Product placement is a modern marketing technique that has become so incorporated in our daily lives that I believe many people overlook it or don’t even realize its presence. The definition of product placement is the conscious incorporation of products by advertisers in movies, television or other forms of media. These products are placed within these forms of media in order to subliminally generate the desire for certain goods while they are nonchalantly used normally throughout the show or movie. One famous image of product placement that immediately comes to mind is that of American Idol. During the show, while the judges listened to singers, all three judges had huge Coca- Cola cups that they would consistently show and drink throughout the hour long show.
Do these judges really love Coca-Cola? Do they love it so much that for almost an entire season, they drank almost Coca-Cola exclusively? I am sure people love Coca-Cola, but people enjoy variety. This is a perfect example of product placement. Coca-Cola was a major sponsor of American Idol and along with ads and commercials, the use of giant cups were used to stimulate nationwide audiences. But why use these cups instead of implementing more commercials during the breaks? The judges for this show included Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul. These people are individual celebrities whose star statuses soared after the show began airing. If you see a celebrity drinking Coca-Cola are you going to have an urge to drink some Coca-Cola? You might.
Product placement can be found across all spectrum’s of media. Major companies and corporations will use this strategy in order to demonstrate their product without a straightforward ad. This approach almost makes the ad unnoticeable which makes the consumer more comfortable as he/she is not aware that they are currently being sold a product. I think product placement was a genius idea until its apparent nature became well known. Now as the term product placement continues to grow in popularity, audiences and consumers will now acknowledge it and will almost feel foolish for a company thinking they won’t notice an ad. The next time you watch a TV show or a movie and see a Coca-Cola, Starbucks, or Pepsi can, remember it is not there by accident.