One of our jobs as a product placement agency, arguably the most important one, is watching the productions into which we have integrated brands.  As we discussed in the blog “Eagle Eye,” a little while back, HERO’s heroes view hour upon hour of video looking carefully for our client’s brands. But there are people watching these productions even more closely?  You!

We are endlessly amazed at the feedback our clients and associates receive from friends and acquaintances when their brands appear on screen. Unlike us, the comments are not from people who are in any way looking for a product placement, they’re just watching…apparently very closely.  And, though this report is purely anecdotal and not the result of a formal study, we find that these observe and report accounts are very often specific to the viewer’s interests.  For example, HERO client Guild Wars 2, a massive multiplayer video game appeared in the form of a character figurine on The Big Bang Theory. Of course this was a perfect venue based on the nature of the brand and the fans were watching! Because HERO records shows then scans them for product, we don’t always see our brands in real time. However, the fans do and Guild Wars 2’s online forum lit up instantly when the Rytlock statue appeared on screen. The fans actually informed us of the exposure before we had a chance to see it ourselves! We have enjoyed this phenomenon since back when viewers in various countries around the world were buzzing about our Omega Watch placements on X-Files, but it never ceases to thrill.

A more recent, more objective example popped up in the film Straight Out of Compton. HERO received an inquiry from a company that deals in licensed sports caps.  As we talked about their brand assets and our program, they mentioned that their hats had appeared organically in the film. Well, that was true enough, but what they didn’t realize is that there were people who didn’t just see the caps, they saw the inaccuracies of their use!  Not one but two of HERO’s associates had boyfriends who recognized the hats as being from dates other than those represented in the film!  It turns out the style of hats used were newer than the film’s period date and therefore would not yet have existed!  One of the boyfriends is from and still resided in Compton.

This seems to give flight to a blog on brand/production accuracy and compatibility, so we’ll delve into that next time.