Placement pitfalls

Product placement: Not a cure-all
Product placement: Not a cure-all

Ofcom’s announcement giving the go-ahead to product placement on British TV is a huge opportunity for marketers ( However, it will also demand much greater insight into customer behaviour.

As TV and on-demand video viewers become more savvy in the ways in which to avoid commercials, product placement is quite naturally seen as an alternative for companies to ensure that their brands are given an audience. Yet businesses must ensure that product placement isn’t simply treated as an extension of advertising.

This doesn’t only affect the way in which the product is presented, it also has implications for how organisations investigate and judge the success of a campaign. In the age of digital transmission, it is relatively simple to discover if an advert has been seen and then track to see what effect this has on purchasing patterns.

With product placement, many other factors come into play – is the placement overt or subtle? Was it at a point in the programme when fewer viewers were likely to see it? Was the product presented in a positive, neutral or even negative light?

Media companies and those representing brands need to make sure they can produce this information and, more importantly, sift through what will be a greatly increased pool of data compared with the days of advertising in order to determine the success, or otherwise, of their strategy.

Roger Llewellyn

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