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The Evolution of Branded Entertainment: Analysis, Research, Facts


Did you know that branded entertainment and product placement dates back to 1873, when Jules Verne was approached by shipping companies to mention their entities in Around the World in Eighty Days? I didn’t know that.

In fact, there are lots of facts and stats I didn’t know, until I researched them. Of course, there’s going to be debate over whether researching them means I actually “know” them. But let’s not worry about semantics, let’s see some numbers regarding Branded Entertainment and Product Placement:

  • Ford and Aston Martin reportedly paid $50 million to have their cars shown throughout the 23rd James Bond movie.
  • Companies like Coca Cola, AT&T, and Ford each paid around $26 million to have their logos displayed during episodes of “American Idol”.
  • After placing Red Stripe beer in the movie, “The Firm,” Red Stripe sales saw an increase of more than 50% in the U.S. market after the first month of the movie’s release.
  • From the New York Times: “According to a report released last week by PQ Media, a research firm, the money spent on product placement in recorded music grew 8 percent in 2009 compared with the year before, while overall paid product placement declined 2.8 percent, to $3.6 billion.”
  • Revenue from product placement in music videos totaled $15 million to $20 million last year.
  • Placements on emotionally engaging programs were recognized by 43% more viewers.
  • Paid product-placement spending grew almost 34% to $2.9 billion in 2007 and is projected to reach $3.7 billion in 2008, a 28% growth.
  • The number of products placed in Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” music video? 7+

A little down-and-dirty analysis, after completing my research:

Branded entertainment and product placement in movies really became prevalent in the 1980’s. Since then, the method of marketing has grown – more advertisers are not only paying, but paying more for their branded entertainment. Moreover, the growth in branded entertainment is, partly, a reaction to the growth in TiVo and other DVR utilities, which allow for the skipping through of commercials. A commercial isn’t effective if it is being skipped through, to be sure. As DVR continues to grow, we are likely to see continued growth of branded entertainment, at least on the medium of television and movies.

As for other mediums, like video games and music videos, each will likely see different growth patterns, affected by multiple variables. With video games, for instance, often branded entertainment and product placement can provide an additional layer of realism to the game, which some gamers appreciate and enjoy.

With music videos, I pose the question, if Lady Gaga gets 60+ million hits on her uploaded YouTube music video, and Miracle Whip has their product placed within that video – how many impressions is that? Interestingly, the more conspicuous product placement is in music videos, the more it seems to reside with the viewer – and that’s good.

An incredibly meaningful and deep tune I just put together to sum it all up: “Brand me, baby. Brand me. Brand me. Place my products. I’ll pay millions. Make them watch. Make me millions.”



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