I’ve recently been on a documentary binge. Any documentary I can find on Netflix, OnDemand, or on TV, I’m bound to watch it. Supersize Me has always been a favorite and Morgan Spurlock has always been an inspiration of mine. Although I have no aspirations of being a documentary producer, I think the messages he conveys through his work are all extremely important. His newest documentary is “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”- (If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it). He explores the world of product placement and documents his journey to get sponsors for his upcoming film.
Product placement has been around for as long as I remember, yet, some of the placement is so blatantly obvious it ruins the clip that it’s in. Sadly, growing up I was obsessed with Josie and the Pussycats. (Don’t ask me why, it’s embarrassing). Looking back on the movie, I can’t remember a scene that DIDN’T have product placement! If you’re going to do product placement, do it right. Since Target was a big product in Josie and the Pussycats, I feel it ruins the credibility of the brand because it was placed in such a horrible movie. Same goes for Microsoft Kin phones in the newest TV drama, Pretty Little Liars. The girls literally say how much they love their new phones, explains what they’re going to use it for and ultimately ruin the whole scene. Instead of wanting to go out and buy the phone, I want to boycott it because it’s ruining my drama!!
So here is my tip: Keep it subtle. Product placement can be effective if it is used appropriately. Take Coke for example: A sponsor of American Idol, every cup the judges drink out of has the world-known Coke label. Still, the judges aren’t jumping up and down yelling how much they love Coke. You don’t want to be obvious when using product placement because, although you may be building awareness of the brand, it may create negative feedback.