If you thought that promotional products had its days left behind and that nowadays the most common sense strategy would be having a digital marketing plan, do let us tell you this is not the case. Today we are going to emphasize on some key concepts that are related with the marketing strategies of products and promotional items, not exactly in the same terms but more of a complementary way of these. We are referring to these as the strategies of product placement.

What is product placement?

Product placement, is an English term, in Spanish it is more well known as advertising by location, it is a merchandising technique that consists in placing or having the product or brand appear within the narrative of a TV program, TV series, movie or video clip. It has even been used in videogames. They are different variants within this concept, in which stand out three types:

  1. The product is not directly visual although it is present, for instance, in the background
  2. The product is mentioned directly
  3. The product becomes a main feature part or is introduced directly in the plot

Advantages of product placement

Product placement has several advantages, some of them shared with promotional products. The most significant ones are:

  • Introducing items and brands within the plot does not imply interfering or changing the outcome
  • The fact that other known brands and items appear can mean that it gives a sense of realism to the plot creating a positive coordination between fiction and the brand
  • It is not spam or irritating advertisements, such kind that is increasingly becoming more apart with clients
  • It allows people to see the brand and make good use of publicity in a world where the low demand contents, and consequently without direct publicity, are more present

Its precursor: cinema

The product placement strategies started in the 1980s, especially as a result of the Steven Spielberg movie E.T. Nowadays we have seen thousands of strategies from product placement in TV and cinema. If you cannot think of any example that comes into your mind of product placement strategies, we are going to remind you with some of the movies that have made history.

Most famous films with product placement

These are one of the multiple movies that have used product placement strategies successfully. Do you remember all of them?


The motorbike Ducati 996 black colour that appears in the Matrix trilogy is one of the best examples of product placement that appeared in these movies. Additionally, Nokia and other brands appear in the second and third movie.

Forrest Gump

This master class movie featured by Forrest Gump has many examples of product placement, although one of the most famous ones was the one achieved by Nike in its shoe line, Classic Cortez, when Forrest uses these to travel across the entire USA running.

I robot

The converse shoes that appear in the film featuring Will Smith show up and become part of the main screen as if it was the main character of the movie.

Cast away

Nothing would by any means for the balls and product apparel of the Wilson brand after its appearance in the Cast away movie. It is without a doubt one of the most memorable, successful and famous product placement strategies.