One of my favorite movies is Love Actually. The movie begins with aging rocker, Billy Mack, bastardizing one of his former hits, Love is All Around Us to Christmas is All Around Us. The idea was to capitalize on holiday sales. In truth, Love is All Around was originally recorded back in the 60s by The Troggs.
The song came to mind as I mulled around what to write for this blog. Love IS all around. But I contend an even more prevalent force surrounding us is media.
According to a report issued by the San Diego Supercomputer Center at USC each of us consume over 15.5 hours of media each day… outside of work. Wow! That’s a lot of media. We’ve developed into a multitasking society where we have a television show on, while using social media on our computers and sending text or Tweets on our smart phones. So, it is possible for a person to consume more than 24 hours of media within a 24 hour period.
Product placement is where a brand is incorporated into the scenery of a movie or television show. And it’s big. Really BIG. In 2017, product placement represented $8.78 Billion in spending.
A little product placement history
One of the first product placements I remember is Reese’s Pieces in the movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial.
Yes, originally Spielberg wanted to use M&Ms, but Mars turned him down. So, the producers went to Hershey’s and they gladly gave permission to use their little known candy. The deal struck between Hershey’s and the movie producers involved a Hershey promise to spend $1,000,000 to promote the movie. In exchange, Hershey’s could use E.T. in their ads. After the movie’s premier, sales of Reece’s pieces increased by 65 percent.
When they re-released E.T. in 2002, Hershey’s struck a similar deal (as this commercial demonstrates.)
There are four types of product placement.
One is the deal like Reese’s pieces.
A second type involves the company providing the movie producers big ticket items such as cars, appliances, technology equipment for free. Almost half of all product placement is based on this type of deal.
The third type is “straight fee.” This is where the advertiser pays to have the product included in the film or television show.
Media permeates your lives. Many of you can’t live without your music. Some of you have developed friendships playing video games. You may have met the love of your life via the Internet. Others can cite television shows or movies that have changed their outlook on life.
Media does bring us together. Many of us remember where we watched HBO’s Game of Thrones finale in May 2019. Over 13 million of us watched it live. Over 19 million watched if you count streaming and replays.
The Big Bang Theory also had its finale in May 2019. Variety says 18 million of us gathered around the television set to watch.
Media brought us together. As does the Super Bowl each year.
Through this blog post we’re going to demonstrate how media changes culture. The very fact that I’m using a blog post to communicate with a classroom of students is just one example of media influence.
To start the discussion, I submit a new approach to advertising. This is an interactive video promoting the Honda Civic R. Once it starts playing press the “R” on your keyboard to see an alternate story or “the other side” of a Honda Civic.
What changes in advertising have you noticed thanks to new technology?