Product Placement Hits Prime-Time TV

November 3, 2011

Product placement has been off to a slow start since the government relaxed the rules in February, with most deals being struck largely associated with ad-funded programmes, such as New Look’s ‘Style the Nation’, which exclusively featured New Look clothes in the catwalk competition.

Only a dozen deals were made in the first six months. So, what’s the reasoning behind the delay off the starting block? Do British advertisers fear creating an American-style brand invasion that would most definitely be shunned by society, or are we struggling to convince brands that product placement exposure has a greater value than the equivalent amount spent on paid-for traditional TV advertising?

The first product placement deal saw daytime show This Morning place a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine on set and another one that caught my eye recently was TRESemmé shampoo in Britain’s Next Top Model on Sky Living. Carat also negotiated a product placement deal on Celebrity Big Brother, but the deal that’s initiated a tipping point for a wave of new product placements, is in the world’s longest-running TV soap opera, Coronation Street.

U.K. Coronation Street will be the first prime-time show on British TV to feature product placement. Quite literally, tucked in between the gravy granules and loo roll display will stand a branded Nationwide ATM in Dev Alahan’s Corner Shop. The ATM machine will appear on screen from 14 November for a period of four months along with a branded sign outside the shop front.

Ofcom has predicted that the product placement industry could be worth up to £30million a year. Aside from the financial benefits for television shows, the introduction of real brands will add a sense of realism to our much loved TV shows and for the residents of Coronation Street they will be relieved that their hard-earned savings are no longer invested in a fictional bank!


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