Product placement is an advertising approach that intentionally inserts products into entertainment programs such as movies, TV programs and video games.
Placement can take several forms including:
- visual imagery in which the product appears within the entertainment program
- actual product use by an actor in the program
- words spoken by an actor that include the product name
Product placement is gaining acceptance among a growing number of marketers for two main reasons. First, in most cases the placement is subtle so as not to divert significant attention from the main content of the program or media outlet. This approach may lead the audience to believe the product was selected for inclusion by program producers and not by the marketer. This may heighten the credibility of the product in the minds of the audience since their perception, whether accurate or not, is that product was selected by an unbiased third-party.
Second, as we discuss in the Advertising Tutorial, entertainment programming, such as television, is converging with other media, particularly the Internet. In the future a viewer of a television program may be able to easily request information for products that appear in a program by simply pointing to the product on the screen. With the information they may get the option to purchase the product. As this technology emerges it is expected that product placement opportunities will become a powerful promotional option for many marketers.