Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Product placement is the next frontier

Look around you, the targeted messages during commercial breaks are becoming easier and easier to tune out. Some advertisers have gone so far as to buy a whole program in order to offer it, "with limited commercial breaks," just to be somehow remarkable....

And yet, if most people are like me...they tune it out, or click channels, or TiVo themselves to an almost completely commercial free existence.

So how do companies break through? I think creative product placement is the direction that advertising will go, where you don't even really think about it, but you watch your favorite primetime star and while they are walking and talking they non-chalantly drink their Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

One of the coolest product placements I've seen recently was with the show Inked. Chrysler introduced a new PT Cruiser-looking vehicle called a Caliber, and they are very consciously attempting to position this vehicle as edgy, tough, cool...anything but girly and cute. So Chrysler gives a brand new Caliber to Corey Hart and his team of overly "inked" tattoo artists, they pimp it out with rims and now the vehicle becomes the focus of a 30 minute episode and is associated with the coolest and most famous tattoo parlor in Vegas.

And what did it cost Chrysler? Probably next to nothing, a brand new Caliber MSRP is 13,500....wheels, stereo, maybe a little kickback. Doesn't come close to a 30 second during primetime.


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