Product Placement vs. Product Involvement.


On the last episode of Mad Men, John Deere came rolling into the office and stole the show. Meanwhile, in the dimly lit Draper kitchen, a perfectly placed box of Ritz Crackers was mostly un-noticed. We’re not sure if the John Deere bit was paid for, or approved by the tractor company. I spoke with a media relations staffer ad John Deere, but they weren’t releasing any details. Regardless, it was a great example of the difference between product placement vs. product involvement. By working the tractor into the show, John Deere was a grinding success. While no one wants to see their product cause such carnage, we did see what a celebrated brand John Deere was, and is today. It was talked about on twitter, blogs and next to the water cooler. Meanwhile, Ritz sat idly in the background. Untouched. Unmoved. Uninvolved. So if you’re going to pay for product placement, rather than being a forgotten extra, let the writers and show creators create a memorable role for your product.

This just in. John Deere did not authorize the use of their product in Mad Men. They left this statement with AMC TV:

“John Deere did not participate in the development of this episode. The company does not approve of unsafe use of its equipment.”

While JD was not part of the script, the point remains the same. Getting your brand an active role, rather than a passive one, should get your brand more bank for the product placement buck.

~ by hookusa on September 23, 2009.

One Response to “Product Placement vs. Product Involvement.”

  1. Well written article. I noticed this as well and very true. It would be hard to believe the price was the same for both placements and if so then someone should probably not have a job over at Ritz.

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