The Power of Product Placement

September 11, 2018 | by Leah Cho

A few weeks ago, Netflix released a romcom that essentially broke the internet (and probably some hearts as well). Although I’d love to deep dive into all of the reasons why I adore the movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, it actually birthed another interest that sent me down the internet hole of hours of research on other movies: product placements.

Product Placement

In the scene above, a character is trying what is referred to as a “Korean yogurt smoothie” and says “that is really good”. Although the drink is not actually identified (nor is it Korean), many people recognized its unique packaging design. The beverage is a Japanese branded probiotic milk drink called Yakult.

As result of this product placement, Yakult’s shares have increased 2.6% since the movie was released in mid-August. Many tweets from cities all over the world have expressed complaints of price increases and stores running out of stock as well. Realizing the high demand from the Yakult craze, The Guardian also commented on Yakult inspired items for sale on Etsy and fan art available online.

Curiosity Piqued

When I read the article announcing that Yakult’s shares increased as result of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, it piqued my curiosity. So I turned to the internet and did some research into other notorious product placements in movies. Here are some of my favorite findings:

#1 in 2017

According to Concave Brand Tracking, the #1 product placement movie from 2017 is The Fate of the Furious, which implemented over 100 brands throughout the movie. The top brands received $7-14 million each in advertising value. The movie as a whole had $135 million of product placement advertising value.

The Early Bird (or Chocolate?)

In 1927, Wings was released and is known as one of the earliest movies with especially noticeable product placement advertising, with nearly 30 seconds focused on a Hershey’s bar rolling down a lifted cloth.

A Couple Favorites

I grew up on Disney classics, and 20+ years later, I’m still in love with the Toy Story franchise. It was truly pleasant to find an article discussing the product placement in this movie during my research. I admit, I am guilty of begging my parents to buy me the toys from this movie and contributing to their sales growth. Mr. Potato Head increased 800% and Etch-a-Sketch saw a 4500% increase.

With my last example, I wanted to share not only one of the more outrageous product placements I found, but also the fascinating reasoning behind Dean Israelite’s, the director of the Power Rangers, choice for incorporating Krispy Kreme into the film:

“We were walking around the streets of Vancouver, and we hadn’t figured out where the Zeo Crystal was going to be buried…‘I wish it was just under the Golden Arches (McDonald’s)’. And I didn’t know if [Gatkins] was joking, but I thought it was so clever, that it needed to be under something completely contemporary and if the world has evolved over 65 million years, it probably would be under something very ubiquitous… we landed on something that we thought was really absurd in the right way for this movie, which was a Krispy Kreme.”

Are there any products you tried for the first time or used more often after seeing it in a movie or show? Tell us in the comments!

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