Sunday, February 23, 2014

APPLES AND ORANGES: PRODUCT PLACEMENT OR POP CULTURE

A recent article on the tech site "Engadget" recently caught my attention. The author used a screen capture from the runaway Netflix series House Of Cards to  provide an example of untenable strategic product placement.

The image in question is 31 minutes and 42 seconds into the sixth episode of season one of the House of Cards. The author calls out what he sees as blatant product placement. He is so bothered by the deliberate product placement that has been put off the show.

The shot featured nine apple devices being used by just two people. Overkill sponsored paid for by Apple, the author suggests.
House of Cards

Or, is it really just a reflection of pulp culture and the pervasiveness of Apple in the communications market place. I am rarely without my iPhone, iPad Mini and my MacBook Air. Together they are the underpinnings of my virtual office. I often have an Apple TV in my work bag as well for presentations. My house contains well over a dozen Apple products.

While having a coffee at a local coffee shop yesterday, I counted ten iPhones, three Macbooks and a few iPads. There were other smartphones as well. It seemed everyone was connected.

It turns out that Apple did not pay the producers of A House of Cards for product placement. They did donate some equipment for use by the actors.

For better, or for worse, popular culture is full of examples where brands have paid for the pleasure of standing beside the stars. Some of the worst include the integration of cigarettes to emblazon their coolness into the collective consciousness.

An example that rushes to my mind is the Reese's Pieces trail in the movie ET. Apparently, M&Ms balked at the offer. Sales of Reese's Pieces jumped 65%.

We are inundated with advertising everyday, from T-shirts, Social Media to traditional mediums like television. It just seems to me that product placement is a fair approach for companies to reach an engaged audience.

I zone out on commercials, but am likely to be receptive to product placement.

I certainly do not feel manipulated or misled.












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