Non-traditional advertising has been on the rise over the years in attempt to reach the conditioned consumer whose habit is to tune out advertisements. Product placement and brand ambassadorships have provided a new opportunity to reach these consumers.
Product placement is traditionally used in film and television to derive commercial benefits without interrupting the entertainment. Broadcasting & Cable reported that the “reasons for using in-show plugs varied from ‘strong emotional connection’ to better dovetailing with relevant content, to targeting a specific group.” Thanks to the rise of ad-skipping and on-demand media usage, there has been a hefty increase in the use of this strategy. According to an alternative media spending consulting firm in Connecticut, 2014 product placement expenditures were approximately $10.5 billion, increasing 13.6% year-over-year. Product placement is beginning to leak past the traditional means like movies and shows, and filter into other outlets like music videos, YouTube videos, or social media posts.
The rise in product placement via social media has created a new demand for brand ambassadors. Influencers, usually celebrities or bloggers with a large following, are hired by brands to post about a certain product. Often these posts are in the form of native advertising, where they blend in with the content users are viewing, and are rarely directly referred to as an advertisement. Most consumers haven’t fully caught on to this marketing technique yet, which allows product placement and brand ambassadors on social media to be extremely effective in spreading a message and marketing a brand.
Next time you sit down to watch your favorite show, kick back to watch the newest blockbuster, or scroll through your social feeds, pay close attention to all of the products that may be indirectly marketed to you.