Product Placement: Take Narratives from One Pivotal Moment to the Next

Product placement helps tell important stories, it can even help filmmakers bring their dream creative vision to life. 

Character tapping on ADT command panel in Dead to Me.

While most people dream about a romantic Sicilian getaway, this seemingly idyllic vacation led married couple Ethan and Harper down a path of speculation and betrayal in HBO’s The White Lotus season two. The couple’s unraveling started after Harper found a Durex condom wrapper under a couch in their hotel room. This unsettling discovery set in motion a string of events that tested their marriage and sanities. 

Product placements can play a pivotal role in propelling a narrative forward. They can even create stronger content that generates more attention, like in the case of Harper finding the condom. Once Harper started questioning her marriage, she landed herself in a nefarious situation with Ethan’s best friend and show villain, Cameron. Fans flocked to social media to debate what happened between the two characters, if anything. With this buzz, the season two finale achieved record-high viewership for the show at 4.1 million viewers. 

Explore how product placements move narratives from one key moment to the next and helps build compelling stories that delight viewers. 

Bring Values to Life on the Big & Little Screens

In Netflix’s Dead to Me, ADT plays a key role in showing the dismantling of Jen and Julie’s friendship after Jen uncovers Julie’s secret. Viewers watched as Jen smokes a cigarette with a detached look on her face and burns Julie’s belongings. The camera then pans to an ADT box and shows ADT technicians installing security cameras along the house’s perimeter. 

In a later scene, the security system goes off as Jen tucks in her youngest son, prompting her to race downstairs to load her gun. While Jen’s older son returning home ended up triggering the alarm, this scene with ADT’s security system shows Jen’s increasingly anxious state in her home and the specific actions she then took to ensure her family’s safety. After all, there’s no better time to safeguard your home than learning that your former best friend who lived with you may in fact be your husband’s killer.

Like ADT, Aston Martin literally drove the plot forward in the 2016 James Bond film Spectre. Played by Daniel Craig, James Bond engages in a high-speed race throughout Rome in an Aston Martin DB10 as his enemy trails behind in a Jaguar C-X75. While the film’s director Sam Mendes said he loved seeing “two of the fastest cars in the world” in a one-to-one speed battle, the Aston Martin prevailed victorious as Bond narrowly escaped his enemy due to the Aston’s superior speed and nifty gadgets. 

Signify Critical Points in Time

Product placements can emphasize a certain moment in time in content. Fans watched Selena Gomez’s character—Mabel Short—work tirelessly alongside her quirky neighbors to solve a suspicious death in Only Murders in the Building. During season two, in one scene, Mabel paints over a mural using Benjamin Moore products, with this action signifying that she’s attempting to move on from the murder that consumed her life throughout season one. As Mabel gets to work, fans hope she gets that new beginning she deserves, at least until season two unravels more drama…

The Bachelor is renowned for new beginnings as singles look to meet the love of their lives and what better place to build a budding romance than in the Bahamas? In 2017, the hit series hosted its tropical date at Resorts World Bimini, a 750-acre Caribbean beachfront resort and casino located on North Bimini Island. The resort illustrated an important milestone for bachelor Nick Vaill and the remaining contestants, with the series referring to the trip as #BiminiBliss. The resort gave the contestants a luxurious intimate location to build their relationships and even put Bimini on the map as a go-to destination for couples.

Product placement helps tell important stories, it can even help filmmakers bring their dream creative vision to life. 

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