The contrasting definitions of Advertising and Product Placement, part 1

September 2, 2017By

The music industry over the past 60 years has been at the helm of innovation and progression as genres of music have changed with the times. People have come and people have gone, reputations have risen and reputations have fallen, and money has been made and money has been lost.

It is not only the music that has been influenced by the industry as political, social and fashion issues have been strongly influenced by what has been happening in the music world. The music industry does not follow trends it sets the trend.

Anti-racist Rock concert in Manchester in 1980

Over the decades the industry has had to reinvent itself as the times have changed. The original main sources of income from record sales, concert tickets and the selling of merchandise, have been eaten into by the creation of the digital world. Michael Jackson’s album Thriller is the biggest album seller of all time.

Michael Jackson’s album thriller 65 million sales world wide

The industry has had to look at itself and decide how it will still be a success in the modern world. The growth of the music video since the creation of MTV in 1981, has given the industry a world of advertising and product placement that has generated millions of dollars.

It is no accident that as record sales have fallen the revenue being generated from these music videos has risen but what is product placement and how does it differ from advertising. Advertising. According to the Economic Times advertising is a means of communication with the users of a product or a service. They are paid for by those who send out the adverts. Product Placement.

According to the business dictionary product placement is an advertisement technique used by companies to subtly promote their products through a non-traditional method, usually through film, television or other media.

Lady Gaga’s “subtle” product placement techniques

So in layman’s terms, the difference between the two is that advertisements are plain to see, whilst the product placement is a subtle technique of advertising such as the video just happening to focus on a I phone for 15 seconds.

This appears to be quite straight forward until one views Lady Gaga’s and Beyonce’s joint 9 minutes long music video titled “Telephone”. The video manages to plug 9 separate products into the production and in no way can anyone claim that this techniques used in this video are at all subtle.

The future of Product Placement

Despite there being uncertainty over the definition of Product Placement there is no doubt that it is here to stay. Nowadays the cost of producing a music video ranges between 20,000 and 500,000 dollars and any aspiring musician or band needs a music video.

Directors such as Director X and Bryan Barber have made their names making hit music videos for artists such as Outcast, Game, Usher and Rhianna. However with their rising reputations comes a financial burden that the record company and artist has to bear. This is the beauty of product placement as the artists, bands and record companies are able to recuperate the money they have invested in making the video. Unless the music industry finds another way to make more money it looks very much that product placement is here to stay.

Filed in: Music

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.