Who Is in Charge of Product Placement?
Independent product placement agencies like Hollywood Branded connect the brands they represent with screenwriters, producers, set decorators, and prop-masters.
Products are part of our lives, they just are,” says Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded chief executive, in an interview with the New York Times.
Items can function as narrative shorthand in scripts, and Jones emphasizes this, saying, “Say you have a Montblanc pen, you automatically think, ‘That character has a pen worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.’”
Jones says that the majority of product placement in film and TV happens on a quid-pro-quo basis rather than in exchange for payment. An example would be a car company lending an expensive car to a set in exchange for an appearance in the show, or S’well water might mail a case of bottles to propmasters for consideration.
Of course, there are paid placements as well, particularly with large streaming companies like Netflix and HBO. It’s more frequently an agreement made to reduce production budgets.