Product placement in advertising

One of my students wrote a research proposal about product placement in movies. Reading it got me thinking. Some commercials, some of the best, feature the sponsor's product as an incidental part of the narrative.

A couple come very quickly to mind, Flat Eric for Levis and skating priests for Stella Artois. My interpretation of the charmingly existential Levis ad is that non-iron chinos could be cool - whereas they might have been perceived as naff before the campaign. The Stella commercial is a part of the superb campaign that understates the overstatement of the postioning 'reassuringly expensive'. The performances are brilliant, the casting superb and all of the craftwork employed in the making as good as any film. What genius to have the product inherent in the story but never overtly touted.

Flat Eric: Levis, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, 1999.

Skating Priests: Stella Artois, Lowe London

Both are evidence that commuication with a degree of subtlety is far more engaging than urgent 'buy my product now' messages. They also reinforce the wonderful presentation by Amsterdam based planner Jeffre Jackson of OIA on the subject of interestingness. "Nobody reads/watches ads, they read/watch what interests them." - Howard Gossage

What do you think?


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