Ebiquity Opinion: Product Placement
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Ebiquity Opinion: Product Placement



The first in a series of papers intended to create debate and discussion. Ebiquity share the key findings from the Madigan Cluff/Ebiquity roundtable on Product Placement.

The first in a series of papers intended to create debate and discussion. Ebiquity share the key findings from the Madigan Cluff/Ebiquity roundtable on Product Placement.



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Ebiquity Opinion: Product Placement Ebiquity Opinion: Product Placement Document Transcript

  • Ebiquity OpinionThe future for product placementThe first in a series of papers intended to create debate anddiscussion. Ebiquity share the key findings from the Madigan Cluff/Ebiquity roundtable on Product Placement. 1
  • Where are we now?Placement went live in the UK on 1. Broadcasters and producers haveFebruary 28th when a coffee machine was agreed a mutual right of veto on any deal.a paid placement in ITVs’ “This Morning”. Both ITV and the producer can eachThis is part of a wider change in the decide that the deal does not make senselegislation across Europe which has seenpaid placement become available in to them.almost all European markets. 2. ITV wished to position themselves asThe general belief in the UK is that the point of go-to-market. They will becommercial stations are letting the sending out fliers to all interested partiesmarket develop slowly. This both reflects (potentially media agencies, creativeconcerns that too much placementhappening on screens may lead to a agencies, PR companies, placementnegative reaction from audiences, but agencies) listing out the availablealso the fact that some broadcasters are opportunities in programmes. They willtrying to create placement as a premium then enter into discussion with any ofopportunity while seeking to avoid these parties to do a deal.cannibalisation of existing revenues. 3. ITV has set out broad terms of trade. AThe major stations are keen to be seen asthe gateway to booking placement, base fee will be agreed against a detailedalthough it is clear that production itinerary of where and how the brand willcompanies are wary that this may lead to appear in the programme. Should thea bias in favour of in-house production programme be repeated within 6 months,and a diminution in the total available then ITV will charge an additional 50%.revenues. Further repeats and any exports will beITV have laid down principles with the free. 50% of the fee will be payable onmajor production companies which are as signature and 50% following transmissionfollows:- and agreed evaluation procedures. “The general belief in the UK is that commercial stations are letting the market develop slowly” 2
  • RegulationThe regulation of placement is controlled In the UK a small P must appear on screenby Ofcom. Stations will be liable under in the programme indents at the start endtheir broadcast licenses for any failure to and commercial breaks of programmes.observe regulations and can be liable to This is broadly in line with other Europeanfines. Regulation is set around a broad set practice, where there is either a small orof principles: near invisible signal that placement is inside the programme.1. Editorial independence2. No undue prominence Programme concepts and what could3. No thematic placement become available?4. No placement of alcohol, high-fatfoods (UK only), or gambling Production companies are at pains to be5. No placement in news, children’s or clear that they still very much value thespecialist factual programming prop placement business where products are provided free in return for being seen.There is a lack of detail within the They wish this to continue as it is aregulations and therefore it is likely that significant cost reducer for productionwhat is really allowable on screen will budgets.effectively develop as broadcasters tryout concepts.In practiceEpisodes (Hat Trick) the Matt Le Blanc Big Brother (Edemol) Recently confirmedcomedy recently shown on BBC2 is a joint as returning to a TV screen near you fromproduction with ShowTime in The US. A Five, Big Brother is an example of a programme with major opportunities forsecond series which has been recently placement from food, through to anycommissioned will be filmed in two number of household items. In additionversions – a UK version which will carry no some programmes (for instanceplacement and a US/ export version which Endemol’s Million Pound Drop) feature anis available for placement and on the sales app played by viewers in parallel with therecord of Series One is likely to be seen in programme. Although there may be100 plus countries worldwide. limited opportunities for the programme to carry placement, the app is not restricted by broadcast restrictions onFacejacker (Hat Trick) Kayvan Novak the placement and therefore has thecomedian who takes on disguises was potential to carry brand communication.used to create a series of clips forMicrosoft’s Bing search engine to be usedas part of a viral campaign. 3
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Tiger Aspect) brands relevant to the major marketsBecause of the change in regulations Tiger within which the programme plays.Aspect had hoped to be able to runplacement within the series, but the Wipeout (Endemol) This format, althoughbroadcast timing did not make this produced by Endemol for the BBC in thepossible. A detailed concept had been UK, is a major hit around the world withworked through where Belle’s (Billie editions being produced for marketsPiper) lingerie in certain scenes would befrom a specific brand. The brand would worldwide across 3 sets in Argentinahave marketing and promotional rights to working around the clock. In India brandsthe program in outside promotions and are shown on the objects whichthe target was to have the placement contestants are bouncing and falling off.appear in the episodes around Valentines This has very quickly proved a veryDay to maximise impact. The programme popular opportunity for brands.has a strong 16-34 profile for both menand women. Again it was intended toshoot two versions with different brandsto allow the placement to be sold withUS Model: integrated and part of a storyline 24 According to Nielsen IAG research, US Screenings of 24 recorded one of the highest consumer recall rates for product placements for primetime. Its information like this that advertisers such as Hyundai would have looked at before committing to product integration in the show.Placement was rife through all series, the entire first episode of the second series 24 wassponsored by car giant Ford and shown without advertising breaks. The deal, similar to onesstruck in the early days of TV when one company sponsored an entire programme, saw thedramas star Keifer Sutherland driving a Ford Expedition in the first episode. “24 records one of the highest consumer recall rates for product placements in primetime” 4
  • TechnologyThe requirement for physical product and uncertainty over whether the exposure will makethe final cut can both be rendered irrelevant through technological solutions. Not only canon screen presence be added after filming is complete, its presence can be tracked andverified at all times. • Insertion of brands post-production. Mirriad, a UK based technology business, have developed processes which allow brands to be placed into programmes post - production. Their system takes an image of the brand and can place a realistic representation image of the product either in the foreground or background of the programme. This can be done either within existing programmes or within prepared slots that are left in programmes during production. This gives not only the opportunity to add brands, but also the ability to update the brand image to the latest model and/or to the correct packaging or brand name for the broadcast country. • In order to facilitate this process Mirriad have developed a set of tools which allow the whole process of placement to run efficiently:- o A process which scans programmes and can locate specific points where brand images could be featured. They can then create this as a catalogue which can be published by the broadcaster. This can be linked to common scenes or a particular character in a drama so that the appearance of the brand logically fits the action of a desired connection. o If a brand likes the particular opportunity in a scene then a demo of how the outcome will look can be created. o The system allows access from the production company, broadcaster or agency to view the scene pre-broadcast, allowing all parties a clear sign-off procedure. o The system creates a log of all placements which run along with a formula-based value of the placement. 5
  • UK OpportunitiesAmongst other applications talked about was the placement of posters into the backgroundof soaps. Using post production, the poster for this week’s film release can be placed in theprogramme. In general there are quite a range of potential opportunities beyond the simpleon screen presence of the product including:- • Jointly run promotion between brands and programmes • Client website gains rich media from material in programme • Direct promotion – i.e. on digital (red button) ‘book a test drive of the car you have just seen‘ • Direct sales – buy the hero’s shirt • Link to in store – brands can plan promotions to link with programme (e.g. cookery shows) • Twin screening – using social media applications to run competitions and promotions on mobile and digital formats.ChallengesContracting of key actors. If the placement involves a major actor, where is the crossoverbetween what his contract with the production company requires him or her to do and whatmight be required for placement? The general feelings from production companies were:- • If the placement was part of the script, then all contractual issues are covered in the agreement between the production company and the actor. • If the advertiser wants to use the actor’s image or presence in parallel promotions or other activity, there would need to be an additional contract. • Advertisers need to be aware that some actors will already have contracts with brands for advertising and promotions, and will not be able to do anything which conflicts with these agreements. • The lead-time for a fully integrated placement is likely to be a minimum of 9 months and probably longer. Technology means that it may be possible to place a brand in the programme after filming if allowance has already been made for where it will appear (see next section). • Getting brands into existing programmes (particularly formats ) may be a challenge. The Ofcom regulations are clear that the editorial must be justifiable, so editorial cannot be changed purely to make product placement take place. So in a programme like “Deal or No Deal” where more than 1000 episodes have already been broadcast, putting a brand in vision may be seen by the regulators as a change in editorial policy. 6
  • Issues for advertisersFrom the discussion, it is clear that this is a very new world for advertisers. Some of theimmediate issues which came up included:-Where to go for deals?Broadcasters clearly have a role to play. Programmes can be developed or conceptsinfluenced to make them valuable to advertisers. However there is a need for advertisersand/or their representatives to be able to talk to production companies directly. Therecurrently does not seem to be any clearing house or information point where this couldhappen.Who does the business for advertisers?Several of advertisers’ advisors may well see and want to act on placement opportunities.Each will have only some of the skills required to make this successful. Issues picked upincluded:- • Media agencies will have the knowledge of communications value and demographics but not the wider marketing knowledge required to maximise the off- screen opportunities. • Creative agencies are closer to the communication objective but do not have the resource (e.g. to dress a set in combination with the production company). • Existing prop placement companies do not necessarily have the communications expertise, though equally there is less skill involved in placing as buying power is not required.One major advertiser indicated that they had decided that, following a pitch of propplacement agencies, all placement business will go through their prop placement agency.Therefore their newly appointed agency would be the clearing house for all proposals. 7
  • ValueIt is clear that ITV and probably other broadcasters are looking to add resource to be able toat least price the value of on-screen presence for brands. It’s likely to be formulaic with verylarge elements of judgement within the formulae.Break vs. programme audience. Zapping out of breaks continues to increase with evenpopular programmes such as X Factor seeing 20% lower ratings in the break vs. theprogramme itself. In some cases break ratings can be only half those of the surroundingprogramme.The challenge for advertisers is to sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’. Which opportunities arecost effective against the brand audience and communication objectives? This is both anumeric media question of audience size and visibility on screen. Content will need to be in-line within the emotional framework of what a particular programme/character/scene willcommunicate about the brand. Finally, there is a need to look at the payback available fromusing the programme visibility within brand promotions. Hw+CH TVRs 50 45 Break 40 Programme 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1900 1908 1916 1924 1932 1940 1948 1956 2004 2012 2020 2028 2036 2044 2052 2100 2108 2116 2124 2132 2140 2148 2156 Source: BARBThe X-Factor Results 12/12/10Having placement in the show gives you access to the viewers conventional ad breaks oreven sponsorship misses out on. For The X Factor, the average in-show audience was 40Hw+Ch TVRs, the average break rating was 32.“…break ratings can be only half those ofthe surrounding programme” 8
  • SummaryOverall there was a conclusion that the market is likely to divide into two types ofplacement:1) Major placement packages where there is a strong association between the brand and theprogramme with considerable off-screen promotion helping the brand secure additionalsales volume for the activity. It is likely that the required detail and commitment required forthis will mean that only one or two brands make this connection for any major programme.2) Technology will mean that many brands both current TV brands and brands not currentlyon TV will make it onto screen, and that incidental placement will effectively become anextension to conventional advertising. It may even be planned and reported by similarmethods to TV airtime buys. The challenge here for advertisers is to have simple measures inplace of the value they receive against their communication objectives.Product Placement SWOT AnalysisStrengths Weaknesses Economically a bad time to start Research suggests it increases awareness and feelings towards the Public perception is poor (when it’s brand pointed out to them) Higher audience levels mid-show Pricing seems unclear and quality adjustment is a little subjective Solus brand “Do I go to the producer, MirriAd, ITV, Very tight targeting to your core the client? Who?!”- Group M audience Associate DirectorOpportunities Threats Scene integration Look on it as a campaign, not just a Not enough take up one off but a longer period of time Not enough research Off-screen exploitation of the property Advertisers don’t see the benefit Does it need further leveraging- conventional ads, sponsorship, Lack of encouragement to try online? Brands without the budget for a full campaign 9
  • About the Authors Martin Radford | martin.radford@ebiquity.com Martin started at Zenith Media as a graduate trainee in 1994. In 1999 he joined Billetts (now Ebiquity) as the companys first Manager, working under the then CEO as the company growth accelerated. In recent years he has devoted timeopening up new revenue streams aside from the standard media effectiveness products inevent sponsorship monitoring and valuation and with the developing market in ProductPlacement. Michael Cluff | michael@madigancluff.com Michael Cluff is a director of Madigan Cluff, a consultancy that helps both production companies and advertisers understand the value to be obtained by content within programmes around the globe.About EbiquityEbiquity is a global media and marketing insight company. We help advertisers, agencies andmedia owners to continuously improve their media and marketing performance. We provideindependent data-driven insights in the following 6 service areas: -Advertising; monitoring advertising in your market to improve your ownMedia; continuously improving media planning and buyingSponsorship; measuring effectiveness of sponsorship activitiesDigital; streamlining your process and optimising digital resultsPR; monitoring and evaluating editorial brand reputationEffectiveness; optimising the effectiveness of your marketing mixUltimately we seek to help our clients to improve their ROI.www.ebiquity.comwww.twitter.com/ebiquityglobal 10