Product placement advertising is a proven method of developing brand recognition by linking a brand’s logo, verbal mention of and/or appearance of a product with an entertainment property. Venues for strategy include noticeable placement in feature films, television, music videos, video games, theater productions, websites, broadband content, mobile phones, and publications.
With more and more branded consumer products finding their way directly into these popular entertainment venues, are prescription drugs soon to follow?
In 2006, Nielsen Product Placement counted 462 mentions of prescription medicines on TV shows. This, according to Nielsen Product Placement, is double the figure from the year before. Since then, the number has nearly tripled.
Branded Entertainment and Pharmaceuticals
Although there has been considerable hesitation among the big players in this sector, Rx Entertainment believes pharmaceutical product placement in film and television shows is a growing trend that is here to stay.
One of the first drug companies to enter the arena was Organon. In 2005, the pharma company placed posters for its Nuvaring contraceptive in the backgrounds of NBC’s Scrubs and CBS’ King of Queens. Since then, Organon has added ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy to its list, according to brand director.
Drug companies are also becoming expert in branded content deals that do not include overt placements. In 2007, Roche did a tie-in with the movie Happy Feet for its “Flu Facts” effort, in which the penguins appeared in Roche ads. Roche markets Tamiflu, an antiviral drug used to treat influenza.
Johnson & Johnson’s Centocor unit currently has a documentary in limited theatrical release, InnerState, which looks at sufferers of psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and arthritis. Centocor markets Remicade for those conditions, but the drug is not mentioned in the movie.
In 2008, the Lap-Band® Adjustable Gastric Banding System, marketed by Allergan, was written into the story line of the CBS soap The Guiding Light. Caitlin Van Sandt, who plays Ashley, one of the characters on the show, actually had the procedure performed in real life, so the producers integrated her real-life experience in the show.
In this video, actress Caitlin Van Sandt, who plays Ashley on the CBS soap The Guiding Light talks about her experience with the Lap-Band® Adjustable Gastric Banding System.
Despite controversy these media episodes sometimes instigate, the team at Rx Entertainment is convinced that as this trend continues to develop and gain momentum in our culture, our client partners will need all of our help and guidance to effectively and ethically navigate the world of branded integration and product placement for their pharmaceutical brands.
Rx Entertainment can accommodate budgets large and small, and will efficiently create an engaging campaign that allows your dollar commitment to be applied towards a multiple of activation points. Rx Entertainment will work directly with the client and client’s media and creative agencies to research, plan, activate and execute the most strategic and organic opportunities available for your pharmaceutical or OTC healthcare brand. Our product placement agency will fulfull all of your branded entertainment needs.
Within the jungle of traditional advertising and communications, product placement and branded content can offer pharmaceutical products new ways to connect to your target audience, reach new consumers and broaden overall engagement.