Wednesday, September 19, 2018

#24 How to Advertise Real Cheap on TV and in Movies

Issue #24 – Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Posted by Denny Hatch

How to Advertise Real Cheap on TV and in Movies

I was a page at NBC in 1957. (A page is a fancy term for usher.) The big daytime show was Bride and Groom airing from gargantuan Studio 8H (originally built for Toscanini and the NBC Symphony).

Amid TV cameras, cables and blinding scoop lights, every weekday a couple was married live in black-and-white in a pasteboard church. Relatives were flown in for the occasion.

Bride and Groom had huge ratings—for the love stories and especially the wedding presents. The couple always racked up an avalanche of china, silver, jewelry, watches, luggage sets, upmarket clothing, an automobile, big and small kitchen appliances.

Hosts Robert Paige (l) and Frank Parker

The amount of loot was stunning!

Always in the studio was a pleasant fellow who looked like the actor William H. Macy. As I recall, his name was Tony Rhodes. He was in charge of getting merchandise.

As a naïve 22-year-old, I asked Rhodes how the program could afford this incredible largess.

He looked at me as though I were nuts. “We don’t pay for it. We show it. We describe it and the manufacturers are thrilled. It’s a lot cheaper than if they bought air time and ran commercials.”

Have a look at a 1957 Bride and Groom episode. Fascinating!

Landing page: Eclipse Worldwide Website

Product Placement is huge business. By 2019 it is estimated to become an $11.44 billion industry.

Any time you hear the mention of—or see—an identifiable product on TV or in a film, chances are the producers were paid handsomely for it.

It enables marketers to get their products and services directly into the action of movies and TV episodes at a fraction the cost of shooting commercials and buying airtime for each exposure.

An aside: Television placements drive the networks nuts, because these are quasi-commercials for which the producers and syndicators get paid and the networks receive nothing.

Product Placement in Print Media

Top Sloan Kettering Cancer Doctor Resigns
After Failing to Disclose Industry Ties
Dr. José Baselga, the chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, resigned on Thursday amid reports that he had failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from health care companies in dozens of research articles.
   All told, ProPublica and The Times found that Dr. Baselga had failed to report any industry ties in 60 percent of the nearly 180 papers he had published since 2013. That figure increased each year — he did not disclose any relationships in 87 percent of the journal articles that he co-wrote last year. 
Katie Thomas and Charles Ornstein, The New York Times

Native Advertising
When I took over as president and editor of Target Marketing magazine, it was losing $600,000 a year—pamphlet-thin, with articles and features that reflected the corporate philosophy:

“Content is something for the reader to look at between ads.”

Fast forward one year: Target Marketing was growing plump, thanks to a team of talented editors and experienced new sales people tirelessly crisscrossing the country, learning about businesses, listening and becoming industry experts.

One fabulous new promotional gimmick we offered twice a year:

“Buy one, get one Free!”

Buy an ad of any size and you receive an “advertorial” of equal size placed in the editorial well of the publication.

Advertisers loved the idea and flocked to our pages!

Advertorials were always labeled Advertisement.The purpose was to allow the company to talk about some facet of the organization without the hype and fiery graphics of a space ad. These were conversational in nature: how the company got started, business philosophy, folksy and informative stories of the business over the decades.

A Problem: The advertiser who said: “I’d love to take you up on your 2-for-one offer, but we have nobody here or in our advertising agency who can write an advertorial.”

Enter Denny Hatch. I wrote a bunch of advertorials for advertisers—who were never charged for them. Nor was I paid extra; this was part of my job. And I loved it!

Sometimes I would fly out to see the advertiser’s locale, meet the staff and be given a private tour of the operation. It was always a terrific experience for me. Often afterwards the Advertorial wrote itself.

The result: these two issues were the fattest, most popular, most perused and most profitable of the year!

Advertorials are now “Native Advertising”
The practice of native advertising, or the use of editorial content for promotional or marketing purposes, is beginning to capture the attention of advertising regulators who are concerned that some content could be considered deceptive to consumers.”

Horse hockey!

In Target Marketing “Native Ads” were always clearly labeled Advertisement at the top.

Everybody loved them! They helped save the magazine!

Takeaways to Consider (Plusses)

• Put your products into the hands of celebrities without paying huge endorsement fees.

• Integration of your product into everyday lives of TV situations.

• Regular TV ads only run in the times you paid for—not re-runs or reprints. Placements go on forever in syndication, on-demand, streaming.

• Cheaper than to create a TV commercial and pay per airing.

• Cost examples. Average one-time cost to air a 60-second TV spot in Los Angeles: $17,375. One-time cost of a 30-second spot on the 2018 Super Bowl: $5,000,000.00. (Does not include costs of producing the commercials)

 Takeaways to Consider (Minuses)’s Matthew Cramer said the average consumer gets 254 to 5,000 commercial messages a day.

• In the midst of that massive input of messages, will tiny mentions or photo shots be remembered and bring in accountable orders?

• In product placement advertising, last year's (or last decade’s) old out-of-date merchandise will be featured forever.


Word count: 933

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Invitation to Marketers and Direct Marketers: Guest blog posts are welcome. 
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  1. I subscribed to "Target Marketing" before Denny Hatch became the editor. When he took over, there was an immediate, noticeable difference. The magazine became readable. It was stuffed with real articles instead of fluff. The many hours of hard work that were poured into "Target Marketing" were readily apparent. Thanks, Denny, for your tireless effort in educating marketers. You've probably reached retirement age, yet you're writing a blog and still contributing. Arnold Howard

    1. WOW! Arnold, we've been in touch for many years and every exchange has been special. This one is over the top! Thank you, thank you!!! And do keep in touch.

    2. Product placement extends to the art world. Sculptors place their art in the public domain, generally a loan to a municipality. It graces the city and exposes the artist's work to the public. The artist's name becomes known. A citizen or the city may buy the art. Note that these sculptures often cost tens of thousands of dollars.