When observing music videos from a marketing perspective we could say that they have several roles: they serve as a promotion tool for the performer and its song, they can help building a career for the director of the video and they present an opportunity for the brands to appear in the video, get exposure and try to benefit from product placement as much as possible.

Let’s check the product placement part of music videos. The usual length of the video is around 4 minutes, so there can be enough opportunities to showcase a brand or a product. Unless there are several brands fighting for viewer’s attention. My analysis of Billboard Top 100 from 2015 showed that 39 music videos out of 100 have some sort of product placement.

Based on product’s life span we can split products that appear in music videos in three types.


Popular NOW products – these are mostly relevant from 6 months to a year: latest mobile phones or tablets, wireless bluetooth speakers, lip balms, perfumes, sunglasses, video games … To get the most out of product placement it’s of the great importance that the brand gets the biggest possible reach i.e. the number of views on YouTube as soon as possible. Usually that means working with young and popular (pop) stars.

Cazal sunglasses and Celsius energy drink in Flo Rida’s music video My House (2015, Atlantic, screen capture)


Beats speakers from Selena Gomez’s music video Hands to Myself (2016, Interscope, screen capture)


Supreme clothing from DJ Khaled’s music video I’m the One (2017, Epic, screen capture)


Modern products – the second type consists of products that have a life span of couple of years. These are various car models, certain websites or apps (e.g. dating websites), iPhone, video game consoles (Playstations and Xboxes), headphones, … These products and brands can choose an appearance in music videos by the more contemporary artists and try to find a song that will be popular for a couple of years. That is of course easier said than done.

iPhone in Justin Bieber’s music video LoveYourself (2015, Def Jam, screen capture)


iPhone in Katy Perry’s music video Roar (2013, Capitol, screen capture)


Timeless products – the third type consists of products that are well known and have withstood the test of time, having been popular for several years or even decades. These are (vintage) cars, spirits and other drinks, certain apps or websites (particularly ones with strong brands and a focus on online gaming – industry giant PokerStars Casino being a notable example). Those products and brands are not used only by young audience, but are appealing to more general slice of the population.

Poker Stars in Katy Perry’s music video Waking Up In Vegas (2009, Capitol, screen capture)


Beluga from Jennifer Lopez’s music video Ain’t Your Mama (2016, Epic, screen capture)


Another aspect that needs to be taken into account is the status of the performer. If it is a debut song we don’t know how successful it will be or how long will the performer’s success last. Perhaps we’re talking about a one hit wonder. In any case, the first song is more appealing for the type A products (popular now), whereas an established performer/star can have a song that will be popular for many years, therefore it’s much more desired for modern and timeless products.

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing pop star and the song to place your products, it’s really difficult to predict the success. However, it is necessary to take into account the life span of the product/brand/model and choose your pop star accordingly.

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