Product Placement

How brands grab you by your subconscious

Rachael Law, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Everyone has heard the term product placement in our modern environment of commercials and billboards. It’s becoming a huge way for brands to subtly tell you “you need this product”. But what exactly is product placement and how does it affect you?

Product placement is the promotion of branded goods or services within the context of a show or movie. When you are watching TV or you go to the movies and you see a product, the company most likely had to pay for their brand to appear on screen.

This is also known as embedded advertising and most of the time you don’t even notice it. Like how in the last movie you saw every car was from the same automaker. Or in the TV show you watched last night everyone was drinking the same brand of soda.

Product placement isn’t the only way you’re advertised to. In the 21st century, media literacy is the best way to do that. The definition of media is the means of communication that reaches or influences people. Some examples are radio, television, magazines, newspapers and most important social media. Media Literacy just means to be able to access, analyze, evaluate and create media.


Before the age of the internet traditional advertisements were contextual, meaning they were put in specific places-or context- where advertisers expected people to be. Even in the early days of the internet the ad world was still just like print or TV advertising. Ads were created to reach as broad an audience as possible. The turning point was when ads turned into links. Have you ever seen a link or an ad to something you were interested in? It doesn’t have to just be surfing the web. This means on any social media feed you have. The advertiser can now see how many times the link was clicked on. They no longer have to guess who is seeing their ads.

But these ads aren’t making you buy their products right? All ads are created from market research which are experiments carried out to discover what makes us want to buy things. Think back to elementary and middle school and the trends that everyone had to follow to fit in. Silly Bands and Loom Bracelets were things that everyone had to have. Most Recently Fidget Spinners were the thing to have and stores couldn’t keep them on the shelves. Chances are you had one if not all of these and being honest you probably only did because everyone else had them. Advertisers play on the need to fit in to get fads and trends started.

What they are trying to tell you is that their product is going to satisfy your needs.They know what slogans and sayings are going to make you say “this product is worth buying even if it is expensive”. If you’ve ever been out shopping and said “heck it, treat yo self” then you’ve fallen into their trap.