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Is product placement taking the place of TV commercials?
Probably not, at least not in the near future, but it is beginning to get a lot of attention from the companies that have the resources to invest in it. With TiVo offering consumers the ability to eliminate commercials, advertisers have had to resort to more creative ways to reach their target market. Staples took advantage of this with the desk apprentice, Home Depot has done it on TLC's Trading Spaces, and the Audi A8 achieved an amazing level of exposure in the Transporter 2 movie trailer.
So just how new is this idea of product placement? It's not new at all really. It's commonly known in the industry that the product launch of Hershy's Reeses Pieces was jump started through product placement in E. the Extra-Terrestrial, but it goes back even farther than that -- Mobil oil used it in a 1949 film featuring Harpo Marx called Love Happy.
Product placement is well outside of the budget of most businesses but if you think creatively, you can find ways to use small scale product placement in your favor. A sports drink manufacturer could provide free products to an up and coming athlete, a furniture company could lend their furniture for the set of an independent film, or a clothing company could offer their outfits for a music video. What can your business do?.
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