Is there a ceiling for product placement?

Inside Branded Entertainment ponders the ceiling for product placements. Over the last year there has been about 100% growth. If this keeps up at the current rate, how much placement clutter will there be?

At some point, marketers and networks will have to figure out how many placements per hour viewers are willing to tolerate. If they don't, "It's going to defeat the purpose," said Michael Yudin, managing director of Carat Entertainment in New York.

The other issue product placement will face is ROI.

With placement, marketers must wander off the reservation of quantifiable data and into a netherworld of unique deals, custom benchmarks and murky ROI, none of which is comparable to competitors' data.

As CNN's article states, there are now whole shows being created around showcasing a product, like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", which is basically one big ad for Sears.

Foiling ad-aversive TiVo users, TV honchos burn with gold-rush fever as they stake out a zap-proof advertising gold mine: the programming itself.

The thing is, when the placement becomes too much for viewers to bear, or becomes more prominent than the storyline, what will happen? If the statistics mentioned in Inside Branded Entertainment's article continue at the current pace, it could be that every single show on TV will feature some sort of product placement.

There are companies like iTVX which specialize in product placement and evalutation. They feature a "Quality Product Placement of the week" on their site. It's interesting, mostly because you might find that some of the less obvious things you have seen for brands were in fact paid placements.

The CNN article mentions something we've posted about before on "stealth advertising", which is that the majorty of shows using this technique don't adequately inform viewers that they are seeing paid placements according to some. It remains to be seen whether or not more full disclosure of paid product placements will make that much of a difference in eyeballs for a TV show.

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