Being back in Newport after a trip out west to Sundance for the acclaimed film festival has given us some time to reflect on what was for us here at Performance Research, the most interesting movie of the festival – “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” by Morgan Spurlock.
While I am sure the majority of you know what the movie is about, for those who do not, here is the recap:
Director Morgan Spurlock completes a successful plight to create a film of which the main subject is corporate product placement in television and movies. Of course, there is a twist, and the twist is he successfully demonstrates how to garner product placement, by cleverly gaining corporate sponsors to fund the very movie (while filming the entire process) being made. Effectively, the movie becomes a ‘how to’ documentary for anyone looking to find corporate support, while also questioning the notion that Hollywood is ‘selling out’.
Now as those of us who are in tune with the world of marketing know, product placement has been around for a long time, and will continue to be part of the world in which we live for the foreseeable future. That being said, while Spurlock’s film does a good job of educating the masses about product placement and how marketers choose to advertise their product, here at Performance Research, the film nudged us to think more about the effectiveness of this tool. This meaning, does product placement work?
Of course, without conducting specific studies into the value of product placement little can be verified, but we do believe many of the same rules we apply to event sponsorship also apply to product placement. The brand must activate and engage the viewers, just like they would attendees at a sporting event or during a mobile marketing unit tour. In doing so, product placement has the potential to become a fruitful form of advertising, reaching the masses, while possibly creating a desire for the product you are pitching.
Spurlock’s movie certainly created a buzz regarding this subject and we imagine it will grow when the film is released nationwide in April. We look forward to watching it again in the spring and in the meantime we will keep our sponsor eye looking for great activation of product placement in film and television.
When sponsoring an event, your affiliation is lost if you do not actively engage people.
Just watching this video, you can see how signage is little more than clutter.
Consumers want to be talked to, not shouted at!
This past weekend I took a quick trip down to NYC to visit some old friends and take care of some holiday shopping. Of course, despite the tugs from my girfriend, I could not help but stop and analyze what some companies were up to as far as sponsorship and activation.
One of the moments that really pushed me to take out the camera and notepad was upon seeing a Metro PCS promotion in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan. There was a woman dressed up in a purple Metro PCS outfit, standing on a corner outside a subway stop. Now this seems like a perfect opportunity to shout your message, right? Too bad it wasn’t working out as planned.
Even though that particular corner wasn’t the busiest citywide, the real problem was the lack of enthusiasm from the employee. The hired worker basically just stood there, not going up to anyone and looking totally non commited to her role. As we pointed out a few weeks ago in discussing the Charmin pop up in Times Square, with its outstanding engagement approach, peoples attitudes are the KEY to on street promotions. If you smile and interact with everyone that passes by, you have a much higher success rate than just standing there (Duh!).
Another two potential customers walk by, unengaged.
Now that we establshed that the Metro PCS promotional worker should have been more effective, lets take a look at who else was responsible for this quiet city corner.
While we are not sure whether this particular promotion was a result of a local store or the national headquarters, we are sure that a person in charge should make sure that everything is working! From a corporate perspective, if they are providing a promotional budget for a local store to hire this girl, shouldn’t they make sure the local store knows how to run the event properly? And from the other side, if corporate is running the promo, shouldn’t they have someone from within operating hands on when training the staff and picking a location? Either way, choosing and managing proper staff would do worlds to make this promotion more effective.
Hopefully in the future, Metro PCS and other companies with good ideas should take it a step further to make sure their plans are carried out with the same energy that was used in the creation process.