The old adage that suggests it's not the winning, but the taking part that matters doesn’t count for much in the race to capitalise on a new ad medium.
Product placement is the new advertising Gold Rush in the UK, and brands are waiting flags in hand to stake a claim. With rules relaxed we are at the tentative point between what will soon seem like an entirely idealistic and outdated past (without PP) and the ad fuelled onslaught of programming which is about to become standard fare on our TV screens.
Hats off to Nestle who find themselves first past the product placement post, generating enough PR coverage before the placement even hits to offset the brand’s mere £100k cash injection. Whether the placement causes sofa bound This Morning viewers to rush out and buy a Dolce Gusto coffee machine - and just how intrusive the placement is on the show - remains to be seen.
However, what this early PR endeavour does ensure is that everyone will be watching to find out. Either way it generates a certain amount of buzz around a coffee machine that few people had heard of a couple of days ago.
Having been denied my usual game of playing 'spot the brand' in the newly released Lady Gaga video - 'Born This Way', released yesterday, sadly had none (unless you include the lyric “Subway Kids” as a plug for the sandwich chain’s children’s menu of the same name) – I’ll be watching with great interest to see which placements appear where on UK TV.
Perhaps someone should develop some form of branded ARG competition that encourages viewers to spot the brands that appear on out screens in the coming months. A sort of 'Where's Wally?' of product placement. I, for one, will be playing along.