Product placement is a type of advertising, in which promotional advertisements placed by marketers using real commercial products and services in media, where the presence of a particular brand is the result of an economic exchange. When featuring a product is not part of an economic exchange, it is called a product plug. Product placement appears in plays, film, television series, music videos, video games and books. It became more common starting in the 1980s, but can be traced back to at least 1949. Product placement occurs with the inclusion of a brand’s logo in shot, or a favorable mention or appearance of a product in shot. This is done without disclosure, and under the premise that it is a natural part of the work. Most major movie releases today contain product placements. The most common form is movie and television placements and more recently computer and video games. Recently, websites have experimented with in-site product placement as a revenue model.
In early media, e.g. radio in the 1930s and 1940s and early television in the 1950s, companies often underwrote programs. “Soap operas” are called such because consumer packaged goods companies such as Procter & Gamble or Unilever initially underwrote them. Sponsorship still exists today with programs being sponsored by major vendors such as Hallmark. Incorporation of products into the actual plot of a TV show is generally called “brand integration
Actual product placement, according to Hollywood product placement association falls into two categories: products or locations that are obtained from manufacturers or owners to reduce the cost of production, and products that deliberately placed into productions in exchange for fees.
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