|Editorial: Product Placement for Australia film? - Publication: Australian Financial Review
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Imagine Jennifer Anniston downing a strategically
placed Coopers Ale on Friends, Eric Banna smearing Vegemite over
his sultry love interest in Hulk 2 or maybe Mel Gibson sporting
a pair of Dunlop Volley’s in the next Mad Max?
Product placement, the practice of strategically
placing products and films and TV shows has been standard practice
for the US film and television industry for the past twenty years,
serving as both a cost effective promotions vehicle for assorted
goods and services and a welcome source of income for production
As yet relatively unknown in Australia, Los Angeles
based placement consultancy Set Resources aim to make a serious
bid for the Australian marketplace, targeting industry sectors,
such as clothing, alcohol, food and beverage and in turn promote
the global visibility of "intrinsically Australian products,"
in television shows and films.
Compared to conventional advertising, product placement
offers serious ROI and is now a standard component of many US ad
agencies booking schedules. Unlike the hefty (US)$100,000 price
tag of placing a single spot ad on cinema screens or prime time,
TV, product placement isn’t limited to a one time appearance and
fee, it travels timelessly with a production, crossing all media,
from cinema screen, to video, DVD, online and beyond.
With the average cost of a film placement valued
at $5,000 and the standard reach of a major studio distributed film
in excess of a hundred million people (including all ancillary distribution),
the average "cost per thousand" (CPM) of product placement
translates to less than a dollar per thousand.
In operation for over two years, Santa Monica
based Set Resources typify a new generation of placement agencies.
Representing clients such as Stolichnoya vodka, Lancombe skin and
hair care and, Haagen Daaz ice cream, the company lay claim to unparalleled
results for clients, defying the industry standard of 10- 12 placements
every year, and achieving a rate of 25-30.
Set Resources have achieved placements on some
of world’s highest profile films and TV shows over the last 6-12
months, including The King of Queens, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm,
Everybody Loves Raymond, CSI (and Miami), 24 Gilmore Girls, and
Will & Grace. Film placements have included The Hulk, The Matrix
Reloaded, Barbershop, Bruce Almighty, Charlie's Angels II, Anger
Management, National Security, Tomb Raider II, Terminator III, and
the Italian Job.
According to MD Aaron Gordon, "last year, our client
Stolichnoya vodka received more than thirty placements over
an hour of screen time. This equates to media value in the millions;
including 400 million 'first-run impressions'; and five verbal mentions
Some of their placements included West Wing, The Sopranos,
Just Shoot Me, and Will & Grace".
Gordon further highlighted successes achieved for
client Clos Du Val Winery, with the brand achieving fifty
percent of all placement opportunities available to them, despite
competing against hundreds of other major brands. This success was
underscored by Clos Du Val marketing head, Brooke Correll, "Set
Resources has more than delivered on their promises. Their purpose
is to create brand awareness and it’s working. It has been
a great tool for us."
SR provide their clients with "Product Placement
Reports" detailing a placement project synopsis, divulging
the type of placement, cast, network, a summary of the specific
opportunity, and the number of placements and their value compared
to a paid spot.
Gordon elaborates, "we provide monthly reports
to our clients that include a work overview placement results; footage
from every placement; relevant demographic information for their
placements; and media value of the placements. Additionally, we
provide an end-of-the-year report that reviews their entire year
of placements along with a 'high-quality' professionally edited
highlight reel of their best placements for use in sales meetings,
publicity efforts and internal reporting."
A major component of Set Resources placement success
stems from their unique stance on the production process. "Our production
friendly model is such that we are constantly on TV/film sets to
assist our contacts with their sets and scenes, not just to push
products on them," says Aaron Gordon. " This creates a very good
relationship whereby productions get what they need in a timely,
helpful manner and our clients get tremendous exposure."
Building on their success as a placement consultancy
Set Resources have recently established their own branded entertainment
production facility, whereby they can create a client a show, from
concept to finished production.
One current branded entertainment project includes
a celebrity based TV series, looking at home renovation of
the stars and highlighting a homewares client. Future branded entertainment
projects will see Set Resources active in industry sectors such
as technology, automotive and a spectrum of retailers and service
Other developing areas are celebrity seeding, entertainment
relations, and strategic Hollywood partnerships. "Teaming brands
with a celebrity vehicle can achieve a phenomenal impact with modest
costs above existing advertising," says Gordon. "Set Resources works
with promotions departments at every major studio and television
network to create a match made in Hollywood, we also guide our clients
through every step of the process, from negotiation to final execution."
"We will design and execute an entertainment relations
and celebrity seeding campaign that incorporates your brand into
film festivals, movie premiers, celebrity charity events, music
tours and other special events," says Gordon.
To date, SR have given various clients high profile
presence at events such as Sundance and Canne film festivals, the
Oscars, celebrity golf events, Paramount and Newline cinema premiers,
and assorted charity functions, including the Elizabeth Glaser
SR also instigate "celebrity gifting" activities
(where a star gets free stuff in exchange for a testimonial). The
company has focused heavily of late on Stoli vodka, with gifted
samples of the product gaining public acknowledgement from a growing
stable of celebrities, including Tara Reid, and Bachelorette
Trista Rehn, and Craig Kilbourne of The Late Late Show (CBS).
Gordon believes his company has only tapped the
surface of increasingly complex practices. "The future will see
advertisers partnering with celebrities, high- profile directors
and producers, they will potentially own their own productions and
have significant say over how their products are used".
Written by Craig
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