Cinema, television, social networks. Product placements are everywhere, and for good reason: it’s a particularly effective way to make your brand known to a large audience. They make it possible to showcase and promote your products to improve their notoriety and, even more so, your turnover.
If the idea of doing product placement has crossed your mind, we’ll give you all the keys to get started. We explain how product placement works and detail the levers to achieve it.
Product placement: definition
Product placement consists of integrating or mentioning a brand, product or service in a media, in exchange for remuneration.
You’ve already noticed this when you watch a series or “scroll” on social networks. On some content, marks appear in a very visible way for you to identify them immediately on the image. It’s product placement.
Cars, clothes, watches, smartphones, food supplements. Product placement, whatever its nature, is essential as an essential form of advertising, present on all channels. We even see it more and more in music videos and in video games.
With the diversity of the media (even more so with the advent of social networks), product placement offers great opportunities for companies that want to increase their notoriety.
4 types of product placements
Classic product placement
Similar to “classic” advertising, this type of product placement consists of making the product appear very clearly on the screen. Its use is also generally put into context.
Institutional product placement
In institutional product placement, the product (or brand) appears in the film, but is not used as such. In the cinema or on TV, this is expressed by the appearance of a brand sign or the presence of a billboard.
This type of product placement is preferred to promote a brand: it is for this reason that we use the term “institutional”.
Stealth product placement
Opting for stealth product placement means letting the product appear very discreetly. The brand is not mentioned, but we can guess it thanks to the product itself or the appearance of the logo. This would, for example, be the case if a Nespresso coffee machine was seen in the background of a scene.
Evocative product placement
Evocative product placement does not show the product or the brand. He doesn’t cite it either. However, it is “evoked” thanks to its own colors or design. This type of product placement therefore lends itself to brands that already have a strong reputation (Apple, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, etc.).
French regulations around product placement
Doing product placement in the cinema, on television or on the Internet means complying with strict legislation.
Regulations for film or TV product placement
In France, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) is responsible for overseeing product placement in all audiovisual communication programs.
It thus authorizes product placement in films, fiction and video clips, except when they are intended for children. Product placement is also prohibited for certain product categories such as tobacco, alcoholic beverages, drugs, firearms and infant formula. Finally, product placement must meet certain requirements, such as not directly encouraging purchases.
In addition, the CSA requires program creators to display the “P” pictogram to inform viewers of product placement. Its presence must be accompanied by a message at the start of the program to explain its meaning (“this program includes product placement”).
If you are collaborating with an influencer to do product placement on social media, it must be explicitly mentioned. It is mandatory if the promotion of the product, service or brand involves financial consideration.
Conversely, if you have no control over the post, the influencer (or brand) is under no constraint. This applies in particular to press mailings, which are not considered product placement.
You should know that the omission (voluntary or involuntary) of a product placement is severely punished by law. If a content creator does not explicitly mention a partnership, he can be sentenced to two years in prison and fined up to 300,000 euros. Not to mention the fact that it discredits both the brand and the influencer.
Therefore, to comply with the law, content creators may use hashtags like “sponsored”, “advertisement” or “partnership”. The product placement can also be the subject of an oral mention, if it is a video content. Either way, it must be clear to the consumer: the utmost transparency is required.
Make a product placement in the cinema or on TV
Product placement in the cinema or on television gives the opportunity to reach a very large audience. This also allows you to put a product into context and strengthen its brand image.
We can, for example, cite the British car manufacturer Aston Martin whose aura is undoubtedly associated with those of James Bond.
The 007 saga is also a perfect insight into the power of product placement. Brands like Omega (watches), Bollinger (Champagne), Heineken or, of course, Aston Martin paid almost 90 million euros to appear in the latest installment.
If we are talking here about one of Hollywood’s greatest successes, it demonstrates an indisputable fact: making product placement in cinema or television requires a significant investment. Moreover, its return on investment is difficult to estimate.
You can therefore reassure yourself if you have a limited budget: you can do product placement by using influence marketing.
Do product placement with influencers
If cinema and television are essential and attractive media, doing product placement there is costly.
Moreover, beyond budgetary considerations, there are now much more effective communication channels in our digital age: social networks. They make it possible to reach more specific audiences, while controlling the profitability of the campaign.
Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat or YouTube are all resources that you can easily use to promote your brand. To increase your visibility tenfold, you can use influence marketing, in addition to the creation of organic and advertising content (Social Ads).
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing involves soliciting content creators (mainly on social networks, but not exclusively) to promote your products. They use their notoriety (their aptly named influence) to talk about you to their community, which is often very engaged.
Influencer marketing is based on a word-of-mouth effect, which is positive for your notoriety and your sales. The influencer positions himself as an opinion leader in whom his subscribers place great trust.
The latter are more inclined to listen to his speeches (and his recommendations) than those of the brands, as if they were coming from a friend. The feeling of closeness created by social networks strongly contributes to this psychological mechanism. In fact, the influencer makes your brand more credible and more legitimate, and therefore facilitates the conquest of new customers.
Influencer product placement: how does it work?
- Determine your budget for product placement
If you thought that doing product placement with influencers was always free, think again. The most famous content creators monetize their visibility. Generally, the larger the community they have, the higher their rates.
That said, you can completely develop your strategy by focusing on influencers with more restricted communities (called micro- or nano-influencers). It is then a question of exploiting a niche to target lesser consumers, but potentially more inclined to follow the opinions of the influencers they follow. Influencer marketing is based on a digital word-of-mouth effect, positive for your notoriety and your sales.
Thus, the choice of your strategy allows you to evaluate the budget necessary for your marketing campaign. This also allows you, a fortiori, to identify the content creators with whom you could collaborate according to their spectrum of influence.
It goes without saying that you also take into account their universe and their personality. Every act and gesture of the influencer who will talk about your brand will have an impact on your image.
- Define the guidelines of your product placement campaign
When you have chosen your influencers, you need to define the guidelines for your product placement campaign. Formats, days or times of publication, affiliate link, promotional code, information about the brand or its product, context. You must provide the content creator with as much data as necessary to carry out the product placement. Do this work before the first contact. This way, you will be able to answer all the questions of the influencers you are targeting.
If you draw the common thread of the campaign, you must leave some leeway to the influencer with whom you collaborate. It is important that what he is going to share with his subscribers is authentic and faithful to his universe. Product placement must be “natural”, even if the Internet user is aware that it is sponsored communication.
- Request statistics after product placement
At the end of your product placement campaign, influencers must be able to provide you with the statistics of the publications they have created for you. This allows you to assess the profitability (ROI) of your marketing strategy.
You can then determine the success of such an operation and make the necessary adjustments for possible future product placement. If an influencer shows satisfactory results, you can consider a longer-term partnership. This stability benefits your brand image. This also gives you the opportunity to negotiate a more advantageous contract to optimize the ROI of your future campaigns.