Product Placement Flat On Cable In First Quarter

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Product placements for the first quarter rose 39% on broadcast TV, while cable was essentially flat, down just 1%, Nielsen reported Monday.

Overall, product placement saw a 6% increase on primetime programming for 11 measured networks, which include the six major broadcast networks as well as A&E, Bravo, HGTV, MTV and TLC.

There were 117,976 brand occurrences on cable and broadcast networks in the first three months of the year, according to Nielsen Product Placement Service.  The most prevalent placement type on broadcast television was “foreground,” which represented 35% of all product placements. On cable television, “wardrobe” placements were most common, accounting for 32% of all placements.

The top 10 cable programs that featured product placements accounted for 59,308 occurrences in the first quarter, an increase of 16% from 50,940 during the first quarter last year. American Chopper on TLC was again the top program, with 16,164 placements. Half of the programs in the Top 10 air on MTV, and another three air on Bravo.

The top 10 featured brands on primetime cable in this year’s first quarter accounted for 17,356 occurrences—a 28% increase from 13,501 occurrences in 2007. Under Armour Apparel (worn here by Jason Taylor of Dancing with the Stars) was the top brand, with 2,960 occurrences for this time period—mainly through its association with the program Real World Road Rules Challenge. Each brand in the Top 10 placed more than 1,000 placements.

Notably, the top-performing placements were not heavy weights in terms of activity; these included Home Depot on the Feb. 10 episode of HGTV’s Color Splash, Flow Power Tools on TLC’s American Chopper, and Hershey’s integration on Bravo’s Project Runway. Each impacted more than half the viewing audience in terms of brand recognition and positive feeling.

With 18,307 placements apparel was easily the No. 1 product-placement category on cable during the first quarter. The Top 3 apparel brands each had more than 1,000 placements during the first quarter: Under Armour Apparel (2,960 occurrences); Orange County Choppers Apparel (2,264 occurrences); and Big Black Apparel (1,149 occurrences). Nike Apparel and Sean John Apparel also ranked among the Top 5 apparel brands.

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