Netflix Shows Are Full of Brands — But Is It Product Placement? | Movies Insider

From Insider.

Netflix says it doesn’t let brands pay for appearances in its shows and movies. So why are Netflix originals littered with branded products and logos? Is Netflix doing product placement or not?

You’re not imagining all that brand messaging embedded into episodes of your most-watched Netflix shows. Even though Netflix is an ad-free platform, its exclusive films and TV series have become advertising vehicles in their own right. In this episode of "Movies Insider," we look at examples of different types of product placement on Netflix and see how the video-streaming service is pushing brands at every level of its content, from prop design to dialogue.

In the Duffer brothers’ sci-fi hit "Stranger Things," Millie Bobby Brown’s character, Eleven, is obsessed with Eggo waffles, while Caleb McLaughlin’s character, Lucas Sinclair, loves the taste of New Coke. And Netflix has licensed the "Stranger Things" name to sell all kinds of products, from Burger King Whoppers to throwback Nike sportswear.

Meanwhile, the popular "To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before" movies, starring Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, push Subway sandwiches as a character quirk of Lara Jean’s best friend Chris, a gimmick that led Subway to partner with Netflix on promoting the second film, and "To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You." All this scripted brand integration might make you wonder about the role brands are playing behind the scenes of Netflix productions — and how much say they get in the writing and creative direction of your favorite shows and movies.

To find out more about how product placement works on Netflix, we spoke with two industry experts: Erin Schmidt of Branded Entertainment Network, a company that specializes in facilitating product placement deals, and Dominic Artzrouni of Concave Brand Tracking, a market research firm that tracks brands’ placement in entertainment. They give an insider’s perspective on Netflix’s approach to product placement, how the streaming giant benefits from promoting brands in its programming, and how its growing number of brand partnerships shape the content you’re seeing on Netflix. Finally, we break down how Netflix makes an effort to distance itself from the practice of product placement — and the advantages and downsides to its strategy.

For more from Concave Brand Tracking:

For more from Branded Entertainment Network:

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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Netflix Shows Are Full of Brands — But Is It Product Placement? | Movies Insider