Marketers See Potential in TV Placement


Washington -- The good thing about product placement in film, according to NMA Entertainment & Marketing co-CEO John Zamoiski, is that film is permanent.

Movies are viewed over and over, so viewers are repeatedly exposed to the products appearing in them. Take Dr. Pepper in Forrest Gump or Wonder Bread in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, to name a few.

“Films have an audience, ads don’t,” Zamoiski said, speaking with marketers about diminished commercial-viewing trends and new branding opportunities at this week’s CTAM Summit here.

“The same thing is happening in TV,” he added, attributing opportunity growth to the evolution of video-on-demand and rising DVD sales, among other things.

NMA has been behind such deals as Cadillac’s and Dunkin’ Donuts product placement in HBO’s The Sopranos; Cadillac’s placement in FX’s Rescue Me; Arby’s and Variety in HBO’s Entourage; GMC in Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; USA Today in NBC’s TheWest Wing; Hummer in CBS’ CSI: Miami; and Crown Royale in ABC’s Desperate Housewives.

According to research from Nielsen -- which has been tracking product placement for three years -- the number of placements in television in 2006 was 108,261, a 30% jump from 2005.

While these numbers do not reflect any uniform approach in terms of factors such as duration on screen, visibility, or dialogue accompaniment, they do reflect opportunities coming from all sides of the business, from buy-ins by the brands themselves to demand for name-brand products by series writers, right down to producers attempting to reduce production costs.

Zamoiski added that given the control consumers have over receiving their content these days, product-placement opportunities are also booming in Internet, mobile, gaming and graphic novel content.