So, the UK has finally allowed product placement in TV programmes.
It’s a decision that has been coming with pressure mounting on Ofcom as ad revenues dwindle. It’s expected that the value will (eventually) reach 5% of TV advertising budget – similar levels to US and Australia.
This will be an interesting development for UK TV production houses and the question will be how far will programmes go? Will they test the waters and fill their slots with a carnival of logos? Or will they slowly test the waters and see how it goes?
Also, how will marketers use it? Will they use it to launch new products/brands?
So many questions, I know…
I think this is a huge opportunity for brands, but here is my quick 2-pence worth of considerations:
- be sure of what you want to achieve – launch a new product or promote an existing one? You may need to use different programmes / usage scenarios depending on what you want to get out of it
- contextualise it to the scene – whatever is happening on screen, the use of the product should not seem forced
- choose the program carefully – does it match the audience you are trying to attract? No point placing PG Tips (brand of tea) in The Inbetweeners
- negotiate category exclusivity – I would expect this to the standard but you don’t want your potential public being exposed to competing messages
- consider how you are going to track success and externalise the marketing activity – how will you link viewers from what they see on TV to other brand interactions away from it
Will this re-invigorate TV? I doubt it. It will prop revenues up for a few more years but beyond that I think a new solution may need to be found.