Friday, March 18, 2011

Place placement or the new trend in product placement! Abu Dhabi and Sex and the City 2

Most people have heard of product placement in films and we all remember seeing at least one of our favorite actors drink a can of Coca-Cola with gusto. But what about “place” placement?

Product placement, or embedded marketing, is a form of advertisement, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, the story line of television shows, or news programs. The product placement is often not disclosed at the time that the good or service is featured. Product placement became common in the 1980s.

Just like product placement, place placement uses the film industry and the growing interest of this industry for foreign and unique parts of the globe to portray their towns, regions or natural treasures. This innovative way of approaching the scenery of a film can be a real boost to the region’s international image. Very often the audience will witness a particular moment in a film and think “I must go on holiday there!” and then they will try and find out more about that place and start planning.
Most of the time, it is the films original scenario that will dictate the location choice, but quite often, local companies will be needed to pinpoint the exact building or square needed. The local authorities can influence this choice by offering access to more striking locations and feed the audiences curiosity for new and exciting views.
 Sex and the City 2 portrays a glamorous image of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Very often towns and regions will reduce charges and taxes for film making in order to make it more interesting for film companies: Prague, Paris and Berlin are amongst the main cities to use this technique whereas London and Russia in general do not offer much help for film directors or companies. Moreover, a region can plan open air expositions or specific settings that will direct the attention towards what is really happening in the town and away from the film. They will try and attract the media’s attention, using the film as a kind of bait in order to get some indirect publicity for the town and region.

Despite the newness of the marketing term, place placement has existed for decades in the form of all expense-paid trips rewarded in game shows where the viewers would see a beautiful picture of the region the winner would get to go to.
The success of this technique is a great increase in the regions image through the film and the publicity they get around it. 

By J. Berry 
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