Explicit product placement constitutes a $4 billion market, including Coke or Cheerios placed in digital media. Product placement that includes non-identifiable products as well could be worth up to $100 billion if it considers everything seen in a show, such as the type of paint on the walls. Thousands of products appear in shows; on Desperate Housewives, Gabrielle’s Aston Martin is an explicitly placed product, but her makeup is less explicit. How many people went out and bought an Aston Martin because she had one? But how many people wanted to look as beautiful as she and would love to buy her makeup brand?
Sites like SeenON! also can take advantage of the benefits of impulse purchases, because consumers can purchase True Religion jeans at the very moment they see Izzie wearing them on Grey’s Anatomy. During prime time television hours, SeenON! makes sales while conventional retailers are closed. For consumers driven by celebrity fashions and the specific products they see on celebrities, these sites offer instant star status, rather than just eyeing them in Us Weekly, weeks after the celebrity has worn them.
1. What are some manufacturers and Internet retailers doing to stimulate demand for products that appear in the media?
2. Why are product placements becoming so popular?
Marcelle S. Fischler, “‘Grey’s Anatomy’ … and Closet,” The New York Times, February 25, 2007.