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Turning commercial realities into fiction

03 December 2008

For brand managers looking to increase their product’s profile and producers wanting to find new ways to finance movies and TV shows, product placement could be a winwin solution, says Brinsley Dresden, as he outlines negotiating tactics to help IP owners strike the deal they want.

Given the longevity of product placement as a marketing technique, it is surprising how many column inches it has commanded in recent months, and how much criticism it can provoke. Perhaps all this media interest is not so surprising, however, considering the happy coincidence of two events. First, the release of Casino Royale, the latest James Bond film (the Bond franchise has been credited with inventing product placement in feature films), and second, the passage through the European Parliament of the Audio Visual Media Services Directive, a precursor to the lifting of the ban on product placement in European television programmes under the current Television without Frontiers Directive.

From a brand owner’s perspective, the commercial imperatives for product placement have never been greater. When the first Bond movies were released, it was still possible to reach tens of millions of UK consumers through a well-placed 30 second television commercial on the UK’s one commercial channel. In today’s multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-media world, even if you can find a consumer under the age of 35 watching television, chances are he’ll be using a personal video recorder to skip through the commercials anyway...

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