The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Product Placement at the Oscars

Posted in General by Jeff Graves on March 4, 2014

Product Placement at the Oscars

I didn’t watch much of the Oscar’s telecast, but did see some of host Ellen DeGeneres’ schtick using a Samsung smartphone to take selfies of the audience and then publish them on Twitter.  At the time, I figured it was a deliberate effort by the show producers to leverage social media to extend the reach of the telecast, and I’m sure it was.  But I was bemused to see this article in the WSJ indicating that while Ellen’s actions looked spontaneous, they were actually part of a product placement strategy engineering by Samsung itself.  I shouldn’t be surprised; after all, firms of every shape and size are looking to get their products in front of consumers in new and different ways that can’t be avoided by the “fast forward” button on the DVR.  Much like Ford and Coca-Cola have long embedded their products into shows like American Idol, I’m sure we’ll see more of this kind of subtle advertising during big-ticket live events going forward.

Speaking of Coca-Cola, I love the mention at the end of this article about the Coca-Cola logo that appeared on the boxes of pizza that Ellen ordered in for Oscar’s guests.  Coca-Cola did not actually buy advertising time on the telecast, although Pepsi did, but one might argue that Coke got a bigger boost for their impromptu, free product placement.


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