Since 2012 is coming to an end, I’ve asked specialists from product placement industry what they think will happen with product placement in 2013.
Here are their thoughts.
Product placement expert and partner at Los Angeles-based product placement agency Stone Management
“2013 looks to be a year where Hollywood studios will be producing an unusually high number of tent pole sequels to, and/or installments of, globally successful franchises. To that extent, there’ll be no shortage of opportunity for brands to participate in films that ‘move the needle’ in 2013 through 2014 via traditional integrations, along with back-end marketing/promotional efforts that will benefit both the brands and the studios’ release of those films. Further, as the marketplace continues to trend away from traditional advertising in the form of paid television ads, as consumers move more and more toward on-demand outlets like Netflix or the web to view content, integration into films supported by robust promotional support is becoming more and more important if brands hope to capitalize on having major Hollywood content drive their myriad marketing efforts to consumers.
From the producer of content perspective, in a contracted economy it is beneficial to have third party support in the form of goods and/or services, so there’s an increasing willingness year over year for such producers to embrace product placement in their films. Stone Management is already hard at work prepping nearly a dozen films that go into production pre-summer 2013 that will all feature a variety of products that ultimately help filmmakers producer their films, while opening up new channels of visibility for brands.”
CEO of entertainment marketing agency Hollywood Branded Inc.
“In 2013, Product Placement and Brand Integration will remain a stable and very viable option for brands looking to engage with consumers while tightly managing their budgets. Both Product Placement and Brand Integration should be – and will continue to be – part of every brand’s marketing tools – for both B2B and B2C targeting. Business decision makers are as much purveyors of entertainment as the general consumer is, and can be marketed to in their own home environment, adding to their general knowledge awareness while building reinforcement of the brand – and impacting future sales decisions at work. General consumers are exactly that – they are consumers of entertainment, with massive consumption taking place on a daily basis – via Film, Television, Music, Video Gaming. Brands directly impact brand recognition and create consumer desire to purchase what celebrities endorse and use on screen through Product Placement partnerships with entertainment properties. Product Placement provides exciting and unique content to brands who have realized the importance of building social media relationships with their followers and fans, and creating a focus on utilizing these assets should be a major concentration for brands in 2013 – as an agency, we ensure all of our programs are supported by fully built social media legs.
2013 feature films that should be paid attention to include those top box office suspects such as A Good Day To Die Hard, Iron Man 3, Thor, Star Trek 2, Superman: Man of Steel, Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, The Smurfs 3, Robocop, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and more – but keep your eyes trained on those sleeper independents as well that are often helmed by some of the top talent in the industry – both in front of the camera as well as behind. While marketers traditionally spend much less supporting these smaller dramatic or comedy feature films, the roles the smaller films offer brands who loan product or who help offset budgets can have tremendous impact, as the characters and storylines are usually very well developed, and the overall audience base for these types of films is growing at a dramatic rate. These films also offer marketers a niche market – especially those brands seeking a older and more affluent consumer – where customized promotional activation support by the brand leads to tremendous impact and rapport.
Web series – including those customized for a specific brand – will continue to gain a foothold with brands who will be more and more willing to provide dollars in exchange for guaranteed audiences. Digital content is phenomenal in that it typically offers typically a quick turn-around time, marketing messaging is easily incorporated or used for the overall theme of the content, and very easily measured viewer consumption results. At issue is the vast amount of content available on the web, and ensuring the brand that there is enough of a consumer base to view the content, and a viable PR and marketing plan to grab consumers attention, as well as a strong digital distribution partner that will be able to supply guarantees.”
Vice President and Entertainment Team Leader at Beck Media & Marketing
“Looking ahead to 2013, promotional partners are more important than ever to help defray the huge marketing costs associated with tentpole films from the major studios—regardless of if there’s an actual product placement in the final film. With so many comic book heroes making an appearance on the 2013 release calendar, there are more opportunities than ever for these kinds of promotions—hopefully they’ll be engaging and creative.
2012 showed increasingly creative brand-supported content for the web, and there’s no reason to think that 2013 will be any different. I’m looking forward to seeing what brands like Pepsi, Subway, Schick, and Axe do to build on what they accomplished this year.”
Los Angeles-based senior writer at Variety
“Product placement will never go away. Not as long as high-profile entertainment properties like movies, TV shows, videogames and music videos can put a spotlight on a brand’s wares. But you’re going to see many more marketers choose to produce their own original web series or shorts that enable them to control how their products are shown off and the narrative in which their brands appear. The internet has enabled more companies to turn entertainment into a successful marketing tool. You can essentially expect a brand’s Facebook page and company website to become an online TV network for original programming – something that should have happened long ago but is becoming a reality now that more consumers have high-speed internet connections and access entertainment on their smartphones and tablets.”
CEO of Arrangement Group, company specialized on branded entertainment and product placement, Germany
“In Germany we have very small product placement business in television since 2006 and things do not change here. So the only growth market for product placement and branded entertainment in Germany is in Web TV. And for 2013 the growth in this market segment will be very high.”
KRISTIN R. THOMAS
Producer/Product Placement Coordinator, MountainGirl Productions
“Will product placement become even more important or maybe less?
I think in 2013 product placement will be more important than it ever has. The reason is because our audience and branding opportunities have now be welcomed in a digital format. We don’t have to only think of product placement in films and television, branded web series are becoming more popular. So I see an extreme switch of important in product placement for 2013 for all entertainment formats. Thanks to mobile apps and digitalized media we have new formats to incorporate product placement.
You will see more Independent movies in 2013 with product placement then you did in 2012. Indie filmmakers are now approaching branding as a funding tool that can use.
Branded web series will rise! It’s a platform that broadens your audience. You have someone in Australia that can watch the series and opens up a new consumer market for the product company.
The new challenge for Indie filmmakers and web series producers in 2013 is to create product advertising that is creative and profitable for the product company. See company will see an increase in proposals so filmmakers will have to think of new marketing benefits to stand out to potential brands.”
CEO of product placement agency Phoenix Films, South Africa
“Product placement is an artistic and profitable way to add the credibility of having a real world brand in a fictional one. This cements a real emotional connection to the film, characters and more importantly, the brand. There will always be the need to tell a story, product placement makes that story real to the viewer.”
COOPER SMITH KOCH
Founder and principal of Cooper Smith Agency, specialized in PR and product placement
“As traditional “interruption” advertising – 30-second commercials, for example – become less effective because of DVRs and delayed viewing of TV shows, product placement is going to be more important in the coming years than ever before. Brands are going to more aggressively seek ways to organically integrate themselves into the storylines of shows to make themselves more relevant. At the same time, I predict that viewers are going to push back on any overt commercialization of their favorite shows. Ultimately, it’s going to be a dance between brands and networks to find the right balance of content and commerce.
My firm specializes in organic product placements for building products and home decor brands. We’ve enjoyed great success in getting the designers and producers of hundreds of DIY and home design shows to use our clients products, in exchange for on-screen logo shots, special thanks and web mentions. In fact, we had clients on every single episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” which is wrapping up its ninth season this week.
More important than those on-screen logo shots, the bragging rights of the implied endorsement of being involved with those shows present a tremendous opportunity to create value and ROI. The show is just the first step and shouldn’t be considered the final result. To use the opportunity to its fullest, we’re encouraging our clients to tout their involvement on their websites, in e-newsletters, industry press releases, on social media and the like. “As Seen On” is the phrase that pays.
Also, for one of our clients, our strategy is not only to take advantage of as many product placement opportunities as possible, but also to deprive their competitors of the opportunities for exposure. In other words, even when some opportunities don’t seem to be all that significant, we know that if we don’t provide the product, a competitor will. And they’re receiving TV coverage as a result. Part of our goal is to eliminate that opportunity for them if possible. In other words, the best defense is a good offense.”
Thanks to all contributors for their thoughts. Let’s see which predictions will come true.