Product Placement/Integration/Embedded Brand Exposure by Brad Brown of Brown Entertainment Group

By Joy A. Kennelly

Brad Brown of Brown Entertainment Group has a long history of branding Pepsi in films and TV shows and was another recent guest speaker in Julian Myer’s Entertainment Publicity UCLA Extension Class.

I had previously met Brad at an informative technology salon that Ken Rutowski used to host. Brad has faithfully attended every UCLA class to assist Julian, but this particular evening he presented his “Guidelines for Product Placement” which was very informative.

Here are some of his secrets. The first step is to read the script and then learn everything you can about the film – who is in the cast, the crew and the budget. What I found interesting is that he suggested finding out the tensions on the set. I don’t remember why, but I did notate it in my notes.

He also suggested trying to see the film early, follow the reviews of the film and track the opening weekend box office. Production resources determine what goes where. He also suggested being cautious of negative or extreme scenes, any nudity, and don’t place your products with any bad guys to avoid your product receiving negative publicity.

The main objective of product placement is 1.) to receive positive setting in the film, 2.) at a pivotal story point, 3.) with a verbal mention. He shared a sizzle reel with numerous examples from all the films he had strategically placed Pepsi in over the years which was fascinating since many were familiar to everyone.

Who knew while watching a film in its entirety that someone was behind-the-scenes ensuring that Pepsi, or any number of products, was strategically placed where it just seems natural to see the product, and when the scene and the product is seen individually, out of context it’s a blatant commercial. Very interesting.

For such a quiet, polite gentleman, Brad Brown is a very dynamic behind-the-scenes man.


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