Have you ever watched a film where the protagonist or lead character takes out a can of coke and you just suddenly want to take a sip of coke as well?
Or maybe during a car chase scene you see the main character taking out a luxurious BMW and effortlessly drives it through twists and turns and you say “man, I wish I can buy that car!”?
If you’ve experienced this, don’t worry – That’s exactly what the brand managers want you to feel.
This is a strategy called brand or product placement. It’s a modern marketing strategy and a really powerful marketing tool that builds a brand’s image over time and strengthens brand recall. Used properly and effectively, any brand can benefit from this strategy.
How Does Brand Placement Work?
Brand placement works by putting your brand right in front of your customers through non-traditional means like through movies or short films rather than through ads or commercials.
Why is this effective? Well, because the consumers are not aware of it. The less they are aware that a brand is being flashed in front of them, the less guarded and less sceptical they are.
It works like subliminal messaging, but instead of aiming for a subconscious response, it embeds the brand’s image into the audience that could initiate a brand recall. Like, when you hear “Tony Stark”, you think “rich man, iron man, ironman suits, and Audi cars”.
Why Audi cars? Well, because Tony stark flashed it at you:
See? And yeah, Captain America also loves Audi
The Avengers aren’t the only ones doing product placements, remember this Pepsi scene from World War Z?
And this Oreo placement for Transformers 4?
Brand placement is everywhere. And it totally works.
The Subtle Art Of Brand Placement
Brand placement is a subtle art: be too obvious, and the audiences will catch on that you’re trying to sell to them. Brand too little, and you’ll see little effects on your brand placement efforts.
Where and how you place your brand will also affect how your brand’s image is crafted. Let’s take a look at Audi’s brand placement on the Avengers films:
Who uses Audi?
- Tony Stark, the rich billionaire superhero also known as Ironman
- SHIELD agents, the elite, secret group that protects the world
- The superheroes
What does this say about Audi? It frames their image as an elite brand. They’re so elite that billionaires choose to drive their brand; they’re also effective for any situation that’s why government organizations choose to give their top secret agents and organizations an Audi.
Sounds like the Audi brand? It sure does.
Tips On How To Do Brand Placement Effectively
Now that you know how brand placement works and how it can affect your viewers and your brand image, it’s time to start thinking of your own brand placement.
Brand placement can be done in almost any visual medium and in almost any platform: Short films, Facebook videos, Facebook live videos, Instagram pictures, Snapchat—you name it. As long as it can be viewed, you can put a brand placement on it.
Of course, simply plastering your brand on any visual medium is crazy and way too obvious (subtle art, remember?) so here are some tips on how you can make your brand placement effective without being too pushy:
Know Who Your Audiences Are
It’s important that you know who your audiences are and how they behave. By thoroughly knowing the profile of your target audience and consumers, you can easily find a good spot to place your brand in. If you’re a sporting brand, placing your brand on sport-related short films or action-packed movies is a good place to put your brand.
If you’re a brand that focuses on bringing families and people together, romance or romance-comedy is the appropriate genre for you. Placing your brand in the right genre will greatly boost your brand’s image in the right direction.
Place Your Brand In The Right Scene
Placing your brand at the right moment is also very important to make your brand placement impactful. Since each scene in a film delivers different kinds of emotions, it’s crucial that you place your brand in a spot where the desired emotion is strongest.
Let’s take a page from Audi and The Avengers films again: Audi’s logo is flashed during the car chase scene in Captain America: Civil War. Audi’s desired emotion is thrill and excitement since that is what their brand’s feel is. So the efficient placement of the brand in that scene helps build Audi’s brand image.
Be Subtle With Your Placements
Subtly can’t be stressed enough when it comes to effective brand placement; that’s because your viewers shouldn’t feel that your brand is there. Once they feel that your brand is “too pushy”, it’ll ruin their viewing experience and the magic of the brand placement disappears.
When it comes to brand placement. Timing is everything.
Do You Have What It Takes?
Brand placement is both an art and a science; you need to be creative and intuitive in placing your brand at the right place and at the right time. It’s an intricate balance of marketing and psychology that, once you have mastered, become a powerful brand management tool.
Brand placing online is hard and difficult to do, especially since you have a lot of competitors from all over the world. That’s why it’s important to hire a competent SEO team that can help put your brand on top of competitors.