Product placement is encountered more and more frequently when watching a good movie or TV show. It can be also found in books, songs or video games.
However, to implement product placement in commercials seems simply crazy. In the end, this is advertising wrapped in advertising.
Examples for product placement in commercials
Specifically, we are talking about two commercials that are currently aired in German television.
The online tire dealer Tirendo is working with Medion in a very obvious way. In the early spots, you can clearly see the logo of the electronics manufacturer on a tablet, which is held by Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel (see the video here). In a newer spot, the tablet has been replaced by a smartphone while the placement has become even more explicit and obvious (see the video here).
A similar approach can be observed, when watching a commercial of the online gym Gymondo. There, Microsoft appears with its Surface in action (see the video here). Due to the fact that all foreign brands could have been avoided very easily and that the hardware has a rather low value, we assume a paid product placement.
What seems strange at first glance, is no longer so weird on second glance. If the products are not in direct competition, you can theoretically share advertising expenses and perhaps even benefit from the advertising effects of one another. Nevertheless, it is rather bad for the attitude towards the placement, if it is surrounded by too many other advertising stimuli (van Reijmersdal, Neijens, and Smit 2005). However, this applies for “normal” conditions. In commercials, the viewer expects advertising – so there should be no strong resentment. Another criticism would certainly be that this approach is rather poor for the actual advertising stimulus, since this one is no longer in full focus. This is entirely possible, but less relevant for the consideration of the placements at this point. The explicit memory of a placement may even be positively affected if additional advertising stimuli are present (Laroche, Cleveland, and Maravelakis 2006). However, this applies only to products/brands with a large market share. Whether this is the case for Medion and Microsoft, has to be discussed. In the tablet market it is certainly not given (for Germany) – in terms of all the related product lines of the brands, it might apply. In the reverse case, Tirendo and Gymondo can also be seen as product placements with Medion and Microsoft as the main ad – so maybe you can apply the same statements here.
In the end, this is an extreme variation of product placement. The outcome can certainly not be determined crystal clear without more information. Although both brands might generate more attention with those placements than with comparable more conventional product placements, they will also suffer from some more negative implicit effects due to the rather less valuable frame medium. In the end, as always, the individual goals of the companies amongst other KPI’s such as cost and reach will determine the financial success.
In any case, Tirendo and Gymondo (two start-up companies) are most certainly pleased about the additional revenue.
Laroche, Michel, Mark Cleveland, and Irene Maravelakis (2006), “Competitive Advertising Interference and Ad Repetition Effects: Comparing High-Share and Low-Share Brands,” International Journal of Advertising, 25 (3), 271–307.
van Reijmersdal, Eva A., Peter C. Neijens, and Edith G. Smit (2005), “Readers’ Reactions to Mixtures of Advertising and Editorial Content in Magazines,” Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 27 (2), 39–53.