Insightful questions and answers from one of our favorite sites: Quora.com

QUESTION:

Product placement has made a comeback in television advertising; why is that?
Why did it fall out of favor during the 1980s and 1990s?

ANSWER:

During the 1980s and 1990s, when TV viewers were mandated to watch ads, advertisers preferred TV commercials over product placement. At that time, product placement took a back seat to commercials that could be controlled, deployed and viewed by mass audiences. To add to that, the difficulty in finding suitable entertainment productions back then was time consuming and often entertainment creators didn’t want to work with brands.

  Today’s viewing audience is quite different. 

Millennial and younger audiences view product placement as authentic to the story and  reflects the everyday world we live in (when done right). It is understood that product placement is a form of advertisement and therefore socially acceptable versus in the 80s and 90s when it was deployed in a more nefarious manner.

  Commercials are skipped, brand integration is viewed.

Research shows that audiences would rather see brands or products in context of the entertainment rather than be forced to sit through commercial breaks.

  Proof it’s more successful than ever. 

Just look at Beats by Dre. A brand new company that never made electronics before used product placement across numerous billboard music videos and with athletes in sporting events to catapult the brand into Apple unicorn status. Fact.

Beats by Dre & Billboard top 100 

 

GUIDE:
How traditional advertising is culturally different than branded entertainment.

Entertainment that reflects real world scenarios with actual products or brands vs. generic products or obscured logos.

This occurs when a brand is integrated into the plot, storyline or dialogue of an entertainment production. A cultural connection is made based on the perceived association with the context of the story and characters in the scene. 

This occurs when a brand is placed in a scene  but not integral to the story. Relevancy is established within the theme of the set, yet there are less positive or negative connotations than with storyline integration.

An external marketing tool often without  relevance to the entertainment. Prior to non-linear content options, a proliferation of entertainment choices, streaming, on-demand, DVRs, remote controls, etc  viewers may pay attention during commercial breaks, and not skip pre-roll adverts.

Research citings:

Get brands inside entertainment scenes.

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