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Sainsbury’s takes over entire show in massive product placement stunt


Product placement has been routine on US TV for years; Carrie Bradshaw was never far from her Macbook on Sex and the City and even a minor star like Jessica Simpson managed to rake in $400,000 by promoting a few products during a music video.


It is only now however that it’s begun to make a mark on our TV screens, as up until February 2011 it was illegal in the UK.


This Morning was first to jump on the bandwagon. The daytime show placed a Nescafé  machine in the background during kitchen segments. Since then, the show has added more and more placement opportunities, the kitchen now comes courtesy of B&Q and the sofas where Holly and Phil perch are provided by DFS.


Hollyoaks followed suit soon after -  it’s no coincidence that most of the characters use a Nokia phone – Nokia has paid for them to be there.


But the biggest example of product placement comes from Channel 4’s newest daytime show: What’s Cooking? From The Sainsbury’s Kitchen.


Presenters Ben Shephard and Lisa Faulkner hold cue cards bearing the Sainsbury’s logo, the chefs are seen to shop for and cook with Sainsbury’s produce, the recipes all form part of the Sainsbury’s Live Well For Less ethos and the show is even filmed live at a studio attached to a Sainsbury’s store.


That’s a lot of Sainsbury’s. It’s even in the programme’s title.


The show is basically a Sainsbury’s advert, without Jamie Oliver feeding children and chucking fresh herbs everywhere.


It does however show what can be done with product placement; you can co-produce and dominate a piece of TV while indirectly advertising to an audience of your choosing.


Studies by groups such as Thinkbox suggests the effectiveness of traditional TV advertising, while still strong, continues to dip.


Could product placement and the control of entire TV shows be the answer for advertisers looking to showcase products to unsuspecting audiences?


Oh and as a viewer, look for the ‘p’ symbol during the opening sequence of a show. That way you’ll know whether or not it’s a massive coincidence that Coronation Street’s Dev has a Nationwide cashpoint in his shop these days. 

Tagged with: B&Q, Ben Shephard, Coronation Street, DFS, Good product placement examples, Hollyoaks, Lisa Faulkner, Manchester, Nescafe, Nokia, North West , PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations North West, This Morning, What's Cooking? From The Sainsbury's Kitchen