By: Brittany Young

Cars, purses, and shoes oh my!

What do all of these have in common? They are all popular items that are often placed in mainstream pop culture media. These items don’t just happen to be in your favorite sitcom though, they are placed there by a client to promote brand awareness and product visibility. One of the most famous instances of our time is Reese’s Pieces in E.T.

However one of the more interesting uses of product placement is always when it is tied into the storyline like Bag, Borrow, or Steal in Sex and the City. The character Louise rented all of her expensive designer bags throughout the movie, and she always referred to the service as the Netflix of purses.

Exactly how effective is product placement? As with most advertising we can’t accurately gauge the level of effectiveness of product placement. However, we can analyze the change in sales based on the product placement. For instance, sales in Reese’s pieces rose over 65% after E.T was released. It is also interesting to note that membership of the lesser known Bag, Borrow, or Steal (now known as Avelle) increased to over 1.5 million after featured in Sex and the City.

Product Placement has been prevalent in even the lowest budget films, which shows that there is a market for anything, anywhere; a great example is Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Recently I was watching one of my favorite movies, The Truman Show and I realized just how much product placement is throughout the movie. In almost every other scene a fictional product is being advertised to the outside world consuming The Truman Show.You can’t help but wonder, if our media were as heavily saturated with promotion as portrayed in The Truman Show, would we still tune in? Especially if it meant that you could keep your favorite programming on? Many are often annoyed with product placement that the viewer isn’t supposed to catch-on to. So many opt- out of heavily promoted items in television by changing the channel or boycotting the show. Truth be told, product placement is one of the largest revenue sources for your favorite shows and movies. Without this revenue, many programs would cease to be as big as they are. Enjoy this montage of clips from The Truman Show!


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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