Prime Video and Freevee divisions. Earlier this month, Omar Tawakol and his co-founders launched Rembrand to enable product placement with a programmatic approach.

Product placement opportunities make sense because they are non-interruptive to content, and they generate reach.  The downside is that it’s a manual process that must be done in production, and these deals can take years to negotiate and implement.   That is a barrier for most brands.

Product placement works because it associates a brand with an emotion.  Movies and TV shows evoke emotions in their audience, and a well-placed brand can take advantage of that.  I saw data suggesting that brands are more than 40% more likely to be remembered if they are aligned with an emotional moment in a program.

As with any form of advertising, product placement with influencers is likely going to swing from “too much” back to “just enough.”  Using technology for virtual product placement is great because it enables that same level of embedding without the manual effort or the long lead times.  It creates an experience more brands could likely take advantage of in the not-so-distant future.

Product placement is a category ripe with opportunity, and one worth watching over these next few months.