Product placement has been around since public relations was established as a field. What started with film and celebrity collaborations is now expanding to streaming, social media and more. From influencer product placement as an alternative to paid tags on social posts, to live shopping in live streaming events, explore these trends, expert examples and tips on leveraging product placement for brand benefits.
"One hot trend is leveraging micro-influencers for authentic product placements. Benefits include genuine audience connection and trust, as well as more affordable rates. Initiate collaboration by identifying influencers aligned with your brand values. Measure impact through engagement metrics, like clicks and comments, and track sales influenced by each placement using URL parameters."
"Influencer marketing is on the rise and the future of product placement is to utilize a mix of influencer types. Instead of just focusing on the most popular/branded individual influencers, it will include internal experts/micro-influencers/niche experts/customers in the influencer marketing mix.
Content/products/designs that are co-created by the brand and influencers from the very beginning will thrive. Brands may be better served by working with micro-influencers for example who offer smaller follower counts, but post around niche interests, leading to more meaningful one-on-one connections with audience members. It shouldn’t feel like a paid opportunity, slapping on the #ad to a post. You want to give them the freedom to create their own content too while still getting the message across. The key is to find appropriate influencers which requires a lot of research online and offline.
You want to find someone with a track record of success, stellar reputation, large social media following, who can authentically live your brand values and who is not overexposed. Once you identify a short list of candidates it is best to test them with your target audience to see who is the most credible and in synch with your brand. When you engage the right influencers, research shows that people trust them more than their friends, advertising or press."
"One emerging trend in product placement is the use of virtual and augmented reality. This technology allows brands to place their products in interactive environments, providing consumers with immersive and engaging experiences. For instance, a furniture brand can use augmented reality to help customers visualize how a piece of furniture will fit and look in their home. To initiate this collaboration, brands can partner with tech companies specializing in AR and VR. As for measuring impact, brands can track user engagement levels, conversion rates, and overall customer feedback."
"One trend in product placement is "Live shopping" within Influencer campaigns, especially Live Streaming events. With live video and interactive content, influencers interact with their audience, introducing the product (e.g., unboxing, trial runs, live reviews/usage), which is an immersive way for the audience to experience and buy products. To initiate the collaboration:
1. Follow their social media profiles and engage with their content.
2. Analyze their brand voice and audience, and if it fits well with your product focus, create a value proposition, send courtesy product samples for them to try out, weave a personalized pitch, and directly contact them.
3. Have defined goals about deliverables from the beginning but allow creative freedom.
To measure the impact of influencer product placements, have clear KPIs (e.g., website traffic, engagement metrics, conversion rates & sales) that should be analyzed periodically. Use data analytics and tracking tools to measure impact."
"Product placement offers brands a unique opportunity to subtly market their products while leveraging the attributes of popular media characters. It requires a strategic approach in choosing the right media partner and a clear understanding of how to integrate the product naturally into the narrative.
My favorite example of effective product placement is Ray-Ban sunglasses in the movie Top Gun. In this classic, the main character, played by Tom Cruise, wears Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses, which benefited the brand by becoming synonymous with his cool, suave persona.
The key to these partnerships is to identify films, shows, or even video games that align with your brand's values and target audience. The product should fit naturally within the media context. Then establish connections with production companies, directors, or set designers. They are key decision-makers in what gets placed on screen."
"An outstanding example of effective product placement is Apple's subtle insertion of its products into movies and television programs. This clever move enriches brand visibility while associating with the everyday experiences of average viewers.
The benefits include increased brand awareness, sales, and customer interaction across all demographics. Apple plays a strategic game of positioning its products in the collective consciousness of consumers.
You have to be careful in your approach when initiating product placement collaborations. First, through in-depth research, find platforms your audience connects with, whether movies, TV shows, or digital content. Next, connect with production teams or content creators to form sincere relationships.
Finally, write strong proposals demonstrating your product's value to the content. When your product organically becomes a part of the story, you place it in customers' minds while improving its entertainment value."
"I was just discussing the Tom Hanks classic, Cast Away, with a colleague. His character's only “friend” on the island was Wilson, a volleyball decorated as if it were a face.
Tom had conversations with Wilson and went crazy when he nearly lost him, even though Wilson was an inanimate object. This implanted the idea of Wilson being a friend in every viewer's mind, and when they saw volleyballs in the future, they'd likely think of Wilson. It was a brilliant product placement, as people still watch Cast Away over 20 years after it had been released.
The easiest way to get a product placed is to work with a product placement company that acts as an agent on behalf of the production company. Alternatively, you could reach out to production companies, studios, or networks directly to inquire about opportunities."
"One classic example was when Reese's Pieces made a star appearance in "E.T." It was a strategic product placement that skyrocketed sales because everyone wanted a taste of E.T.'s favorite snack. The benefits for brands are massive visibility, brand association with popular media, and a subtle yet powerful influence on consumer behavior. It's about embedding your product into a story, making it memorable and desirable.
My best advice is to find content that aligns with your brand's vibe and audience. If you're a fitness brand, a sports movie might be your ticket. Be clear about what your brand can offer and how it adds value to their content."
"I have a marketing and tech TikTok and get pitched by brands every day. I'm the biggest affiliate for some companies and have companies of my own. From what I'm seeing, the trend in product placement in 2024 is going to be what I call white-label domain affiliate placements (I probably need a shorter, catchier name).
Many brands offer affiliate programs in which signing up is as easy as providing a PayPal email address. These brands operate the same way: sign somebody up to a paid plan and get a percentage of the referral's revenue, either indefinitely or for a set amount of time.
However, all these affiliate programs have the same problem: the affiliate URL is too long to share in a mobile video where attention spans and memories are short. Giving “?ref=edward” in a video is not feasible. Without attribution, the affiliate cannot receive a commission.
The solution I'm seeing is that influencers are buying short, memorable domains and redirecting these domains to their longer affiliate links.
If my affiliate URL is “greenmemeshoes.com/?ref=edward,” I would buy “superfunnyshoes.com” and redirect it to “greenmemeshoes.com/?ref=edward.” Superfunnyshoes.com would be shared in my video because it's easy to remember.
Doing this is easy and offers higher conversions for everybody involved. Currently, this is more of a growth hack and a secret. However, I believe this will become a big product placement trend in 2024."
"For the 2024 product-placement trend, one thing is certain—in-game advertising and product placement will undoubtedly take center stage. The remarkable aspect of in-game advertising is its capacity to reach a significantly broader audience compared to conventional marketing approaches. The upcoming statistics will undeniably illustrate the substantial growth in the number of individuals engaged in video gaming.
The gaming industry, with a particular emphasis on mobile gaming, generates a wealth of valuable data. This treasure trove of data empowers marketers to precisely target their audiences, considering factors such as age, gender, geographic location, device usage, and individual interests.
Additionally, the industry boasts real-time analytics, facilitating superior optimization and performance tracking. It's noteworthy that in-game advertisements are inherently immune to the “skip” button, offering unparalleled exposure. Leading ad-tech companies like Eskimi are continually pioneering innovative solutions and forging strategic partnerships to ensure viewability tracking remains effective even in the fast-paced and dynamic gaming environment.
The synergy between in-game advertising and product placement is a trend to watch closely, as it promises to revolutionize how brands connect with their target audiences within the gaming sphere."
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