Product placement is a funny thing; more often than not when you see a brand in a movie or a TV reality show it’s been placed there at a price. Most of the time, those placements are heavy-handed and disruptive — not a good thing. If a viewer feels the product has been curated into a story it suspends belief. Kind of like bad acting.
When discussing commercial social media I often refer to the need for the brand poster – the person posting on behalf of the brand — to create a persona, complete with a tangible, obvious motivation. For Zude.com, for instance, “Tip-Z” was created as a roving help person. She assisted people with the drag and drop application, but she did so as a bit of a tippler. Hic. So some of her help came out a bit garbled, goofy and funny. Personality flaws aside, it made Tip-Z real.
Product placement on TV that doesn’t fit or social media personalities that lack personality underachieve. Content may be king but context is key. One way around what Steve Rubel calls “The Attention Crash” is to create muscle memory for brands. While others are out there shamelessly hawking product and services one on top of the other, smart brands are standing out because they create memorable context. Meaningful, memorable context. Peace!