The 28th of February will see TV product placement become part of our lives in the UK. On Monday, Ofcom unveiled the new “P” logo (see right) that must appear for three seconds at the start and end of programmes where brands have paid for references.
Product placement will be allowed in TV series, sports programmes, soaps, films and entertainment shows but is prohibited in children’s shows, news broadcasts, consumer affairs and religious programs.
Tobacco, alcohol, baby milk, escort agencies, medicines, gambling brands and unhealthy food have also been prohibited from buying product placement.
It might well be the dawn of a new era, but surely brands have to careful here? If they go ‘product-placement-crazy’, especially in TV shows and soaps, they risk losing that sense of real-world worth as they just begin to turn your favourite show in to an extended advert.
From an experiential marketing point of view, we say a brand needs to be relevant and made real to its consumers and this must remain true in product placement. If blatant, explicit product placement begins to ruin TV shows for viewers it will only reflect badly on the brand.
Striking the right balance will be achieved by placing products in understated, every-day situations to retain relevance to the consumer. This will mean the viewers will feel at ease with how they can use the product in their lives.