By: Chris W.
As I was watching an old episode of American Idol this past Thursday, what caught my eye every time I look at the television was the four large Coca-Cola bottles directly in front of the judges of a table (Image below). This is just one example of product placement. Product placement is a marketing strategy that has been going on since the television was invented. The TV opened up a new world in the advertising field and so began possibly the most popular way of marketing. It is where companies sign a contract and pay a certain amount of money to have their products used and placed in the scenes of TV shows or movies.
There are thousands of examples of product placement all throughout television currently and back in the day. For a visual example, take the picture below. It is a scene from the FOX series Prison Break. In the series premier and 2nd scene, the main character is walking fast and holding, clearly, an Apple computer. The computer is held by an attractive female, which already catches the viewer’s eye and relates attractive women with Apple computers. Along with the women, the up-to-date and clean background of the house or apartment seems very futuristic. And the background of the city through the wide windows is a great connection also. It is the ideal city, with huge skyscrapers and clear blue sky’s, associating itself with Apple of course. This can connect to helping and aiding the ideas that popular culture present to society. With thousands and millions being able to see a company’s product in use, it becomes a perfect place to spark a new trend or product that have hopes of becoming a new trend in popular culture today.
Take this video from the series Chuck (above). It is a great example of product placement in the present and up to date television show.
This brings up the idea of mass media taking over television entertainment and staining it with advertisements and marketing tools that take away from the actual show or movie. It has now become a setting where up and coming products than make there debut to the world. Product placement influences the popularity of products and awareness of products in popular culture today. It acts as a launch pad for those products and in-turn gives a world an opening look at the next trend people will be acting on. I don’t believe in products being in movies. Movies are meant to be entertaining, not to be influenced with products and logos all throughout the show. It takes away one of the few uninfluenced scours’ of entertainment the United States and the world have left.