Product Placement On Reality TV: Is It Effective?
In the past, people used to be tolerant of ad breaks when they were watching some of their favorite TV shows. Back then, they could choose to mute the TV and get themselves a snack or something of the like, which meant skipping the ads. But as the ad breaks became longer and longer throughout the years, and streaming services began providing more and more content, people switched from linear TV to a subscription streaming model. With that switch, they didn’t need to watch any ads as they paid a subscription to the streaming service to watch their favorite shows ad-free. This means brands had to get more creative and figure out new ways they could reach their target audiences. And thus, brands started to think more carefully about what is product placement and how they could use it to their benefit. As a result, product placement, not a new concept (product placement in movies and television has been around for many decades)started getting more popular than ever.Their audiences didn’t always consciously pick up on these promotional efforts. And they couldn’t skip the advertising efforts as they did with ad breaks.
Some of the top brands and corporations around the world have been able to afford to get their products placed in some of the most popular shows and films. But that wasn’t the case for every brand. Not to mention shows and films have to strike a delicate balance so that they didn’t make the promotional efforts too overt for the viewers. It also meant ensuring that the products are visible in the right way, and at the right time. Savvy viewers often gett quite upset over the product placement in their favorite films and shows. Back in 2019, viewers of the popular show Game of Thrones had a very negative reaction when seeing an out-of-place cup of coffee from Starbucks in the last season of the show. They were wondering whether it was a sly attempt at product placement or an honest mistake from someone working on the show. The executive producer said that it was a mistake, but viewers have remained untrusting.
With the changes in viewer sentiment, companies had to get creative with product placement in TV shows yet again. That’s when brands started turning to reality TV, sponsoring different shows, or getting their products featured in them, including the Kardashians or Vanderpump Rules. The viewership figures for reality TV have been increasing since the pandemic started, and that trend has continued. Viewers have been looking for more light-hearted shows, which reality TV is able to provide. Brands took note of this shift in viewership and leveraged product placement to their advantage.