Saturday, 12 March 2011

Product Placement in music videos

The Power of Product Placement in music videos!

I was watching the new video from Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez and I just had to blog about product placement in music videos. I will be posting these music videos at the end of this post.
Music and advertising have been mixing together for a long time, starting with the famous driving his Chevy from Don McLean in ‘American Pie’ to the song ‘Pass the Courvoisier’ from Busta Rhymes. One of the main reasons for this is that artists depend on advertising money to support their career.
More than often, the money these celebrities receive from product placement in music videos will pay for the video itself. The deal with advertising can help to reduce the continually increasing cost of music video productions. The most expensive music video ever made being Scream by Michael Jackson, which cost 7 million dollars so maybe you can understand why they might need every bit of extra cash.

Why is this important for PR professionals?
Research has shown that placing products in music videos have been increasing gradually. It was found that from 1979 to 1997 rap music with brand name mentions increased from 46% to 71%. This shows that product placements in music videos is not new, however the effectiveness of the product placement is still not clear. If musicians decide to include your product you can have very little control over its usage and this could have a positive or negative effect.
This could be very useful to PR professionals because it has been stated that the pairing of brands with characters may facilitate the transfer of evaluative meaning from artists to embedded brands. Through music videos the artist is also subtly selling a lifestyle, not just the music.
Music Videos are now full with product placements. A recent example is Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s track ‘Telephone’. I’ve posted the video below and there are nine product placements:
1:34: Heartbeats earphones.
2:06: Virgin Mobile.
2:17: Diet Coke.
4:15: Virgin Mobile (again).
4:24: HP Envy ‘Beats Limited Editon’ laptop from Monster.
4:28: Plenty Of Fish dating site.
4:44: Chevrolet.
5:37: Polaroid.
6:24: Wonderbread.
6:36: Miracle Whip.
8:31: Polaroid (again).

When do you think product placement get ‘too much’?
When does it cross the line and become ‘unethical’?
 Or, should it just continue to increase more and more?
I’ve posted another two videos below Jennifer Lopez’s new song and Britney Spears. Spot the product placement.