Product integration allows marketers to have more control over how their placements work within television shows or movies. Instead of the product simply being shown on a table, or even being used or eaten, it is integrated into the script. It’s part of the storyline, characters talk about it, and it becomes linked in the minds of audience members.
That way it’s related to a particular character or characters. If viewers want to emulate them, they should purchase and use the same products. Another way advertisers ensure control over how their product, or indeed their overall brand, is perceived is in how they present their message. This message should be the same across all the communication platforms they utilize.
The chief marketing executive of an advertising agency is usually in charge of having products integrated into scripts. A requirement of doing that is knowing the target audience well enough to know which shows and movies they’d be watching as well as where they’re viewing them. That way they can work with the production company on how to best get their message across within the dialogue and action of the story.
Even though types of media are growing and the consumer population is becoming more diverse in various ways, brands can keep the identity they’ve built or are trying to build. They can also ensure that the message itself means the same thing to all people no matter where they’re getting it. Of course, advertisers pay the production company for including the product in the script and exposing it to their audience, creating a new reason for brand loyalty.
Who Should Use Product Integration?
Every brand has the potential to utilize product integration and see a benefit for it. Brands that are not so popular that they can be placed on a table and instantly recognized for what they are can use it to create buzz and become popular. The added exposure and association with a well liked character can be worth the cost.
More popular brands could use it to gain new customers because name recognition alone sometimes isn’t enough to sway consumers. If people who already know the product start associating it with their favorite character, they might try it. They might also convince others to start using it simply to spread the cool factor.
Successful or unsuccessful product integration may be tied to how well the message is transmitted across all media platforms. Similar depictions, associations, and attached feelings are the goal. The integration could be said to fail if even one attempt at integration distorts some part of the brand message.
Otherwise an advertiser could measure how many potential customers get exposed to their product and message. That would show the potential of new customers, or returning customers, and could be compared to sales numbers. Sales growth is always a good thing to follow since some things can only be guessed at.
For example, it’s difficult to know which media outlets will garner the most attention or the most loyalty. New media outlets spring up and die down fast because people interact with them and abandon them for something new. It’s also becoming harder to know how messages are being perceived by consumer groups because of how far apart they are ethnically and globally.