The Power of Product Placement

4 min readOct 20, 2021

Don’t you just hate clicking on a video that you want to watch and having to wait those insanely long 6 seconds before you can ‘Skip Ad’?

You’re not alone!

Approximately 90% of us skip and/or ignore ‘pre-roll’ adverts.

That’s why brands are putting their clever energy into product placement.

The power of a discretely placed product in a series or movie can do wonders.

The most recent example is Vans sneakers and Squid Game.

Squid Game Product Placement

Netflix’s most watched show ever (over 111 million views in its first month of airing, beating previous chart topper, Bridgerton, which had 82 million debut month views) reached number one in 90 countries, including the American and British markets.

So, that’s not a bad show to get your products front and centre, gaining massive attention/awareness.

The characters clothing has become the latest must-have.

The white slip-on Vans sneakers worn by Squid Game characters have experienced a monstrous 7,800% rise in sales in the last month.

Non-Vans-branded white slip-ons in general have also seen a 97% rise in search volume.

Powerful product placement indeed.

Other clothes in the series such as red jumpsuits and green tracksuits are gaining similar search increases and are rumoured to be the top look for this year’s best Halloween costumes.

The science behind product placement

And the evidence is there to show why product placement in the best settings is so important to brands.

Research findings suggest that strong, positive placement increase brand memory, brand salience and attitude towards the brand.

Even better, when there is a brand-plot connection, the stronger (more positive) cognitive connection emerges.

When a brand is actually mentioned in the script, it increases online conversations and web traffic.

Maybe it works because it’s an ad you can’t skip.


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