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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Product placement tracking system launched

Friday February 26 2010

A system for analysing product placement effectiveness in TV programmes is brought to market

A system for analysing product placement effectiveness in TV programmes is brought to market


The new technology, developed by Margaux Matrix, is commonly used to measure brand exposure within sports broadcasts, but can also be applied to the analysis of the appearance of consumer products in television programmes.


This comes at a time when the UK Government has announced that it is to allow commercial broadcasters to generate much-needed income through product placement – thought to be worth be in the region of £150 million a year, according to the developer.


This could mean that shows such as Coronation Street could soon be plugging Nescafe coffee in Dev’s Shop; Pukka Pies in Roy’s Rolls but not Carlsberg in the Rovers Return under current proposals.


Corrie provides fertile opportunity


Margaux Matrix analysed ITV’s flagship soap, Coronation Street over the week in February that covered the death of character, Jo McIntyre. As well as detecting all branding that appeared, they also assessed potential product placement opportunities in the show.


Despite the producers’ efforts to ensure no brands are visible, analysts spotted half a dozen genuine brands in the show, most notably close-ups of Joe’s Nokia mobile phone – clearly connected to O2.


However, it is the figures for properties that could have contained branding that will be of particular interest to broadcasters and advertisers as a result of changes in product placement rules.


Consumer products like cereal boxes, drinks cans and toiletries appeared for a total of over three minutes during the episodes covered, which Margaux Matrix calculates to have had a total value of £330,000 to advertisers.


System aims to demonstrate return on investment


In addition, many scenes on the programme take place within the Street’s retail premises – Dev’s Corner Shop, Audrey’s Salon and the betting shop were featured in this week, whilst scarcely an episode goes by without a visit to the Rovers Return. The company calculates that posters and point of sale items were worth an average £230,000 across the five episodes of the week.


Margaux Matrix has also assessed that the potential to advertise alcohol brands in the programme would have a potential advertising value of £181,000 a week or £9m a year. Under the proposed changes this is potential revenue that cannot be exploited.


“Our analysis system has been used extensively on programming from other countries where paid-for placement is allowed, giving the company extensive experience in this new area for UK broadcasting,” said James Gibson, sales director for Margaux Matrix.


“It is useful for both the programme makers and the clients to make value judgements based on the actual exposure for brands monitored in the programmes. Placement is not new to UK TV but paying for it directly to the broadcaster is and therefore accurate measurement is essential, which is what Margaux Matrix’s process provides.”