The Effectiveness of Embedded Marketing
Embedded marketing, also known as ‘product placement’, has been a highly used marketing strategy for years. It is seen primarily in films and television shows to promote a certain product or brand.
If you watch any movie or television show that usually pertains to the real world, odds are you will see some sort of product/logo appear in the background or used as a prop. These are meant to be obvious but in an inconspicuous way. Most likely you will notice them in the form of a drink being held in an actor’s hand, a logo/brand on the actor’s apparel, or simply the product itself in the background of the scene.
These may seem like simple props with no meaning, but are they actually a brief visual message swaying people to purchase a product being obviously (or discreetly) advertised?
Personally, I believe that product placement truly works. If you are thoroughly engaged in a film or show and a character you like is using a certain product, odds are you will associate that product as likable. It happens subconsciously without us even thinking about it. Heck, it can even be something we saw while we were younger and grew up to like the product just because our idol/hero used the same product in our favorite film or television show.
One example from my childhood that I will always remember is when Marty McFly put on the power-laced Nike shoes in Back to the Future: Part II. Ever since then I have always worn Nike shoes, both for exercising and leisure. When I was a kid I never made that association, at least until I was old enough to know what product placement is and what it’s meant to do.
So remember next time you watch a film or television show, know that many companies use these sources of media as an advertisement. They don’t come just in forms of commercials, social media ads, and billboards. They integrate themselves into stories. We will never escape ads…..that’s where the money comes from, but that’s a whole other story.