That’s the number of advertisements you are exposed to each day, according to many researchers. Estimates range from 500 to 5000, but the majority of estimates are about 3000. I’m not sure why these estimates are so varied, but there is no question that we live each day in a constant advertisement barrage.
I see advertisements daily on cars and trucks, billboards, in newspaper and magazines, online, on the radio, and television. While there are many advertisements that I consciously acknowledge and process (namely billboards since one of my good friends is the art director for Adams Outdoor Advertising), there are countless advertisements that I do not know I was exposed to, or that I choose not to acknowledge.
This lack of acknowledgement is a big problem for advertisers in getting through to the younger generations – those XY-ers (teens), Y-ers (twenties), and even younger X-ers (late twenties). With their iPods, cell phones/multimedia toys, game consoles, computers, they can block out the world at the push of a button. These generations also can be very skeptical of traditional advertising that have worked for ages on their parents and grandparents.
Because of the difficulties advertising to these generations pose, corporations have racked their brains for creative ways to capture shares of the billions of dollars represented in these generations’ spending power. Celebrity spokesmen (Peyton Manning with Sprint), humorous ads (think Super Bowl), and creative giveaways and promotions (Red Bull trucks on college campuses) are some examples.
More recently, however, product placement has exploded. Product placement is when a company buys the rights to have their product featured in a film, and in some cases, a television show or video game.A recent example of this is in the recent James Bond film Casino Royale. Aston Martin cars quickly come to mind as synonymous with Bond. Bond is cool. Bond is hot. Bond is sexy. Bond is a trend setter. While watching said film, there is a shot where Bond (played by first-time Bond actor Daniel Craig) speeds his rental Ford down a Bahaman roadway. Yes, you read that correctly. Bond driving a Ford. The prevalence of the Ford logo in the several of the next shots confirmed it for me – this was product placement.
Somewhat disgusted and offended that the filmmakers thought they could slip one by me with showing Bond driving this soon-to-be-released-in-America Ford Mondeo, I decided to watch the movie again and take note of all the product placements. I kept track by brand and product, but not by how many times each was shown. The list is as follows:
— Ericsson cell phone (every cell phone in the film was an Ericsson)
— VAIO laptop (every laptop)
— mp3 player
— Blu-ray player
— Blu-ray discs
Land Rover/Range Rover
Aston Martin (excusable)
(note: all of the above cars are owned by Ford)
New Holland bulldozer (bulletproof windshields!)
And perhaps least subtle of all – Omega watch (on the train, Vesper notices Bond’s expensive watch, and asks if it is a Rolex. Bond replies “Omega,” to which she says “A beautiful watch.”)
Sure, there were only eight corporations by my count, but in a two-hour film, eight corporations shoving their products in your face isn’t that appealing to me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the film (definitely the best Bond film since Goldeneye); but the product placement was just out of control. If you don’t believe me, rewatch the movie and take note, for example, of when Bond is driving the New Holland bulldozer and their logo is perfectly clean and centered in the close-up shot of Bond.
That said, I am opening this blog to product placement bids. While I post, I can drink a specific brand of carbonated beverage, eat a specific type of hot dog, and even talk on a specific type of cell phone. I’ll be sure to also mention such brands subtly in the text. If any company is interested, please contact me and you can be sure you will get way more value than the rumored $26 million Ford paid to have Bond drive the Mondeo.