Product Placement on Tv Shows
Essay Preview: Product Placement on Tv Shows
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Covergirl, Seventeen magazine, Sears,– just to name a few, these are only some brands that have been placed or integrated into the plot of the eighth season of Americas Next Top Model. Since technology allows viewers to avoid ads, product placement is the paid product message targeted at influencing movie or TV audiences through the unobtrusive and planned access of a branded product into a movie or TV. (Tiny M. Lowrey, L.J Shrum, John A. McCarty, 2004) Product integration is a similar concept except that the product is used as a part of the program. According to Shrum, it is a technique by “weaving the product into the fabric of the program”. (Tiny M. Lowrey, L.J Shrum, John A. McCarty, 2004) These are the recent channels producers have exploited to vie for consumers attention today.
In the last episode of Americas Next Top Model Cycle 8, the final three participants were asked to shoot a 30 second commercial and a national print advertisement for CoverGirl cosmetics. As the competitors worked on their commercials, they were told to introduce CoverGirl cosmetics as “sheer shiny shades that matches 97% of the skin tone” on their shooting ads. Finally, the Covergirl promotional videos of all three participants were played again and again. The result is that, audiences had exposed themselves to a commercial-in-disguise TV show that lasted 40 minutes, and had unconsciously become familiar with this famous cosmetic brand, while sitting on their sofa initially looking for entertainment.
As I recall what Mr. Greg Bonnan said, about how he lowered production fee for Baywatch, he earned a large proportion of advertising revenues from his product placement deals, and earned cars, boats and hotels for filming particular brands (Bonnan, 2007). Can you imagine how much Tyra Banks, the executive producer of Americas Next Top Model, has benefited from featuring different brands in her show for the whole 40 minutes every week?
Another example from Americas Next Top Model 4 Cycle 8 is its 1st episode featuring Goodwill the thrift shops charity fundraising event. The participants task was to auction off their selected outfit from Goodwill which reflected their personal styles. The participant whose outfit receives the highest bid won the challenge and was rewarded to sign her name on the ceremonial check given to the charity for the vocationally challenged. Based on the script, participants were assigned to look for an outfit in Goodwill store. In other words, there was a brief description on Goodwill store and time was allocated to Goodwill during the whole challenge. This is indeed a very clever method for companies to promote positive image to the public in a natural way.
Though regular commercials are still running between shows, the advertising strategy in the TV industry is urgently changing. The introduction of DVRs is a noteworthy factor. According to The Yankee Groups research in 2002, 76% of the interviewees were not interested in TiVo in a survey regarding publics interest in DVRs. However, in recent years, DVR viewers are rapidly increasing, and the group expects recording devices to be owned by 20% of American household by 2008 (Posnock, 2004). While audiences are changing their TV viewing habits, and TiVo users are given the choice to fast-forward commercials, advertisements are forced to integrate with TV shows. Therefore, “the line between entertainment and advertising is becoming blurred” (Posnock, 2004).
Not only scholars realized this trend, many major advertisers, like Coke and Ford, have started their experiments with product placements on TV. Although sponsorships and product placements has been used effectively in the past, they have their own risks (Posnock 2004). The first season of American Idols shameless promotion of Coke had irritated many audiences, according to the article It can control Madison Avenue