Written by: Marianna Mabanag
Almost everyone knows product placement when they see it. Whether it’s your favorite athlete placing a certain brand of water in front of them during a post-game interview or it’s a coffee cup that similarly represents Starbucks being held by the main character of a popular movie, product placement is on every single media platform we can think of. Although this form of advertising has been around since the 1980's, it’s creating a huge impact on the younger generation and their popular sources of entertainment.
With the increase in popularity of TikTok, there has also been an increase in marketers utilizing these stars to help with embedded marketing. According to AdNews, the lines between advertisements and entertainment content are becoming more blurred that brands are starting to view the platform as more of an “always-on, personalized TV channel.” Not only this, but the idea that the talent can include products into the current trends will only increase the chance of their videos gaining views. This is great for brands because the more videos they can get their products in, the more exposure they are receiving. With how much the younger generations idolize social media talent now, it’s expected that many of the viewers will turn into customers.
When it comes to sports, this marketing strategy comes less from the entertainment aspect and needs to focus more on the actual placement of the product. Instead of having the brand sit in the very back for minimal exposure, it’s essential that the talent highlights the product. Marketing Week highlighted an important marketing move made by Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal’s national football team. By placing water bottles in front of him during a broadcasted press conference for the Euro 2020, he was able to increase the revenue for that brand.
Although product integrated marketing can be extremely beneficial, it can also hurt brands and even the talent if used incorrectly. For example, there was a lot of excitement around the release of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” this year, only for critics to be disappointed in how the movie gave off too much of a corporate feel. Sports Business Journal brought to light that the movie didn’t really flow together but instead, felt forced by every brand that was included. It was at the point where those who are aware of the industry could see how painfully awkward the movie played out to be. In the end, many viewers thought that the film just lacked a coherent story line altogether.
With how fast social media platforms are growing and evolving, it’s easy to find new opportunities to market and advertise a brand. It can be as simple as having the talent place the product in the corner of their video or even wearing the brand’s apparel. But ease of marketing doesn’t mean businesses need to capitalize on each opportunity. By picking and choosing which paths to take advantage of, they can avoid oversaturating certain platforms and continue to be a brand that consumers will want to buy.