“Product Placement” Assignment

Definition:

Product placement is a form of advertising in which branded products are featured in a movie, television episode, video game, song or other mass media. A new term sometimes used to describe product placement is "brand integration."

Typically companies pay a fee for product placement, but sometimes a trade of some sort is made. The audience rarely knows much about the business deal that was agreed upon.

A product placement typically shows the brand name and/or logo of the product. The product might be actually mentioned in the script, shown in the background, or even a major part of the story. In order to meet the requirements of this assignment, it must be a specific, branded product that can actually be purchased.

See screen-capture examples of product placements at the bottom of this assignment.

Examples of products commonly placed:

      • computers (Apple is very good at this!)
      • cars (sometimes police drive one brand and criminals drive another)
      • soft drinks and beer
      • electronics companies (Dell, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung…)
      • fast food restaurants
      • cell phones
      • much, much more…

Assignment:

Find one product placement (brand integration) example in a television episode.

      • Include question numbers with your answers
      • As always, spelling, grammar and writing mechanics matters
      • 400 word minimum
        1. What is the name of the series and episode you watched (or movie/video game name)? Why do you think the particular product placement was chosen for the episode you watched? Consider the demographics (audience characteristics) of the target audience and how they might relate to the product.
        2. Does the placement reflect favorably on the product? Is the product associated with good things and happy feelings, or bad things and negative feelings, or is it neutral? Explain.
        3. Was the placement obvious or subtle? Did the use of the product placement add or distract from the story? Could the scene have been done effectively without the product? Explain each question.
        4. In your opinion, is product placement an ethical form of advertising? Why or why not? (Ethics are rules of conduct that everyone is encouraged to follow for the benefit of the larger group.)

NOTE: If you have already completed a similar assignment in one of my other classes, just pick a different product placement and learn even more. Notice that including an image is required for this class, see below.

Image Requirement

Attach an image of the actual product placement moment you discussed in your submission. Turn on closed captioning if the product is mentioned but not shown.

Place (embed) the image(s) in the word processing file you submit, or attach the images through Canvas. Canvas will only accept still images submitted in the .jpg or .png file formats. Links to images or videos are not acceptable.

1. Phone or Tablet: Do a screen capture.

2. Television: Steps for capturing image:

1. Pause at the moment that shows the product placement the best.

2. Take a picture of your television screen with a camera (cell phone cameras work great).

3. Computer: Steps for capturing image:

1. Pause at the moment that shows the product placement best. Use your camera to take a photo of your computer screen.

2. On a Mac, use the “Screenshot” app, or press Command + Shift + 5.

3. On a Windows computer, press the Windows logo key +PrtScn (or PrtSc, or similar abbreviation). The screen is copied and saved as a file in the Screenshots folder (which is in your Pictures folder). Another option is to use the "Snipping Tool" app in the "Accessories" folder.

NOTE: Some services like YouTube and Netflix don’t allow screen captures for copyright reasons. If this happens, take a picture with a camera.

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