Continuing from yesterday’s post, “Clark Gable: He’s Just Not That Into…Undershirts,” we are talking about name brand products being deliberately displayed in movies to influence consumer spending. Placing products in movies is big business for merchandisers, ad men, and marketers – and highly competitive, given the cluttered field.
To learn about strategic product placement in movies, I visited the website of Norm Marshall & Associates of Los Angeles/New York/Boston/Sydney/Tokyo, an entertaining marketing firm. We sense the cutthroat nature of the business when we read on Norm Marshall’s website that:
“As audiences continue to be sliced among proliferating media and properties, we continue to find ways to reach them.” History has proven the effectiveness of product placement in movies. Norm Marshall cites these examples:
When Clark Gable got undressed for bed, he was seen not wearing an undershirt under his shirt in the 1934 movie “It Happened One Night.” The most popular undershirt in the 1930s was the sleeveless A-shirt, or tank top. Undershirt sales plummeted, thanks for Gable – for no real man would wear an undershirt if screen idol Gable didn’t.
James Dean, the movie idol of the 1950s, caused sales of Ace Combs to reach record levels when he slicked back his hair with one in “Rebel Without A Cause.”
Sales of RayBan™ sunglasses skyrocketed after handsome and sleek Tom Cruise wore them in the 1985 movie “Risky Business.”
Association with Steven Spielberg’s movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial increased the sales of peanut butter and chocolate Reeses Pieces™ by 70%.