By: Rebecca Pierce
Product placement in television shows is sometimes so subtle I don’t even notice it. A Mercedes is shown. The logo may be in the camera shot, but there is too much going on in the scene for me to really consciously comprehend that Mercedes is advertising their brand. Then, there are the product placements that you absolutely cannot miss. They are the product placements that are bold and in your face. An actor or actress is using a specific kind of camera, and the camera is shown, up close and personal, for at least a good ten seconds. The worst kind of product placement is when the product is zoomed in on, and the actor or actress identifies to another actor or actress the benefits of the product. It’s just too much. I bring this up because…this is exactly the kind of product placement I am currently seeing on the television network, The CW.
I watch the TV show, 90210, and I love it. Recently, however, the product placement of the Windows 8 phones and tablets has become overwhelming. Any time a phone or tablet is used on the show, it’s zoomed in on for a lengthy amount of time. There is no illusion that Windows 8 and The CW are advertising Windows 8. They are advertising, and they are not hiding it.
The CW is using product placement of Windows 8 devices on their television shows in order to promote Windows 8 devices, as well as to promote The CW App. The CW App is specifically for use with Windows 8 and allows users to watch, “free full episodes and videos, and instantly go social by connecting to your favorite CW shows!” I understand how this kind of overwhelming product placement can be beneficial to both The CW and Microsoft, but I’m not sure as a TV watcher and potential consumer that I appreciate it. Shoving the same brand in my face multiple times during a show (in nearly every episode of that show), makes me personally less receptive to that brand. I think I actually start to develop a negative opinion of the brand. A word of advice to companies attempting to use product placement: you can use product placement in a subtle way and still be effective. TV watchers and consumers will respect you more for casually showing your brand in the show versus thrusting a product in their faces.