Phil and Holly umming and aahhing over cups of Café Direct coffee on This Morning? Topshop sending home deliveries of its latest ranges to the Big Brother house? This week, the government announced plans to lift the ban on TV product placement, meaning new revenue streams for the broadcasting industry and we hope, more entertainment-driven, culturally-sensitive advertising. In the US, product placement is a mature market worth $7bn, and it has already been introduced in most EU countries. Experts believe deals could raise £125m annually for UK broadcasters in the next three years, arriving right at crunch time for a medium in transition. Publicly funded organisations such as the BBC will be excluded, as will kids’ TV. Have a watch of Logorama, the short film created entirely out of logos and brand mascots which premiered this week.
This new source of income for TV companies will mean more funding for good content, for sure, but where does editorial end and advertising begin? This, in a nutshell, is where the creative advertising world will find a new role as the gatekeepers of the hallowed space where cultural content and branded products converge. This convergence can be authentic, or it can be clunky – but in a cynical consumer world, only the first option is worth the investment. What will Mother do? Most likely, draw on a complete portfolio of skills and create the whole TV program.
Thanks to Lucy Johnson for this story. If Lucy was a fruit, she’d be a pomegranate.