Within the last several years the advertising industry has had to turn to creative ways to market products because people just don’t buy into them like they used to. It becomes harder and harder to advertise to people because they are already experiencing information overload daily. Yes, impressions are extremely important to eventually selling the product, but there are so many other ways to advertise.
In recent years, subtly in advertising has really proven successful especially in prime-time television programming. A great example of this subtle type of advertising is product placement. Product placement is a form of “embedded” marketing where products are literally placed into context of a story, like in television, movies, music videos, and things such as these. The audiences are usually unaware of the product placement.
Product placement in the media is so often seen that it is hard to pick out examples, but since I am a Glee fanatic I will talk about this show. In a February episode of Glee, a song number was literally performed in a Gap retail store. In this case, the product was Gap clothing. Gap paid money for Glee to feature their clothing in the show in order to subtly influence viewers to buy Gap clothing. The cool factor of Glee would ultimately rub off on Gap, which would drive foot traffic to Gap stores everywhere. This is how product placement works.
In theory, product placement is a very effective way to catch the eye of consumers in a different way than the way traditional advertisements do.