For the sake of this post, let’s focus on those that don’t have to cost millions of dollars. We conduct dozens of earned product placement campaigns for our clients that result in these primetime placements for a fraction of the cost of a paid placement. The cost is contained to a product donation and our time to pitch and coordinate the placement. How do we do this? Relationships, relationships, relationships. It’s all about who you know and how you can help fulfill their need-whether it is outfitting Mike Holmes’ crew with tools for accomplishing the projects on Holmes on Homes or coordinating the installation of a garage door on Desperate Landscapes in Minneapolis, Minnesota to show a homeowner the value of curb appeal.
The key to a successful earned product placement campaign is ensuring you have a sound process for evaluating and fulfilling each of these requests to maximize the impact a placement has on your internal and external audiences. Our process isn’t rocket science, but it does capitalize on the insights we have gained over the past five years of successful product placement campaigns. These insights include keeping in touch with producers as they advance from one production house to another, as well as understanding the audience of their show and demonstrating how our clients can provide a solution to their viewers. The steps of our process are:
- Research and discovery: thoughtfully review the viewer demographics, content and tone of a show compared to your target audience to prove compatibility. Our knowledge of production schedules is key to this step in the process, as lead times for product selection are often 3-6 months in advance of the show airing.
- Pitch development: demonstrate how the product is the right fit with the current production needs
- Request fulfillment: respond quickly and efficiently to the request and manage expectations with the production house
- Follow up and post-placement merchandising: keep in touch with the producer and put a plan in place for maximizing the coverage with target audiences
Just one of these highly coveted placements can result in several million impressions with average ad values of more than $25,000. However, there is an often overlooked value with these placements – and that is the ability to strategically share them with your internal and external audiences. We’ve helped a lot of our clients to extend these placements into fun viewing events with their associates, local market promotions with their dealer/installer networks and plenty of great trade PR opportunities to drive increased sales traffic to dealer or retailer partners.
If earned product placement is not a part of your current public relations program, why not? It’s always exciting to set your DVR to capture your on-screen moments!