The latest trend in advertising is away from in-your-face ads, where the product is the star, to more subtle influencing. One way is to integrate products into mini-movies or quasi-documentary vignettes that feature "real-life scenarios" with the product(s) hovering in the background. It’s called product placement and we know how to do it.
First, let’s think about the waning power of in-your-face advertising.
Today's consumer is inundated with advertising everywhere: television, radio, billboards, magazines, buses, newspapers, the Internet. And more and more ad-space is popping up every day. From people walking down the street wearing signs, to flyers on our cars and in our mailboxes, to ads on the ATM screen as we wait to get our cash -- we see ads all day, every day.
Have you read The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR by bestselling authors and world-renowned market strategists Al and Laura Ries? They make a compelling case that today’s major brands are born with publicity, not advertising. A closer look at the history of the most successful brands shows this to be true. Look at Palm, Starbucks, The Body Shop, Wal-Mart, Red Bull and Zara. All these brands have been built with virtually no advertising. One of the reasons is that advertising lacks the crucial ingredient in brand building—credibility. Advertising is effective at maintaining brands once they’ve been established through publicity. Most consumers are plain getting tired of ads, but they don’t seem to mind the more subtle form of product placement.
Television networks have noticed this big time, or should we say for prime time, which is why they’re so open to running ads that don’t look or sound like ads. So, when is an ad not an ad? When it's a product placement.
Once mainly found only on the big screen, product placement has been making quite a few appearances on TV -- not to mention in video games and even books.
TransMedia Group, founded by a network television executive, is one of the few PR firms in the country that’s expert in placing products in movies, television shows and other media.
If you watched the "ad-free" version of "24," you know what we're talking about. Ford sponsored the show with two three-minute spots opening and closing the episode. And, Ford vehicles were integrated into the show -- the main character, Jack Bauer, drove a Ford Expedition.
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