Product placement in TV shows is booming in an age of shifting viewing behavior.
When The Hershey Company brand Reese's Pieces was featured in the 1982 hit film E.T., sending sales soaring, the use of product placement in movies and TV shifted into high gear. Who could forget the association of Aston Martin with James Bond, or Nike with Forrest Gump?
These days, however, product placement — or, as it is often referred to, brand integration — is enjoying a renewed rise. A recent annual report released by media industry economist PQ Media, for example, found that the U.S. product placement market will top $10 billion in 2018, the ninth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
This is particularly reflected in TV shows where products have even become part of the storyline. Examples over the past few years abound: There's the scene in the second season of Netflix's Stranger Things, where two young characters lighten the tension at dinner by eating KFC and calling it "finger-licking good." There's the character on USA's Royal Pains, who used the real estate-site Zillow to look up available homes. And there's the episode of ABC's Black-ish in which the characters discuss a short film Procter & Gamble released last year to spotlight the discussions black parents have with their children to prepare them for racial bias.