Tag Archives: Product placement

Product Placement, a short review – “The Shadow Knows”

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Poe's novel inspired later writers, including ...

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Since the 1950’s product placement has been around in movies. Like all great stories, it started with an “African Queen” and some Gordon’s Gin. But it has really existed since Jules Verne’s, “Le Tour du monde en 80 jours”, 1873. Where, supposedly, shipping companies lobbied to be included in his book.

To put it bluntly, product placement is paid for time and space that is integrated into TV shows, films, podcasts or webcast and sometimes even radio programs.

Product placement lends itself to everything from a major character picking up a can and drinking Pepsi to a dialogue about a product during the movie. Like the one that transpires between Lamont Cranston and his arch-nemesis in the “Shadow.” A 1994 film adaptation of a pulp magazine character and later a US radio broadcast in the 1930’s.

Arch-nemesis: In three days, the entire world will hear my roar, and willingly fall subject to the lost empire of Shan Kahn. That is a lovely tie, by the way. May I ask where you acquired it?
Lamont Cranston: Brooks Brothers.
Arch-nemesis: Is that mid-town?
Lamont Cranston: 45th and Madison. You are a barbarian.
Arch-nemesis: Thank you. We both are.

But let us not overlook that simple product placement is just as effective as more direct product placement. For instance, in the hit TV show Psych, Shawn, the fun and wild fake psychic, uses an Apple MacBook Pro while Gus, his partner and straight man in the routine, uses a Dell PC. This also reinforces the message that Apple has been promoting with its Above the Line Advertising Campaign, AKA “Get a Mac.

These simple types of product placement might seem irrelevant but they do reinforce a subconscious message to you, the audience. Think about that the next time you go out and try to decide the type of shoes, computer, office software or t-shirt that you are going to buy.

That is about it for this post. Right now we are off to buy new White Apple MacBooks for the office. ; )

Location, Location, Location – Bad locations are just as bad as no location (Part 1 of 3)

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Most of us have been taught the importance of location and placement. You wouldn’t go to a grocery store if you found the cereals in the freezer section or the beer on several different aisles. But that is exactly what happens when your business or product has a poor location or placement.

I remember that about four years ago a woman approached Newman Partnership Ltd. (NPL) for a market research project for her restaurant. The restaurant was located in a small town outside of Charleston, SC. And she wanted to know why her restaurant was failing. She had been a successful restaurant manager, but this was her first personal endeavor.

It only took me about 15 minutes of observational research to understand the trouble. She had opened a four star restaurant in a two star town. While the menu was reasonably priced, the atmosphere was extremely artistic. And the only people dinning there were wearing flannel shirts and baseball caps for John Deer.

The client explained to NPL that business was only really booming during a single time in the year, the Hampton County Watermelon Festival. But during the rest of the year she could barely stay in business.

Although I already knew the answer to her problem, I asked that she give me a few weeks to do some research, think about her problem and develop a few options.

(Lloyd N. Newman’s , founder of the Newman Partnership Ltd., favorite answer, “Let me think about it.”)

This is the first of a three-part blog. Next time I will discuss the initial ideas that Newman Partnership Ltd. brought to the table. And why, in some cases, a poor location is just as bad as having no location.