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Is Product Placement Worth The Effort As A Marketing Strategy? |  November 17, 2021 (0 comments)


New York, NY—Product placement is the ad that’s not an ad. Although it is deliberate and paid-for inclusion of branding into a work of media—such as a TV show or movie—viewers perceive product placement differently than commercials. Image: "Tin Cup" pearl station necklace by Mastoloni.

While product placement has seen explosive growth over the last decade and continues to grow, its effectiveness as a sales driver hadn’t been greatly measured and it has remained unclear how popular it is with audiences. Global market research firm YouGov recently conducted a study in the United States and United Kingdom, examining consumers’ attitudes about product placement and whether it will increase their likelihood of buying the products they see being used in movies, TV shows, digital videos, and more. Its findings were presented in a free whitepaper.

U.S. consumers don’t mind product placements, says the study. 28% favor them at least to some degree, and 56% are neutral. Only 15% are opposed to them. Among those who are supportive of their use, they say it adds an element of authenticity, vs. using a product with a made-up brand, and 56% of U.S. respondents said it’s fair to be shown product placement in exchange for free content. This compares with 42% who feel it’s fair to be shown ad breaks (i.e. commercials) in exchange for free content. 

Overall, while the findings of the YouGov study are nuanced, it's fair to say that product placement is a worthwhile form of advertising. But knowing it’s worthwhile and being able to get your products into a nationally visible placement are two different things. Agencies that specialize in product placement are typically costly, but it is possible to gain placements on your own. Independent jeweler Susan Eisen of El Paso, TX has gotten numerous placements of jewelry on celebrities, but she’s the first to acknowledge it takes a lot of time, effort, research and self-education. 

Related: Of Celebrities, PR, and One Savvy Jeweler Who Tells How She Gets A Lot Of Exposure From Both

Eisen researched the kind of jewelry that was likely to be worn by celebrities, then created pieces that fit the bill, but she still needed help connecting the jewelry with the stars. She turned to industry insider and stylist Michael O’Connor. Additional options for retail jewelers include reaching out to industry associations like Jewelers of America, the Platinum Guild and so forth, to find out about any of their placement efforts.

That said, celebrities are not the only avenue for jewelry product placement. Indeed, some of the most fruitful placements in terms of sales weren’t dazzling megawatt red-carpet pieces, but rather simple, everyday items that ignited a trend, such as the Y-necklace worn by Jennifer Aniston on the TV sitcom Friends, or the Tin Cup necklace, a pearl station necklace created by jewelry designer Wendy Brigode and worn by Rene Russo in the 1996 film.

Also don't forget print media: a good editorial mention is especially valuable in reaching that publication's demographic target. Public relations professionals use different methods of calculating advertising value equivalency for editorial placements or mentions--a very basic formula is to compare the cost of a comparable ad--but that doesn't measure the additional credibility of having a piece of jewelry featured in a magazine's fashion spread with your store's website or phone number.

Download the YouGov whitepaper here.

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