Four Strategies Smart Companies Use to Get the Most Out of Product Integration (Part 2)
Smart marketers, whether they are first-timers or veterans of the TV scene, get the most out of their investment in a product integration by building a collaborative relationship with their production partner and engaging with them in the process from start to finish. The first strategy smart companies use to get the most out of their product integration is communicating their goals and needs.
In addition to this, it’s also important to make sure you and the production company are on the same page about how things are going to look and feel, as well as what will or won’t be included in the integration.
Strategy #2: Smart Companies Communicate Expectations
Every TV series handles its product integrations in different ways. Here at Brenton Productions, the options and capabilities of our product integrations vary among the four different TV series that are all produced under the same roof!
In the world of television, production companies have to navigate network rules and legal considerations, as well as schedule, budget, and formatting constraints; all of which can vary greatly from one TV series to the next. Because of this, it’s vital to discuss your expectations in detail, rather than make assumptions based on what you’ve seen on other shows or experienced at other production companies.
Let the production company know if you’re expecting to see your web address on screen, or to have one of your associates on camera as part of a product integration. It’s also important to communicate visual expectations, like how much brand exposure you anticipate seeing on screen, or if there’s a particular way your product should be displayed or handled on camera.
You should also make sure to find out what level of approval you will have with any given product integration. Depending on the production schedule, network restrictions, and other factors, some types of product integrations can be scripted, reviewed during production, or even approved in post-production; others cannot. So it’s important to discuss your expectations for review and approval processes ahead of time, to avoid any surprises once your segment actually goes into production.
An easy way to prep yourself or your team for having this conversation with the production company is by using our Product Integration Strategy Guide (download it for free here!).
Strategy #3: Smart Companies Engage in the Production Process
A common mistake that some companies make is to end their involvement once they’ve signed a contract. Smart companies know that in order to maximize their product integrations, it’s critical to be engaged throughout the production process. The production team wants to tap into your expertise to help create a great story element. After all, who knows your product better than you do?
Truck U director and producer Matt Allegretti says he always views input from clients as a major asset.
“The number one thing when we’re talking to them is, ‘Hey, you guys do this every day’,” says Allegretti. “There’s always going to be something they can offer, because they’re just in it; they live it; they breathe it every single day.”
For example, Allegretti recalls the time that Steve Flanders of Brothers Truck Parts visited the set for an episode of Truck U that involved cutting a truck frame for a long-to-short bed conversion. Not only did the production team benefit from Flanders’ input on the Brothers Truck Parts products that were being used in the show, but he also offered expert guidance on the best way to complete the project.
“I thought it was invaluable,” says Allegretti. He says the information clients bring to the episode helps elevate the level of professional know-how that the show provides to the audience – not to mention that every expert knows a shortcut or two when it comes to installing or assembling vehicle parts. That helps everything go more smoothly on set, eliminating the trial-and-error process that sometimes happens in automotive DIY projects.
“You can sit there and guess for an hour and a half,” says Allegretti, “or you can have someone go, ‘Oh no, it goes like this…’ because that’s their product and they do it every day.”
Answering the following questions can be a great way to focus your message and help the production team convey important information about your product to viewers…
- What are the most common questions that you get from people trying to decide if they should buy your product?
- What questions do you typically hear from people using your products?
- What pro tips and best practices have you learned from being hands-on with your brand or product line on a daily basis?
By investing in the production process, you have an opportunity to lend your expertise to the creative flow, helping your production partner to engage and inform viewers about your brand.
Based on what we hear from many of our clients, production is truly the fun part – so make sure you don’t miss out!