Brands are invading your favorite streaming shows and movies whether you realize it or not

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In episode 1 of Sexy Beasts – the new dating-show-with-a-twist that Netflix

NFLX
debuted on July 21, in which participants hide behind masks and prosthetics – viewers meet Emma, ​​a New York model who seeks love. While wearing a flaming red demon makeup, ie. His suitors, per the show’s premise, are also hidden under layers of various costumes – including a guy named Adam, who is dressed like a mouse and whose thick Manchester accent points out to Emma that it reminds him of it. sort of Peaky Blinders. Which is, of course, a nice intra-streamer commercial on one high-profile Netflix series for another from Netflix – about a gangster squad in the English city of Birmingham after WWI.

Sexy Beasts is a reality show, and while there is no reason to believe that the Peaky Blinders The remark didn’t happen spontaneously, it also serves as a reminder of something easy to forget in the age of streaming: convenience comes at a price. And we’re not talking about the monthly bill that hits your credit card every month for these streaming services.

Platforms like Netflix, Apple TV +, and HBO Max (depending on the subscription package you pay), among others, have allowed us to happily inject an uninterrupted stream of content right into the pleasure center of our brains. Best of all, we can enjoy it all without the incessant interruption of commercials, that barely tolerated relic of the days when broadcast television reigned supreme.

However, just because we no longer watch commercials, now that we’ve moved most of our viewing from TV to streamers, doesn’t mean that we won’t find any more brands waiting for us there. Indeed, thanks to their aggressive countermovements worthy of Netflix‘s Beth Harmon herself The Queen’s Gambit, brands are getting more and more creative in how they deliver the message they want to share in front of a streaming audience that doesn’t always even realize it’s there. That is, advertising remains an extremely pervasive force that you cannot hide from – not completely. Streaming fans, let it be known: you will be marketed. In a way, in a way.

If you take a closer look, you will see that Netflix is ​​full of many more examples of this same sort of thing. These are all attempts, both overt and subtle, to position a brand in front of viewers for maximum brand awareness, while walking that fine line of not being too obvious about it and leaving a bad taste in your mouth. viewers. The importance of Coke and the Eggo waffle brand in the hit Netflix series Strange things, for example, was in the same vein. As was the case a few years ago, when Netflix worked with Subway to come up with a Green Egg and Ham Sub Sandwich – made with eggs, ham, guacamole, and cheese in connection with Netflix Green Eggs and Ham Series.

According to a report, Eggo has in fact raised over $ 200,000 in “earned media value” through its prominent presence in Strange things (Egg waffles, you will recall, were a favorite snack of Eleven, the girl with mysterious powers). In this case, Eggo was apparently unaware that the brand was going to be so prominently in the first season. But by the time the second season arrived, the brand was ready and waiting to take action – fully ready to now capitalize on the connection to the show via a mix of experiential marketing as well as social media campaigns.

Global product placement spend is expected to jump 13.8% (from a mere 5.9% increase in overall marketing spend), according to research firm PQ Media, to $ 23.3 million This year.

“If I start tinkering with my viewing experience as a streaming service series, I am potentially no longer exposed to traditional TV advertising,” said David Schweidel, professor of marketing at Emory University. Bloomberg recently. “So product placement becomes the way to cut costs associated with production when you don’t have advertising to back you up. “

This assessment, however, is not a one-off proposition. Yes, he notes that productions don’t have any advertising to back them up, but he ignores the fact that services like Netflix have a massive subscriber base that generates recurring and somewhat predictable revenue on a monthly basis. Plus, what we think of as product placement can be a bit more nuanced at times – Netflix, in particular, points out that companies don’t need money to put brands and marketing messages in your face. But it’s also not the same as saying those marks aren’t there at all.

Another very popular Netflix series, the worldwide success of the streamer in Spanish Money theft (a.k.a La Casa de Papel), offered another opportunity to prove how, as a recent New York Times headline explained: “Netflix is ​​ad-free, but not unbranded.”

Season 5 of the series arrives in September. In a cross-promotion effort from 2019, meanwhile, clothing company Diesel reportedly paid Netflix a license fee to create a clothing line inspired by the series. In reality, a commercial of the company included a video of actors wearing the products and was shot in a way that made it look like it was footage from the show. In other words, Netflix’s content doesn’t just offer an attractive canvas for brands to post a message that millions of viewers around the world will see. Netflix’s content also contains enough inherent marketing power for brands, so that the opportunity can be seized offline and in the real world as well.

And it’s not just Netflix. There are no adverts or adverts to interrupt shows and movies on Apple TV +, but you will still find posts there that convey a bit to the public about the brand of the maker of the iPhone. As in the second season of Ted lasso, which debuted on Apple TV + on July 23.

At some point in the new season, Coach Beard tells his fellow AFC Richmond coaching staff that he has a new woman in his life. And it got serious. How does he prove it got serious? Why, by explaining to his colleagues that the duo now share an iCloud account, of course.

To get a feel for what this all looks like on the cinematic side of the equation, Concave Brand Tracking researched the 50 Most-Watched Movies of 2020 and took note of each brand that was on them. They also measured the visibility of brands, the length of their screen presence and the advertising value generated by this exposure. In total, the list ultimately included 1,000 different brands, “which collectively numbered nearly 2,000 film / brand collaborations,” according to the company.

An example: the company calculates that “Porsche has received more than 7.5 million dollars in product placement” via Bad boys for life, with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith (who drives a 2020 911 Carrera FS throughout the film).

Based on brand value, the top 10 movies released in 2020, ranked by product placement value, were as follows (also noting the brand value included in each movie, according to the concave brand tracking ):

  1. Bad boys for life – $ 90 million
  2. Spenser Confidential – $ 85 million
  3. gentlemen – $ 69 million
  4. Wonder Woman 1984 – $ 59 million
  5. Principle – $ 53 million
  6. Extraction – $ 48 million
  7. The bad Missy – $ 33 million
  8. The old guard – $ 33 million
  9. Sonic the hedgehog – $ 33 million
  10. Project power – $ 32 million
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