Product Placement
I think product placement can be an extremely effective advertising and  marketing tool when used in the right way. To the left, is an example one of  the many product placements in one of my all time favorite movies, Wayne’s  World. If you’ve seen this movie you probably know that the product  placements in it are more of a mockery of overly obvious ones that have been  used in the past. In older movies/TV shows characters might randomly pick  up their Tide and exclaim “I love my Tide laundry detergent! It always gets  all  of the stains out, and my clothes always smell so fresh!”. Product  placement  today isn’t nearly as corny and obvious; they are much more subtle, but still often times in our plain sight. When used effectively, product placement can serve as both a marketing and advertising tool simultaneously (or just one or the other). A single product can be marketed, a company’s name can be seen, and ideally both of these occur. MTV’s series, The Real World, is currently in the middle of a season where the roommates are living in Las Vegas. I don’t watch this show very often at all, but caught a couple episodes the other night and noticed that the roommates seem to eat every meal at Subway. How this deal was worked out I don’t know. Either Subway paid MTV a lump sum to have the show’s cast eat there, or Subway has just offered the cast free meals whenever they want. Anyhow, it seems like a clever move by Subway.
Brand Faces
The use of brand faces is a strategy that has proven to be effective for numerous companies. Rapper/actor 50 Cent was part of one the most lucrative endorsement deals of this past decade with Vitamin Water. He created his own flavor called Formula 50, and was featured in numerous TV commercials endorsing Formula 50 and encouraging people to try Vitamin Water. It wasn’t long after these commercials began appearing that Vitamin Water became wildly popular and developed several new flavors. As part of the endorsement deal, 50 Cent received a 10% share of Glaceau, the company which produced Vitamin Water, was bought by The Coca Cola Company in 2007 for a cool price of 4.1 billion dollars. As a part owner of the company, 50 Cent took home 400 million dollars after the deal. He’s probably made more money through his work with Vitamin Water than he has as a rapper and actor. The 50 Cent/Vitamin water deal is one of many success stories of effective brand face use. It also is a good example of a way a brand face effectively marketed a product and a brand all at once. 50 Cent was usually seen drinking his Formula 50 drink in the commercials, but also advertised for the Vitamin water drink as a whole. As a result, Vitamin Water became extremely popular, and Formula 50 became one of the most popular flavors.
Logos are one of the most simple and efficient forms of advertising. A good logo doesn’t just advertise the company, but also can create a company image. Logos can establish a click-whir response from consumers. In other words, when a consumer sees a certain logo, their mind automatically begins to associate that image with that company. The Apple logo is a prime example. The logo doesn’t just advertise apple; it has become an image representing prestige, innovation, and trendiness. There are MP3 players out there that are basically the same thing as an Ipod but cost have as much, but this doesn’t matter to most consumers. People are willing to pay the extra money just for that Apple logo, and to be able to say they own an Ipod. You pay for the logo. Logos are a big reason that brand names are so sought after, and some companies have made their fortunes thanks to almost solely their prestigious logo. Take Polo Ralph Lauren as another example. There’s nothing particularly better about a Ralph Lauren collared shirt compared to say, a Lands End collared shirt. Polo Ralph Lauren shirts probably cost 10 times what a Lands End shirt would cost you, for basically the same exact quality of shirt. However, people who can afford to do so will pay the inflated price just to have the little polo-man-horse-logo on their shirt. Logos are an extremely effective form of advertising, one that has always been used and will remain to be used in the future.