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Netflix Made Me Buy It: Brand-Content Collaborations in TV Streaming World

In the vast world of TV streaming, it's like navigating through different neighborhoods, each offering its own flavor. Advertisers and brands get to pick their route, choosing from Subscription-based (SVOD), Advertising-based (AVOD), Transactional (TVOD), Hybrid (HVOD), Free Ad Supported (FAST), and traditional Cable options. It's a bit like crafting a menu where advertisers tailor their strategies, making an impact that resonates with their audience.



Product Placement in Films & TV Shows


Product placement has been around since the 19th century, making sneaky appearances in artworks and literature before finding its sweet spot on the TV screen. Today, modern marketers hail product placement in television content as a savvy move. Findings even show that these placements start raking in cash the moment someone tunes into a show.


A study in the UK found that 60% of viewers “Google” products they spot on TV. Half of them end up making a purchase. It gets even better across the Atlantic – in the US, 75% of the audience goes on an online treasure hunt for products they see embedded in their favorite shows or movies.


Unskippable Ads


There are plenty of success stories when it comes to paid product placement, and the numbers speak for themselves. Take the 80s, for instance – when Tom Cruise sported Ray Ban's aviator sunglasses in "Top Gun," sales soared by a whopping 50% in the following months.


Switching gears to the world of reality TV, the British sensation "Love Island" struck gold by partnering with the trendy clothing brand, Missguided. During the 8-week reality show period, stars flaunted various Missguided apparel, leading to an astonishing 500% surge in sales for featured clothing pieces and an impressive 40% overall brand sales increase.


Netflix's "Emily in Paris" isn't just a show; it's a marketplace for advertisers seeking prime "eyeball" real estate. In a recent season, an entire 30-minute episode was dedicated to McDonald's as part of a broader campaign by MCD France. On the fashion front, the show incorporated over 14,000 clothing pieces, with some being paid placements – the Kangol bucket hat featured in the series witnessed a staggering 342% increase in sales.

Sure, some viewers felt there was a bit too much of a McDonald's ad, but interestingly, numbers reveal that people generally prefer product placement over other types of advertising. More than 63% express satisfaction when brands seamlessly blend into TV content.


Surprising, right? It turns out people can actually enjoy seeing an ad. When product placement is done right, it works wonders on a subconscious level, contributing to brand success in terms of awareness, recognition, sales, and loyalty – just as proven in the examples above. Behind this success lies a complex psychological mechanism inherent in film product placement that triggers a range of emotions and actions.


For a brand or product to evoke positive emotions, the collaboration should be carefully thought out long before the cameras start rolling. To make product placement seamlessly blend into the story and the film's DNA, it requires meticulous planning and a thoughtful integration that feels natural and unintrusive.


And then, there are those rare moments when brands or products align so perfectly with a TV title's story and vision that they unintentionally reap the benefits. Take the Korean-made dark series “Squid Game,” for instance – not only the most-watched Netflix series ever but also an unexpected boon for Vans white slip-on sales. Vans experienced an incredible 7,800% surge in sales for that specific model without even shelling out a penny for it. Now, that's the epitome of accidental success in the world of product placement!



What’s Done is Done? Virtual Product Placement


Imagine this: the traditional world of product placement in films and shows is like a carefully choreographed dance, meticulously planned well before the cameras start rolling. Once a TV title is shot, the brand's presence is etched into the scenes, forever. But what if we told you there's a way to insert a product into a film post-production, or even long after a movie has hit the big screen?


Well, enter the game-changers - NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Amazon Prime Video. These streaming giants are cooking up tools that let brands slide into television content even after it's been shot, creating a whole new playground for SVOD players. The companies call it “In-Scene Ads” and “Virtual Product Placement”, respectively.


Even if a product or signage installed post-production, the masterminds behind brand content are still part of a carefully planned collaboration. Just like the good ol' days of product placement, the goal is to seamlessly weave the brand into the fabric of the film or TV show, so that the brand can hit the sweet spot in terms of campaign KPIs, without overwhelming the audience with an in-your-face advertisement.


Virtual Ad Placements are already making waves and showing some serious results. Amazon, for instance, tried out Virtual Product Placement in their original series “Bosch.” They digitally added a bag of M&Ms to a bowl on a table, and the result? A 6.9% lift in brand favourability and a whopping 14.7% lift in purchase intent.


But the excitement doesn't stop there. NBCUniversal is taking things up a notch. They plan to use their data and make virtual ads programmatic. The products and brands will rotate based on who's watching the film – taking into account factors like age, gender, search history, and more. It's like a new-age way of cashing in on virtual ad spaces, just as long as it doesn't get too creepy. After all, we all want personalized content, but there's a fine line between cool and creepy, right?



Advertising in TV Streaming Beyond SVOD


Now, let's shift our focus to NBCUniversal and veer away from SVOD for a moment. This company has already claimed a significant slice of the media and entertainment pie, from content production and distribution to streaming. And now they're making strides in the advertising realm too. The Virtual Product Placement solution mentioned earlier is just one part of the grand plan. NBCUniversal has launched One Platform, a marketplace for buying and selling ad inventory for various streaming types, including Free Ad Supported Streaming (FAST) and Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD). With free streaming gaining momentum, so is the entire ecosystem around it.


In our recent blog post about Connect Television, we delved into some intriguing topics like churn reduction and audience engagement. Now, here's an interesting thing closely tied to those topics – the surge of interactive shoppable ads. In a survey with smart TV owners in the US, a neat 25% of respondents actively engaged with a QR code embedded into a TV show or film. And guess who's making waves again? Right, it's NBCUniversal, introducing Peacock Must ShopTV, a feature that allows users shop for items they spot in the shows or films they're tuned into. It's like they're turning our screens into a virtual shopping spree, which is so convenient for viewers and profitable for brands, streamers, and CTV in general.



How Do Film or TV Content Producers Benefit from Product and Brand Placement?


First and foremost, incorporating brands and products seamlessly into a scene is like adding a touch of reality to a film, making the characters feel like genuine individuals living in a natural environment. Just like any other stage prop, products play a crucial role in transforming a viewer into the world the content producer envisions. But here's the question – why create this immersive environment for free?


Now, let's dive into the primary and most obvious reason why movie productions eagerly partner with brands – money, and lots of it. Product placements serve as a lucrative avenue for content creators to secure additional funds for their productions. The opportunities to monetize are as vast as the array of brands surrounding a TV character in a film reality – from bottles and apparel to vehicles and outdoor billboards, the possibilities are endless. According to Statista, films accounted for a staggering $2.8 billion in product placement revenue worldwide in 2021. Now, that's no small change.


Let's highlight some of the grand examples of paid film in-ads. Picture this – a mere 10 seconds of Heineken's appearance in "Skyfall" cost the beer company a cool $45 million. And who can forget the iconic Aston Martin, spending a whopping $140 million to be the official James Bond car in "Die Another Day"? Talk about making a statement on the big screen!


Now, circling back to those innovative tools we touched upon earlier – Virtual Product Placements. These tools offer a golden opportunity for content creation companies to recoup missed revenue and further monetize their existing TV content, whether it's freshly produced or not-so-fresh. It's a chance to breathe new life into scenes and turn them into valuable ad inventory. After all, why let those scenes go to waste when they could be generating additional revenue? It's a win-win situation for both content creators and brands looking to make their mark in the film reality.



About allrites


We are allrites, a global video content subscription service and marketplace facilitating both the procurement and distribution of licensed videos including but not limited to, films, documentaries & TV content. Allrites provides a streamlined process and single platform connecting, sellers of content, such as major studios, independent producers and production companies, to the content consumers ranging from established and emerging broadcasters to streaming platforms around the world.

Need help getting license for films and TV Series? Feel free to reach out to us.




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