Product placement in a nutshell
Many people outside the world of PR may be unfamiliar with the term ‘product placement’ so in a nutshell it is the appearance of a particular product usually including pricing details and your brand/company details in the pages of a media publication, online title, blog and TV etc.
In this magazine our client NHP haircare features in a 'Hot List' of new season's products.
Nothing new in product placement
Product placement has been traced back to the days of silent films when actors were filmed in front of restaurants. In exchange for appearing as the backdrop with the inevitable recognition, the restaurant fed the cast and crew gratis.
Some other notable early examples of product placement include:
- 1950’s – In the movie “Rebel Without a Cause” James Dean used an Ace Comb and increased sales resulted.
- 1940’s – NW Ayer advertising agency arranged for glamorous film stars to wear De Beers diamonds and other jewellery on screen.
- In the movie “The African Queen” Katharine Hepburn is shown dumping Gordon’s Dry Gin overboard.
Stand out from the crowd - brand awarness
An amazing number of companies are doing and making interesting things and yet nobody knows about it because they are not seen enough by a wider audience. Publicising your business through advertising can be expensive and misses out on the added benefits that that product placement gives (see below).
When carried out in the right way, product placement can increase sales and give you a leading edge over your competitors.
Every time a brand name and product appears in the media, consumers - be it the public or trade customers - become more aware of the product and brand. Brand awareness is becoming increasingly important in today’s crowded marketplace and product placement is one way to help build it.
Endorsements give confidence
Listed below are some of the advantages of product placement
- When a consumer sees third party coverage of a product or service, it is perceived much differently than a traditional advertisement leading to more confidence in purchasing those products.
- When a third party, such as the media, endorses a product or service, the company gains credibility.
- Consumers are much more likely to make a purchase based on third party endorsement than an advertisement.
- A consistent public relations program will help build general awareness of your product, service or brand and will supplement any direct marketing and advertising efforts.
- Visibility also tends to make your business appear larger and more established than it may be, which may help you secure more customers and partnerships with distributors or retailers.
Client Stitch and Story engaged us for a four month product placement campaign leading up to Christmas, since then the brand has really taken off with major department stores like Liberty stocking the brand.
The campaign was a success with them saying.....“Did I mention we're flooded with online orders?!? (yay)"
"Elle Mag called us yesterday to call in a product (Maggie rug) for a shoot in their March issue!!”
See, touch and try
With product placement you often need to be prepared to send your product to journalist, influencers (bloggers) or stylists. With beauty PR it is often the case that journalists and influencers will want to try the product before endorsing it. Where practical, returnable samples of interior or lifestyle products can be requested by journalists or stylists for a photoshoot when being used in a lifestyle shot.
Well respected influencer Sandra of the Beauty Balm blog was interested to review our client's Gardeners Natural Hand Made Soap & Hand Cream and so we sent samples for her to review.
We worked with Janie Knitted Textiles during the launch of her lighting range - Jane was very helpful in being able to supply several lampshades for various lifestyle shoots across a variety of magazines. With heightened recognition due to media exposure she gained a large lighting contract for Wagamama restaurants as well as securing leading interiors store Heals in Tottenham Court Road as a stockist.
Special campaigns - plan ahead
Depending on your product range there are many opportunities during the year to promote your products. Journalist and influencers are always looking to find products to fit a special theme. The most obvious times of year to feature particular products are listed below but there are so many others to consider that may be relevant to your product range - eg: does your product range fit with Halloween themes?
- Mothers Day
- Father's Day
Taking advantage of these special events is an ideal opportunity for product placement. Using a PR agency to do this gives you a better chance of being featured as they will receive requests from journalists and influencers for products to feature months in advance of the special date and they also hold databases of key people to promote your product to for special features.