The general tightening of advertising budgets and the lack of effectiveness of traditional advertising have turned product placement, also known as brand integration, into an important component of the marketing mix.
Through product placement in films, brands get wide exposure while helping film producers absorb part of their production costs. Two well known examples are Windex in the hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Pinot Noir wine in Sideways, which caused sales of both products to soar.
I came across an interesting case of product placement while reviewing the nominated films of the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. In Adam, one of the nominees, a high end Meade telescope is the star of the film.
What is more interesting is how Meade and Adam, an independent film short on budget, where able to connect and create a win-win situation. Both parties got in contact through Placevine, a new online platform that is pioneering the use of the Internet to connect brands with content producers offering brand integration opportunities.
In this case, Meade lent one of its large, high-end telescopes to the production team, filming in New York, and also covered all of the shipping costs to and from the set. In return, the Meade Telescope became the “hero” of the film, and the production team was able to shift valuable budget towards ensuring that the final cut was the best film possible.
In the past, product placement was a complicated process that relied in personal relationships and time-consuming outreach efforts to individual agencies and brand managers.
These days, however, through companies like Placevine, the Internet is once again leveling the playing field and is making it easy for small business brands to connect with content producers and find brand integration opportunities on a shoestring budget.