Friday, April 22, 2011

A New Kind of Product Placement

I've seen an interesting approach to marketing on television recently that I wanted to talk about. I watch a show on network TV called Parenthood. It's based on the Steve Martin movie from the 80's. The last few weeks, Lowe's has done something interesting in between segments of the show.

It's not a commercial exactly. It's not product placement exactly. It fits right in between. Lowe's has a spot where they discuss the set design of a family on the show. The spokesman gives some detail about the characters that live in this house, their socio-economic status, employment, age, etc. They are an example of a professional, somewhat affluent, young, modern family.

He talked about how they designed the set to reinforce the image of this family as opposed to others on the show. He discussed the paint, the cabinetry in the kitchen, and the shelves in the living room. All of these products could be found at Lowe's, and the staff could help a family design something similar.

I found this to be a creative approach. They are not just weaving their product into the script, but they are weaving it into the show. But, they are not a part of the show. They are not interrupting it in an annoying way to take the viewer out of the plot. They are talking about their contribution, and directly relating it to what they do for ordinary folks. How clever. Has anyone seen this, or something similar from another brand?