Product Placement Definition

Product placement describes the integration of a product or a brand into another surrounding content (frame medium). Product placement is a specific type of embedded marketing. At Placedise, we use the term "product placement" sometimes also for similar marketing tactics like branded entertainment or native advertising.

Product Placement Examples

Product Placement Types

There are different types of product placement, like location, generic or message placements.

Brand Placement

This term describes a Product Placement where not the product itself, but rather the whole brand should be placed. In those cases, the viewer usually only sees a logo or a fictitious instead of an actual product.

Generic Placement

Here, the placement is about a concept or usually product category. There are usually no logos visible. It is most often used in industries with less competing players, political or ethically difficult areas. Examples would be smoking people to promote cigarettes or fish and vegetables for promoting healthy food.

Image Placement

An image placement usually describes a Product Placement that defines the whole content. A good example is the movie "The Internship" (Google).

Location Placement

A Location Placement is a Product Placement, where the product is a location. This can be a country, a city, but also a specific company, restaurant or university.

Message Placement

Message placement is very similar to generic Product Placement. Message Placement is about placing a specific message like "live healthy", "do more sports" or "party hard". It is not about products or brands, but about how to act and live.

Digital Product Placement

Here, the placement is included digitally after the content is produced.

The Difference between Embedded Marketing, Branded Entertainment, Product Placement and Native Advertising

In most cases, there is no real difference that would justify the use of own terms. That is also the reason why the terms are mixed up and used for each other quite often. However, let’s have a look at the differences. Embedded Marketing maybe is the broadest definition. It basically includes all other terms and simply means that the ad gets embedded into another content. The difference between Branded Entertainment and product placement is the fact that Branded Entertainment is initiated by the brand, whereas with Product Placement, the brand only participates in the content. If the content is not entertaining (e.g. a newspaper), one can also use Branded Content instead of Branded Entertainment. However, some also simply use the term Branded Entertainment instead of Product Placement because they fear that Product Placement is afflicted with some negativity. Native Advertising also describes ads that are woven into editorial content. It is basically Product Placement or Branded Entertainment, but usually only used with online and print content. Some also refer to Content Marketing as Native Advertising.

3 Advantages of Product Placement

  1. You can transfer the emotions and involvement that the audience experiences with the content to your brand or product
  2. You are not bound to ad breaks and do not have to fear that people skip your ad
  3. You can build a whole campaign around your product integration

3 Disadvantages of Product Placement

  1. You cannot control the distribution in detail
  2. You might also need to wait months or even years till the advertisement is finally published
  3. You have to be more careful than with traditional advertising. A wrong Product Placement can easily damage your corporate reputation

Measuring the Success of Product Placement

When you want to measure the success of Product Placement, you should never only rely on simple reach figures or media values. The reach of a measure only tells you how many people you reached, but not if you made a good or bad impression. 6 bn people who hate your product is not good! A media value, on the other hand, only transfers reach to some fictitious monetary value that tells you absolutely nothing. If you really want to evaluate the success of your Product Placement activity, you need to measure the real impact that it has on the target audience. This impact consists of two parts. First, there is the explicit impact that can be measured by simply asking people if they have seen the placement. Second, there is the implicit impact that can be measured by observing the audience. The implicit impact is for example a change in attitude towards the product/brand or a new purchase intention (simply asking people about the last one usually will not give you true answers). You can get this information by starting some market research or (faster and cheaper) use a tool like Placedise that also helps you to manage your activities.

Read this article for more detailed information and guidance.