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By Jennifer Peterson, Marketing Director, Galaxy Bright::

My first childhood memory of product placement is E.T. eating Reese’s Pieces in the Extra-Terrestrial. Product placement has come a long way since then. Not only the movies but now trailers to movies, the interior of the theater, TV reality shows and cable, internet websites, blogs, RSS feeds, pod casts, magazine articles, multicultural marketing, radio, songs, plays and books are all hot spots for the placement of products.

Why the trend? As you are probably aware, the attention span of the average audience is decreasing. With the introduction of TiVo, as well as the increase in channel surfing, there is less and less opportunity for the normal commercial to reach its intended viewer. "A research study estimates that product-placement spending will reach a record $4.25 billion this year, a 23% surge over the $3.5 billion spent in 2004." states Marc Graser in Advertising Age.

When is product placement the most effective? Products are successfully placed in media, other than the standard advertisement, when Businesses are selling to Consumers (B2C). Businesses selling to Businesses (B2B) are still for the most part marketing via more traditional media such as advertising, PR, article submission and C Level visibility.

Can your company benefit from product placement even if you don't have the funding for movies and TV? Absolutely! For example, a local wine store can sell product placement space by adding a particular wine or cheese or other relevant product on their billboard or store signage. "The weekly Inside TV is looking to place a product in the photo spread identified as editors' recommended beauty picks " per Jon Fine in Business Week. Some companies, in an effort to avoid the FCC rules, have purchased product placement advertising in pod casts. Even RSS feeds, the anti-advertising media, can have products placed in an intelligent and relevant way.

These non-traditional medias, although less expensive, can effectively serve your company in communicating to a more focused target market than ever before.