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The History of Product Placement (Brand Integration) in-depth and some Unforgettable Examples

Product Placement (Brand Integration) refers to a product that appears in a movie or drama that promotes not only products but also conveys brand images and identity to the audience. This is one form of marketing and advertisement campaign. The product must, however, naturally be revealed inside the story without causing any disruption to the audience.

The 1982 film 'E.T.' is often stated as the beginning of the commercially intended product placement (brand integration). In the film, the main character sprays chocolates in the forest to find E.T. The chocolate used in this scene was Hershey's Bits of Reese. It has been reported that the sales of Reese's Pieces more than doubled within two weeks of the release of the film.

Movie <E.T> Photo Universal Pictures, Source Universal Pictures

Another good example is the film ‘Top Gun’. Throughout the movie, Tom Cruise wears Ray Ban’s sunglasses. The film helped Ray Ban’s sunglasses revenues by 40%.

Movie <Top Gun> Photo Paramount, Source Paramount

Not all of the brands and goods blend naturally into movies and TV shows. The viewer feels very unpleasant when product placement interrupts the flow of the content. Not all Product Placements are therefore welcome. If well thought out and done correctly, it can have a synergy effect on both the Brand and the Content.

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