We all know about product placement in movies and on TV -- the careful positioning of a product with logo quite visible for all to see. We’ve seen Pepsi cans, Triscuit crackers or Starbucks coffee cups in places that sometimes have no clear association with an advertising message but can serve to create a stronger emotional connection with a brand by consumers.
In April 2006, Broadcasting & Cable magazine reported, "Two thirds of advertisers employ 'branded entertainment' -- product placement -- with the vast majority of that (80 percent) in commercial TV programming." In that report, which was based on a survey by the Association of National Advertisers, it went on to say that marketers use product placement to target specific consumer segments by dovetailing product placement with relevant content.
Recently, the SNEWS® team was catching up on a little bit of ESPN when an ExtenZe ad for male enhancement came on -- you know, one seemingly of a kajillion such ads popping up on sports shows targeted to younger males these days.
As we mindlessly listened to the pitchman blather on, using phrases like bigger, larger, thicker and longer -- all the appropriate catch phrases for the male enhancement demographic -- our eyes were suddenly pulled to an unexpected product placement -- a Precor elliptical. The pitchman was standing in a workout room with a row of ellipticals behind him and, just off his left shoulder, a rather svelte young woman pedaled away. There, like a large white bulls-eye next to his left hip was the larger-than-life, not-to-be-missed brand name -- PRECOR, the bold letters screamed from the shroud of the rear drive.
Could it be that those who are interested in male enhancement have been deemed a related market segment to those who use, say, a Precor elliptical? While we are sure Precor’s tagline, “Inspiring a Life in Motion” is not targeted at the male enhancement set, we could see a connection.
And this naturally leaves us wondering about other potential ExtenZe product placement opportunities. How about a backdrop of a mountain scene and The North Face tent just behind the ExtenZe pitchman? The tagline “Never Stop Exploring” takes on a whole new meaning, and we’re betting tent sales go through the roof! Maybe ExOfficio could dress the ExtenZe pitchman in ExO travel clothing to truly elevate (sorry) its tagline “Enjoy the Journey.” How about if Spri Products gets some of its rubber resistance products (!) into the game with its tagline, “The Professional’s Choice?”
Yes, we could go on, but we’ll spare you. Do we believe Precor worked with ExtenZe on this truly amazing product placement? Frankly, we’re still giggling too much to make a call to find out, but we truly doubt it. We presume, of course, ExtenZe is not now part of the Precor family of products. But we guess anything is possible. Is this an acquisition we missed?