What if all you had to do to increase sales was to make sure people saw your product? No shilling. No salesperson, just your product in action, even in the background. It’s not a marketer’s fantasy . . . it’s reality. It’s called “product placement” and it’s simply the practice of embedding products into a movie or TV show. This simple promotion is very effective. Even if viewers see right through your plan and think of your product placement as an attempt at manipulation, it works! One of the most famous examples of product placement is Reese’s Pieces. Not many people had heard of the candy until after their placement in the movie, E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial. Reese’s Pieces sales skyrocketed 65 percent after the movie came out. M&M executives who turned down the deal may still be regretting their decision to this day. Psychologists explain the phenomenon using words like, “implicit attitudes, implicit self-identification and brand association.” But it all comes down to this: we all want to own, wear and use what the cool kids (or characters) are using, eating or wearing.
Study after study shows that we see a product more favorably if a character or celebrity or actor we like is using it. Experts say the only way to not be influenced by product placement is to not watch television or movies. Deadly, right? If you have a product or service start looking for ways to get it placed in movies, or on television. It’s why companies have celebrities endorse their products, and it’s why they pull their endorsement when a celebrity screws up. Even if you just place your own book, product, DVD in your own YouTube videos, you’re still affecting and influencing watchers. If you’re not looking for places to showcase your product or services, you’re missing a great opportunity.
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