How Much Movie Product Placement is Too Much?

Where is the Limit for Movie Product Placement?

Is it just me or has product placement in movies stepped over the line in recent times?

Having just watched Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine I think the only accurate way to describe the regular appearance of their car sponsor (I won’t mention the brand name as they have been plugged more than enough for this evening) is simply ‘gratuitous’.

In many ways I felt like the proverbial frog in the cinematic marketing pot heated up one degree at a time until one day I am simply boiling in advertising messages bluntly integrated into a movie story line.

Marketers are facing a generation with the capability to bypass traditional advertising mediums.

They seek better, more effective methods of leveraging brand association. To achieve this, they must keep in mind that it is not just quantity but quality of the integration which will reflect positively on their brand equity.

The Impact of Piracy on Studio Returns

Not helping the cause, is a movie industry dealing with issues of another nature – yet from the same audience. Diminishing returns caused by piracy drives movie studios to seek more certainty in ROI from their massive investments.

Audiences demand more in special effects but pay the price higher levels of advertising messaging.

In the case of Wolverine, lining one vehicle model up beside each other was remarkably reminiscent of a trip to a car yard.

With such an acute approach to viewer’s senses, it is fair to say that much of the value of the phenomenal cost of this advertising strategy would have been lost.

With a cynical target market now adept at identifying and screening out advertising (whether product placement or otherwise) it is surely the challenge of today’s advertising executives to seek more subtle ways of imparting their brand messaging.

Mark Devlin

Mark Devlin

Director at Impact PR
Mark Devlin is a dynamic Auckland entrepreneur who provides PR counsel for some of the world’s most recognisable brands. With more than 20 years in public relations and marketing, Mark has an impressive portfolio of clients who trust him with their brands.