The Lowdown on Product Placement and Fashion Branding

These days there is big phenomenon showing face in the form of product placement and advertising fashion pieces through offering them as gifts with purchases.

The difference between Product Placement and Gifts with Purchase

Product placement refers to the presence of a product within a context purposefully placed as a form of advertisement. Think in the lines of celebrities driving a particular car in a music video, or products being used in movies.

Most of the time people will not necessarily notice or be aware of this placement, but take in the form of advertisement none the less. Whether these products are in fashion or focused on begin fashionable, is an entire different case. The company or distributor has some form of agreement with the directors of the music videos or television series and in some cases these brands might act as a sponsor for the program or show as well.

Gifts with purchase, on the other hand is a direct form of advertising by adding an additional gift with the purchase of some product. Some companies will offer the client a gift such as a handbag, cap, or t-shirt when they buy their products. In the case of celebrity purchases these ‘gifts’ might be much bigger than just a printed T.

Think in the line of celebrity actresses being given designer and unique handbags after starring in campaign for the brand. This is a smart way for the company to extend the advertisement through further branding. It is a common fact that the clothes celebrities wear, cars they drive and Tweets they send are all seen as forms of advertising even though they don’t intend it that way.

Why do companies give away products for free?

Giving away these products for free is a way that the company is further investing in the person and product. This does not always have to be for celebrities, think of when you purchase one or more products from a certain company you might get a free carry bag as a gift. Even though this might come as a free product, the company is just politely asking you to further endorse their products by showing your support to the brand on a public level.

The money they are spending on giving a away these additional products, are in fact just money spent on advertising and something that, if done right, will definitely not go to waste.

Where Fashion Meets Advertisement

So now you might ask, are the items that you see celebrities wearing and promoting fashion, or is it just plain advertising? What are the merits of fashion, and who decides what stays and what goes? At the end of the day a company would not promote something that they don’t feel proud of or think is not fashionable.

If a celebrity is wearing their products then they know this product would draw attention. It might be that these product placements and gift purchases will push sales and create awareness, but what is fashion is decided by many more factors and critics than just one individual attempting to start a trend.

Being a smaller brand looking for exposure, product placement can really be a way of opening a lot of doors. For instance, Uma Thurman’s shoes in ‘Kill Bill’ wasn’t designed by someone famous, but because of her wearing it in the movie, those shoes became iconic for Taratino fans all over the world. The legendary Grace Kelly made the Hermes bag famous, even when cameras weren’t rolling; she used this bag to cover up her pregnant belly when the media were trying to photograph her on the streets.

When something is trending, it does not always mean that it is fashionable and the other way around. These two factors most definitely are influenced by the media and public endorsement, but it would be hard for fashion to be forced through product placement.

This is just a look into the world of branding and product placement through the using of advertisement and this topic is something highly complex. Product placement easily blurs the line between entertainment and advertisement and makes it hard for analyst to determine the true nature of their buyers.

But as long as companies can combine their advertisement efforts with the relationship with A-list celebrities and television networks this will be a highly effective way of ensuring their brand awareness.

The author of this guest post is Simon from higherclick.com on behalf of their client Macys.com.

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