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Ten best practice tips for TV product placement

Opinion, 28 June 2011

Thinkbox, the UK commercial television industry body, recently presented best practice from different strands of branded TV content, including the nascent world of UK television product placement.

Although product placement is well established in markets such as the US (where some estimate it accounts for up to 5% of TV advertising spend), it has only been permitted in the UK since the spring of 2011.

The full report on the event is available on the main Warc subscription site. However, here's a free summary of the best practice tips.

  1. Talk to broadcasters first and early about product placement opportunities.

  2. Think of product placement as one tool among many available to the marketer.

  3. Play to the strengths of the genre such as its ability to educate viewers and normalise brands as part of a long-term strategy to shift perceptions or brand choices.

  4. Handle research in this young sector with care.

  5. Give product placements time to work.

  6. Ensure you have planned how placements will be activated off-screen by other activities, and how they can be integrated into a brand’s other promotions and messaging efforts.

  7. Make sure placements appear natural onscreen.

  8. Avoid the hard sell approach.

  9. Complement product placement with other strategies.

  10. Respect the viewers.

At the time of writing, you can still see an on demand stream of the event at

About the author

Carlos Grande is editor of WARC Online.

He joined WARC in 2008 after eight years at the Financial Times, where he was latterly marketing correspondent. Previously, he was acting deputy on the FT's UK companies newsdesk and a senior UK companies reporter.

Prior to that, Carlos edited Creative Business, the FT's weekly print section and website covering media, marketing, advertising, PR and technology.