(1) To lure: To attract
The dancing bear lures customers into the toy store.
(2) Phenomenal success: A really big success
If this product isn’t a phenomenal success, we’re going to go bankrupt.
(3) A hit: Something that was quite popular
Each iPhone seems like it’s a bigger hit than the last one.
1. Which company makes Reece’s Pieces?
2. Why do companies use product placement?
a. To promote their products
b. To show their products with the target customers
c. A & B
3. By how much did sales of Reece’s Pieces increase?
a. More than 50%
b. More than 75%
c. More than 100%
By Jeremy Schaar
Placement is used by luxury brands to put their brand in a luxurious setting. For example, Hermes scarves became very popular after appearing in the movie Basic Instinct.
But many other companies also use placement. For example, cigarette companies wanted Hollywood to show stars smoking in movies.
Perhaps the most famous example of product placement is in the movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. In the 1982 movie by Steven Spielberg, a little boy uses a small candy to lure an alien away from his hiding place. Originally, they were going to use M&Ms, but Mars, Inc. (the company that produces M&Ms) decided they didn’t want to be in the film. So, they used Reece’s Pieces instead.
Hershey’s–the company that makes Reece’s Pieces–agreed to let them use the candy for free. In exchange, Hershey’s had to spend $1 million to promote the movie and they were allowed to use E.T. in their advertisements.
The movie was a phenomenal success. As a result Reece’s Pieces were also a new hit. Sales went up more than 50%. Even today, people remember the movie and enjoy the candy.
Note that this placement is not just successful because the movie was successful. (Though that is definitely true.) The exact placement was also important. A little boy was eating and using the candy. That’s important because children are such important customers for candy.
Partly as a result of the placement of the candy in the movie, these days product placement in movies is common. Usually it’s not a big deal, but everyone is hoping that their product will be the next Reece’s Pieces.