Innovative Influencing


Innovative Influencing

Product placement has long been recognized as an important tool to increase brand awareness, and there are more creative approaches available than ever before. Aislinn Burton reports.

“Brands are always looking for new ways to engage, and the importance of social media influencers cannot be underestimated,” said Susan Kayser, Partner at K&L Gates LLP (USA), speaking in Monday’s CM51: Madison Avenue Meets Hollywood: Navigating Product Placement Deals in Movies and Television.

Ms. Kayser explained that product placement is not just beneficial for brand awareness: it also has a direct impact on consumer purchasing.

“There’s an emotional pull that people respond to when they see a product in a movie they’ve already chosen to watch,” she said, and a significant number of consumers would be more likely to buy something if they have seen it in a movie.

“It makes people prefer, and identify with, the brand,” Ms. Kayser added.

For example, Reese’s Pieces, a candy manufactured by The Hershey Company (USA), was “made popular” by being featured in iconic movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, according to Christine Hernandez, Vice President and General Counsel at The H.D. Lee Company, Inc. (USA).

Today, brands have access to many new and innovative ways to place their product; they’re no longer limited to movies and TV shows.

Giselle Huron, Trademark Counsel at Google (USA), explained that there are “more unconventional ways to have product placement”, for example, on social media or through live engagement with entertainment shows.

“Searching through social media is very helpful; brands need to know what people are talking about,” Ms. Kayser said, as brands need to “think carefully about who consumers are listening to.”

She added that “if a brand can connect with a social media influencer who already has authenticity, that’s a significant upside—it will positively impact brand awareness and, ultimately, sales.”

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