Now That’s Advertainment!

September 14, 2009

Product placement on American television

Product placement on American television

With product placement to be introduced into UK television, the Irish media community has been live with debate on the prospects for product placement here. It raises some very valid questions on editorial integrity and separation of creative and commercial interests – but will programmes really be compromised and more importantly, do people actually care?

In the last wave of ID, we tested out concepts such as brand created content with young Irish consumers, to find out how they felt about blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment. One of the examples we used was the series of BMW films starring Clive Owen and a rake of other stars from Madonna to Ray Liotta.

Granted, we’ve found throughout ID that the younger end of Irish youth in particular, are much less cynical than the generation before them, when it comes to embracing brands and advertising without guilt or resentment. But overall, there was quite a clear acceptance of content which was funded by brands. The catch, as always, being that this content would need to meet the high standards of any other media creator, in order to grab their attention.

Ironically, the main qualm they had with the BMW films, was that they were too subtle to be an effective advertisement vehicle – they felt the product placement could have been more obvious. However we found throughout our testing that there was a very fine line to be walked between effective explicit branding and gratuitous overkill.

A recent example of an advertiser who has walked this line perfectly (literally!), is Johnnie Walker (thank you Ignition 5 from Phillipa & Vanessa). Johnnie Walker have created a superb piece of branded content to celebrate their 100th anniversary. In this five minute short film, Robert Carlyle walks through the Scottish Highlands, telling the story of the local whiskey brand and how it rose to global fame. Not only is it a hugely enjoyable piece of filmmaking, but the content is completely focused on the unique brand and product benefits. Art that sells.

Neasa

 

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One Response to “Now That’s Advertainment!”

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