Product Placement on Reality Television

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Things are different in the television entertainment business than what they used to be. Television started off by being used to amuse viewers that would tune in to watch their favorite shows and sitcoms. Modern day television companies have found a way to entertain their viewers in a unique way. That way is through reality television. Reality television is a non-scripted show that follows “real people” around in their current day lives. Reality television is used for unscripted situations and dramas. Once reality television started getting very popular in the early 1940s on TV, advertisers for companies used it as an asset in order to get their products known in the public. Now, when watching modern day reality television, you are bombarded with different types of products, services, and advertisements.

Reality Television had started off in the 1940s. It was first found entertaining when it was used to capture the reaction of a victim to a “prank”. Up until the 1970s, reality television had not been very popular. When a show called The American Family debuted, that soon changed. On the show, drama ensued when the main character’s son openly came out as gay. Ever since, reality television has been a whirlwind of drama and scandals that continue to this day. Because the shows are so popular, television executives and directors have found it easier to advertise on a reality television as opposed to a scripted show. Writer for the New York Times, Stuart Elliot said “It is typically easier to weave products into an episode of a reality show like American Idol or Survivor than into a scripted series like Grey’s Anatomy or Two and a Half Men. The reason for that is because product advertisers have found that actors from non-scripted shows are more willing to advertise a product than an actor from a scripted show. Actors from scripted shows or movies are found to care about their art and how they are seen from the public eye.

Advertising companies are willing to pay a lot of money in order to get their product advertised in any way possible. Viewers are constantly being exposed to different advertisements while watching a reality show. For example, Coca-Cola soda company pays millions of dollars each year to the popular reality television show “American Idol” so that judges will have a Coca-Cola labeled drinking glass sitting on their desk. Also, commercials for the soda brand are constantly being played while American Idol is streaming. Another example of product placement on a show called Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kimberly, Koutney, and Khloe Kardashian all advertise their store, Dash. Dash has three locations; Miami, New York City, and California. The three sisters are constantly flying back and forth between locations in order to familiarize their viewers with their clothing stores. Without product placement, many stores and products would not be known as they are today.

Although there are many negative things about advertising, product placement has a lot of positive aspects as well. By having a celebrity use your product not only lets your viewers become aware of your product, but also it increases sales. Television shows (specifically reality television shows) tend to have a larger budget when it has a lot of advertisers. The reason for this is because advertisers pay millions of dollars to the shows in order to have their commercial stream on it. Overall, product placement on reality television has had a huge impact on the way modern Americans view their television shows.





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