The future of product placement in musical videos

November 22, 2017By

When looking at the future of product placement in musical videos it is important to look at it in the wider context and see how it has continued to develop in other areas. It is still huge in the film industry, on television and even in social media. There isn’t an area where product placement is slowing down. There has naturally been a public outcry against it. This method of indirect advertising sees a way of products being advertised in an indirect way. Previously good would be advertised directly by the companies paying large sums of money for advertising space on bill boards or in papers, or even a commercial on a television break.

The beauty of product placement is that the placement of these adverts can reach a global audience and will remain for as long as that film, or television program is being televised for. The companies do have to pay for the space but now the money goes directly into the pockets of those making the program, the film, or even the musical video.

Product Placement on its way to Coronation Street

Product Placement on its way to Coronation Street

The people who have attracted most criticism from the recent explosion in product placement have been the musical artists who have had their whole musical video’s production costs been paid for by different companies. Some have done this in a subtle manner while others have reveled in the opportunities to gain financial reward, for basically getting the products to enhance the videos. There has been no action by any industries to try and control product placement. The region of the world that took advantage the quickest was in the United States, and it has left the rest of the world trying to catch up.

Product Placement on its way to Coronation Street

In the UK regular sources of income for TV stations that rely on the income from traditional forms of advertising has started to be affected. ITV announced On January 30th 2018 that its long running soap drama, Coronation Street will place Costa Coffee stores and Co-Op stores as part of the new show’s set. This is the first example of British TV trying to take advantage of product placement.

So if this is the current trend in television what is the argument for asking musicians to step back from taking advantage of product placement?  Other than relying on the moral strength of the artists there is no way that it will stop in the production of the videos, as the industry has now become reliant on the money that is raised to cover the costs of the productions.

Champagne is always popular in rap music videos

Champagne is always popular in rap music videos

Champagne is always popular in rap music videos

There have been arguments in the television industry that certain products should be limited by watersheds. Some products such as gambling web sites and alcohol products should not be shown before a certain time. But this is not simply possible with music videos.

Once a music video is available on VEVO it can be played by anyone at any time and by virtually any one. Already the music industry has reveled in certain alcohol products such as champagnes and brandy being clearly advertised in many different rap videos. Many young people have already been exposed to the fact that young successful people are associated with drinking alcohol.

Lady Gaga in Poker Face

Gambling is another area that wants to become more involved with musical videos. The filming for Lady Gagas’ Poker Face took place on Bwins Poker Island. The betting company as well as having its name in full camera shot, also provided the poker equipment. In Katy Perry’s 2009 music video “waking up in Vegas” there was a clear reference to online gaming sites, such as pokerstarscasino.com, and the relationship with these sites more suited to adult audiences, does not appear to be ending.

Lady Gaga in Poker Face

Lady Gaga in Poker Face

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for overseeing the activities involving the videos in their relationship with product placement. They have recommended many things such as disclosure where products have paid to have their brand advertised in a video. Some musical videos have heeded this by adding a caption such as “ad” or “sponsor”.

So while there are some areas where musical videos are controlled, in terms of the overall future it would appear that artists and groups are free to advertise as many products as they wish in their future productions. As terrestrial television stations continue to expand into using product placement to raise revenues there is absolutely no reason why musical acts should be condemned for going down the same road, all be it a less subtle manner.

The product placement circled on “This Morning”

The product placement circled on This Morning

The product placement circled on This Morning

Maybe the biggest moment for the justification of using product placement came in February 2011 when ITV’s morning program “This morning”, place a Nescafe coffee machine in the kitchen area in full view of the cameras. This would not have generated a huge sum of money but it did show how product placement had become accepted.

Music videos are now more likely than ever to make the most of this form of advertising as it simply cannot afford to not to. It has become an essential part of the music industry

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