The First Brand Placed in the UK?

By Mash Bonigala

Television viewers all over the UK and indeed the world have been watching as the new Ofcom rules take effect allowing product placement (with certain rules and conditions) in our nation. Who will be the first brand to pay to have their logo design featured prominently on a UK programme? In this case, winner of the race is European beverage brand Nescafe.

The company has paid £100,000 for the product placement. A Dolce Gusto coffee machine bearing the Nescafe brand will be placed conspicuously in the on-air kitchen area of the set of ITV’s popular The Morning. The deal is only for three months and shows exactly how lucrative product placement will be for television programmes that choose to use this alternative form of advertising.

This means that viewers of The Morning will be among the first to see the layered P logo that Ofcom created especially for product placement on their television screens.

How will this affect coffee drinkers in the UK? In the United States, product placement has proven to be very effective, as many people wish to emulate the lifestyles of their favourite television characters and stars. In addition, because DVR allows many to skip commercials, this ensures that programmes can get the funding that they need to continue production. However, there are few regulations regarding this alternate form of television marketing in the US, which means that viewers are virtually bombarded with marketing messages even as they watch their favourite programmes. UK viewers of American shows have likely noticed the difference.

UK brands have felt the DVR crunch as well. As a result, advertisement revenues for many programmes were declining. Ofcom responded in December by allowing product placement, allowing the placements but with a more stringent set of rules than those used across the Atlantic. Other countries that restrict or ban product placement are likely watching to see if the regulations can maintain the integrity of television programming in the UK while opening up a vital new funding source.

Companies are watching as well. If Nescafe’s £100,000 proves to be well-spent, it will be merely a drop in the bucket when it comes to product placement fees. Will the UK market be as responsive to brand placement on television as other national markets have been? This is the question that brands in the UK are asking.

In addition to the Ofcom rules, there are a few other rules that should be followed when marketing a UK logo design in any unconventional manner. First, the logo design and brand in question must be top-notch and professional, ready to reach a wide market. Second, the placement must be planned so that it reaches the target audience in the most effective way possible. Last, while saturating the public with a logo design is effective, it should be done in a way that does not turn the audience off. If you have a television commercial that you simply hate, you know what we are talking about. However, if the right brand is placed in the right way, product placement could be the UK branding and marketing method of the future.