More Spot Bucks Board Brandwagon


Two thirds of advertisers employ "branded entertainment"--product placement--with the vast majority of that (80%) in commercial TV programming. Advertisers are also moving more money out of traditional spot buys into integrated marketing.

Those were among the findings of an Association of National Advertisers survey of 117 of its members. The study was released Wednesday at the Forum for Branded Entertainment… LIVE! in New York, which is jointly sponsored by ANA and the Association of Independent commercial producers.

Most marketers (76%) said that product placement will be part of the conversation in upfront negotiations

Reasons for using in-show plugs varied from "stronger emotional connection" to better dovetailing with relevant content, to targetting a specific group.

Most marketers (80%) said they are trying to measure the impact of the plugs, but 62% said it was tough sledding, while 87% put a punctuation mark on the problem, saying existing research "does not effectively measure the ability of branded entertainment integrations."

The majority of dollars being spent on branded entertainment (62%) is being shifted from traditional TV budgets, said the marketers, up from 52% last year.

A majority (60%) said they were coming up with some branded projects of their own.

Among the majority of marketers not yet plugged into plugs, the biggest barrier (tops among 40%) was that the brand "doesn't lend itself to meaningful integration." For example, while cell phones--Samsung/Sprint, by the way--are right in the wheelhouse of the constantly communicating crew on Fox's 24, working in a pitch for Preparation H is not so easy, particularly with today's FCC.

In fact, 27% cited regulation as a barrier to entry. The second biggest barrier was lack of measurable results at 37%.

One initially striking finding was that 15% of marketers placed branded entertainment in "non commercial television programming." Turns out that was not a K.C. Masterpiece Theater take on public broadcasting, but the category for commercial-free cable premium channels like Showtime and HBO.

What about that other public broadcasting? "No way," said a PBS spokeswoman, "we have strict rules against it."