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Product Placement Roddy Flynn. Product Placement: Prologue “Film-makers warned against product placement “ “Product-placement within films and television.

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Presentation on theme: "Product Placement Roddy Flynn. Product Placement: Prologue “Film-makers warned against product placement “ “Product-placement within films and television."— Presentation transcript:

1 Product Placement Roddy Flynn

2 Product Placement: Prologue “Film-makers warned against product placement “ “Product-placement within films and television programmes is an entirely pernicious and dangerous trend, according to the chief executive of Bord Scannán na hÉireann. Mr Rod Stoneman said commercial sponsorship must be kept separate from the editorial process, and added that to his knowledge, the film board had not funded any film which included product placements. Clearly, it did not help the creative process if a guy had to stand there for six minutes showing his watch off to show its make. How did that help the process of movie making?” Irish Times, Monday, December 6, 1999

3 What is it and where can I buy it? Placement (either through appearance or verbal mention) of a given brand name product within the mis-en-scene or script of a film.

4 PP - Historically Not an entirely new phenomenon: Example: In “Mildred Pierce” (1945) Joan Crawford drinks Jack Daniels. But product placement in this context is quite casual - Props master calling the local JD distrib or simply buying JD at the local store.

5 The New Wave of Product Placement In the ‘90s PP much more sophisticated As of companies solely established to place client products in movies. Firms charge clients fees ranging from $5000 to $250,000 for guaranteed placement in a contracted number of films with escalation clauses for particularly extensive or prominent appearances

6 The New Wave of Product Placement Today companies such as Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch have in-house divisions focused on placing their products within movies. (Even KMPG adopted PP as a marketing strategy in Mr Bean, Wag the Dog, Gingerbread man etc.) Both PP firms and inhouse divisions review films per annum looking for opportunities.

7 The New Wave of Product Placement PP - now standard operating procedure within Hollywood. Some estimates suggest that on average minutes (33%) of screen time given over to product plugs.

8 The New Wave of Product Placement Previously promotional opportunities were examined only after the film was completed. Now movie studios start thinking about potential partners as soon as they have a script treatment. Product Placement companies are now involved from the outset.

9 Why product placement? Advertisers perspective: “As traditional means of delivering messages such as network television lose their ability to effectively communicate with those target audiences judged most desirable by advertisers, the need to find alternative vehicles for commercials becomes urgent” –Nebenzahl & Secunda

10 Why product placement? Advertisers perspective: “The amount of entertainment choice in the future digital channels, pay-per-view, home cinema - will render traditional advertising an information service, a sort of phone book… In order to reach a target area, corporations are going to have to sponsor programmes, own TV channels or, by far the cheapest option, use product placement.” Ruben Igielko-Herlich, Founder of Propaganda, a European Product Placement Firm.

11 Product Placements - the answer to advertisers dreams? “The placement of a product or brand in a major feature film can generate approximately 50 million contacts (spectators) in cinema theatres alone. Within the five years following a films initial theatrical launch, after its video and television releases this figure can climb to an average of more than 500 million viewers. For example it is estimated that Mission: Impossible will be viewed by one billion people by the year 2000.”

12 Cost Effective Advertising Given this, product placement is far cheaper than virtually any other form of advertising. As of the early ‘90s Fox charged $20,000 - $100,000 per product appearance The cost per thousand viewers vs. television or print ads is pennies versus pounds.

13 Adds realism? In addition to cost advantages: For advertisers “product placements are more credible than endorsements because they portray someone using a product in everyday life.”

14 Simply Effective Advertising ET: Hershey’s ‘Reese’s Pieces” were used to entice the alien from the wardrobe. Sales in following months leapt by 65% ,600 orders placed for BMW’s Z3 roadster placed in the weeks before Goldeneye’s release Mumford High School - $1 million worth of T-shirts post Beverly Hills Cop.

15 Simply Effective Advertising Note the advertiser may be the studio owner: Sony gadgets regularly turn up in Columbia- Tristar films Warner’s Space Jam acted as a $90m commercial for Time Warner merchandise 20th Century Fox shamelessly plugged X-Files and Sky News in ID4

16 Why product placement? Producer’s perspective: Originally because: Production budget is significantly cut by borrowing catering goods, props and equipment But now, in addition... Product placer’s promotional clout substantially tops up the studio’s marketing spend.

17 Why product placement? Producer’s perspective: “In the 1960s, product placement was different. Aston Martin just lent us the cars or shells of cars, that we could crash. (In Goldfinger we got through four.) Nowadays, while we don’t receive any cash payments to place product, we do expect a promotional tie-ie.” John Parkinson, Eon Productions

18 Why product placement? Producer’s perspective: Product placement can substantially reduce a films overall budget: For Days of Thunder, GM’s donation of 30 Chevy Luminas, plus ongoing maintenance of same represented a substantial budget saving. Thereafter Chevy used the film as the basis for a tie-in campaign

19 Why product placement? Producer’s perspective: Airlines and hotels often provide free or reduced rate services in return for placement. Similarly food or beverage companies.

20 Why product placement? Producer’s perspective: As for marketing: Ericsson spent $25 million on a tie-in campaign with Tomorrow Never Dies running across 57 countries in more than 20 languages.

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22 Negative Aspects Arguably PP threatens cinema as an artform, infusing a commercial drive into an artistic pursuit Producers and Directors must now take into account the specifications of PP companies Example: “Home Alone II” rewritten at American Airlines insistence

23 Greater Financial Risks Failure to adhere to PP company demands can be expensive: Black&Decker sue Fox for $150,000 after a Die Hard II scene fitting a drill ends up on cutting room floor.

24 Greater Financial Risks Dairy Queen, “Radio Flyer” and Columbia Reebok, “Jerry Maguire” and Tristar

25 Unregulated Advertising Enormous Media debate in US re Philip Morris & Liggett group paying films to place Lark, Marlboro and Eve Cigarettes in Superman ($42,500), Supergirl ($30,000), and Licence to Kill ($350,000) Technically this broke the Federal Cigarette Labelling and Advertisement Act which stated that tobacco ads must carry federally mandated health warnings

26 Unregulated Advertising Consumer Advocacy Group at the Centre for the Study of Commercialisation (sponsored by the Centre for Science in Public Interest) filed petition to the Federal trade Commission declaring PP as “an unfair business practice and requiring on- screen disclosure of products advertised in films.”

27 Unregulated Advertising Commission cited five top grossing 1990 films: Ghost - 23 Products placed Pretty Woman - 20 Home Alone - 42 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 18 Total Recall - 55

28 Adds realism? Occasionally what would otherwise constitute excessive PP may fit into the natural environment of the film. In Days of Thunder, Tom Cruise’s car, helmet and racetrack banner are covered with logos - but this reflects the profusion of adverts in the real NASCAR environment Sometimes this is less effective - Twisters incorporation of Drink cans.

29 Adds realism? “…it is important to note that the products placed are only those of the largest and most powerful producers and thus are not a true indication of the variety or use of products in the marketplace. In this sense they actually become unrealistic.” Janet Wasko - Hollywood in the Information Age

30 The Commodification of Culture Not impossible that manufacturers will require more knowledge of a film before release. May lead them to influence productions to maximise the benefits accruing to them by PP deals. Is it too far-fetched to anticipate a day when advertisers approve scripts and stars and modify all elements of the motion picture process to suit particular advertising goals?

31 The Commodification of Culture Increasing reliance on the revenues from PP may limit the types of films considered for production. Placement firms recommend placement based on proven track records - such conservativeness may perpetuate the status quo


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