Understanding the impact of product placement in UK programmes as they export worldwide

Understanding the impact of product placement in UK programmes as they export worldwide

With the increasing discussion and opportunity for product placement in UK originated programming – NMG Product Placement has worked with Madigan Cluff/ETS to understand how much additional exposure occurs for a brand when it is placed in a programme as it is exported around the world.

Many UK programmes are extensively exported – carrying any prop placements which have been included in the production. To demonstrate the large number of countries which see UK production – we analysed some major series for 2010

The chart above is based on analysis of the schedules of the major free to air stations in each country. It shows:-

UK productions do make a significant impact on schedules in a variety of markets worldwide

That a significant proportion of these transmissions are on primetime on major stations

For the brand which appeared in the programme there will generally be a delay before the show is seen. Although some US series are now playing in Europe within weeks of their US premiere – it generally takes a significant period of time for an individual episode to be purchased by the overseas station and played. Commonly there will be a one/two year lag between original UK showing and the programme being contracted, dubbed and ready to play in the market.

However it is extremely rare for the visual part of a scripted programme to be altered meaning that whatever was seen in the UK transmission will appear wherever the show plays.

Tracking the performance of a placement

NMG co-operating with two other Pinewood based companies are able to track the delivery of UK placements. Essential Television Statistics (ETS) tracks all exported programmes  in over 30 markets around the world – identifying each individual episode.  Sister company Madigan Cluff is able to work out the relative advertising value as the programme is broadcast in new markets.

As an example of this we took a placement for Blackberry which appeared in an episode of Lewis on May 2nd 2010. We tracked further transmissions of this episode as it appeared around the world. We then estimated the value of each appearance based on local real media costs Vs the value of the initial showing on ITV. The table below shows the additional exposure which occurred by the end of August 2011.

By the end of August 2011 the placement had achieved audiences to the value of an additional 203% of the original ITV value. Half of this value came from repeat showings on the ITV network – but half came from prime time transmissions around the world.

Another example is Mistresses – where episode one of the third season contained a placement for Clearblue – the pregnancy prediction kit. In the 12 months since its transmission on BBC1 it has played extensively in late evening slots across Europe – cumulatively adding an additional 77% of exposure.

Tracking the performance of a placement

As a final example – a placement of Blackberry in an episode of Dr. Who. This placement has taken a longer period to make its way around the world – but again there is a 75% cumulative value gain in comparison to the original UK slot.

Placement strongly imbeds a product into a programme. Whereas when a programme is repeated or exported – all the  advertisements and some of the sponsorships change – whatever is in the programme stays and gets seen again. These examples demonstrate that placing brands into key shows selected both in terms of their target audience and their global footprint gives advertisers the ability to get greater efficiency from placement.

It is not just a free bonus resulting from a fortuitous placement deal. It is also a benefit which can now be valued, tracked and potentially predicted.

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