In today’s never-ending struggle to garner press headlines and capture the public’s attention, the need for public relations becomes more important than ever. Companies have less money to shell out to pay for traditional advertising, so you now find different brands going to new lengths to get visibility.
With that, advertisers are now getting more and more clever. Their latest target? Music videos. Product placement in music videos of popular pop artists has become all the craze, sparking a huge debate about whether or not fans should accept such blatant advertising in these precious 3-minute music clips. Lady Gaga and Ke$ha are both frequent perpetrators of using advertising and product placement in their videos and now Britney Spears has come under fire for the same offense.
In the video for Spears’ latest single, “Hold It Against Me,” flashes of her Radiance fragrance, Forever make-up brand, Sony and of course, the Plenty of Fish dating website dominate the screen. For these endorsements however, the starlet earned a reported $500,000, which allowed for a much bigger budget to produce the heavily decorated video. Other artists say advertising ruins the content and for the most part, is downright tacky.
The question now comes up: Is this really good PR for a brand to be shamelessly plastered all over your favorite stars’ music videos, even if it upsets fans? Out of curiosity’s sake I’m sure, Plenty of Fish received a 20 percent upkick in site traffic the next day after Spears’ premiere. Who knows if this tactic actually works?
Still, working at a public relations agency, we’re always pressed with having to come up with new and exciting ways to promote a new brand or client. Consumers are becoming increasingly more savvy and non-creative advertising means or obvious product placement just won’t cut it. A more thoughtful, well-developed public relations campaign is definitely the way to go.