This week’s Friend Friday topic was inspired by the recent rescue of 33 Chilean Miners who were trapped underground for over two months. Each was given a pair of Oakley sunglasses to protect their eyes as they adjusted to the light as they came to the surface. Although the donation of the glasses was certainly a charitable act on Oakley’s part, it was also a way for the company to garner much positive publicity. It was product placement at its best!
1. As we watched the Chilean Miners being rescued last week, there were many things to take note of – the amazing faith of these people, the joy of life, love and family, and – interestingly enough – product placement. As you watched the rescue efforts did you notice the products? What were your thoughts? I did notice the Oakley sunglasses, but only because prior to the rescue, the local media outlets made a point of talking about the glasses.
I certainly believe Oakley used the rescue as a marketing tool. Why wouldn’t they? They were participating in an event that was being watched worldwide and pulling the heartstrings of male and female alike. It would have been a missed opportunity had the news of the donation not been in the media. I agree with these comments from The High Low:
Yes, in fairness, Oakley is being somewhat charitable here — but news of its eyewear donation was leaked to the media well before the actual rescue, and we’re willing to bet that leak was no accident. The worldwide media is riveted to Chile right now, offering an unprecedented amount of media attention — which means millions of eyes on the Oakleys these miners are wearing. And any positive association with this heart-warming event could certainly benefit a brand.
Nevertheless, the obvious marketing and product placement did not detract from the sheer joy and happiness of the remarkable rescue. Nothing could have done that.
2. Product placement is all around us today, what do you think makes it such a marketing gold mine? The key to any marketing strategy is getting your product out there. It doesn’t matter how great something is, if no one knows about it, no one will buy it. Product placement is an effective and easy way to create publicity for something. Media outlets, whether we are talking about movies, television, news, magazines or blogs, all have built in audiences. Sex and the City 2, for example, was basically one big advertisement, and the products sold. Isn’t it every companies dream to have a built in audience at their full disposal?
The excellent You Tube video below shows just how much product placement occurs in film:
3. On your blog, either now or in the future, what is/will be your stance on highlighting specific products? I haven’t really delved into product reviews on my blog yet. I have shared my personal experiences with some etsy shops and with Wendy Brandes Jewelry, but I did this of my own accord. They were pieces I purchased personally, and I decided to share the positive experiences I had with my readers.
I am not opposed to doing reviews in the future, and likely will, but I have some rules I have set for myself:
- I will only review products that have some connection to fashion or photography.
- Although I will accept a product or sample from a company for review consideration, I will only post a review about something if I would purchase it on my own.
- I will only write honest, truthful, and fully-disclosed posts about the products I consider worthy of review.
- I will not accept payment for reviews, and will only post one if I have something positive to say.
4. If the opportunity arose would you give a bad review of a product? As I stated above, I would not post a negative review on the blog. I would contact the company directly and share my feedback, but I would not share it on the blogosphere. I don’t believe that type of negativity is necessary because it doesn’t fit with the content of this blog.
5. Do you view your blog as a product? Where have you or do you hope to place it? This blog is most certainly a product. In marketing terms, a product is defined as something that satisfies the needs, wants, and demands of certain individuals or markets. I think that all blogs, whether it is the intent of the author or not, are products because they are a type of good/service. You provide a service to your readers. In the future, I hope Beautifully Invisible becomes a brand synonymous with fashion editorial content and conversation. One day… far, far in the future!
Right now the blog is young, so I am focusing on reaching out to other bloggers and to the IFB Community. I am not reaching out to PR firms yet, although a few have reached out to me. All in good time – the sky is the limit!
What about you – how do you view product placement?
If you have a blog of your own, do you view it as a product? Why or why not?