Product Placement In Reality

23 Feb

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of Culture, Ben Bradshaw, confirmed this month that the government will now allow product placement in television programs for the first time. The UK was the only other European Union member state, besides Denmark, that hadn’t allowed product placements on TV. But they are banning product placement on what legislation considers ‘nasties’ (e.g. alcohol & junk food). I was surprised to learn this news. For one in a recent class we had a discussion about how easy and successful product placement was, especially in reality television. Throw a few Apple iPads into the hands of members on a reality TV show and you automatically perk peoples interest.

Viewers today also relate and in some ways ‘bond’ with the reality characters better than the actors playing their part. Example: The ex Hills star Lauren Conrad drove around a BMW convertible. It showed her driving in the opening for the show and at various other times allowing for great advertising for BMW. All those crazy Hills fans would swoon if they could get their hands on the same kind of car the Lauren Conrad drove. Of course this same theory goes for restaurants, food, tech gadgets, clothes and more. It’s a great way for companies to advertise and market their product without obnoxiously jamming it down your throat. It’s gone so far that you can purchase items ‘seen on’ reality television from companies such as Delivery Agent.

I saw this clip the other day taken from 30 Rock that mocks the idea of product placement and thought it was necessary to share. This is what it can look like if product placement goes terribly wrong, but it also gets your attention. Got a good laugh from it!

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