Product Placements Down 15% in First Half

September 16, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce | Television

Product placements for the first half of 2008 fell almost 15% on primetime programming for the 11 measured networks?- broadcast (ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, MNT, NBC) and cable television (A&E, Bravo, HGTV, MTV, and TLC) -?The Nielsen Company reports.

Broadcast television placements increased almost 12%, while placements on cable television declined 20%.

There were 204,919 brand occurrences on cable and broadcast networks between January and June of this year, according to Nielsen Product Placement Service.

The most prevalent placement type on broadcast television was “foreground,” which accounted for 30% of all product placements. On cable television, “wardrobe” placements were most common, accounting for 28% of all placements. “Foreground” placements, which accounted for 26% of all placements, were also prevalent in cable programs.

Broadcast Television Product Placements

Top Broadcast Television Programs

Primetime product placement occurrences on broadcast network programs increased overall by almost 12% during the first and second quarters of 2008. The top 10 programs featured 21,427 occurrences between January and June of this year – compared with 17,370 occurrences in the same time period in 2007.


The increase in the overall broadcast occurrences can primarily be attributed to changes in two programs’ schedules. “Biggest Loser” (featuring 24 hour fitness placements), which normally airs each fall, aired its fifth season starting in January 2008. “Hell’s Kitchen” (featuring Chef Revival placements) began its fourth season in June 2007 – but began season five in April 2008, therefore airing more episodes during the first half of 2008.

During the first half of 2008, “American Idol,” with 4,636 occurrences, was the top program in number of placements. Four of the top 10 programs aired on NBC, while FOX and the CW aired another two each. All of the top 10 programs had more than 1,000 placements.

Product placements on “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” were especially well received by viewers, with four of the 10 most impactful placements of the first half of 2008 appearing on the show in May. However, Target’s placements on the March 16, 2008 episode of “Oprah’s Big Give” were the most successful overall, with almost 65% of the show’s viewers recognizing and feeling positive toward Target’s brand.

Placements by the movie “Speed Racer” and Sears in the May 4 and May 11 episodes of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” also received positive recognition from high percentages of viewers (63.6% and 63.2%, respectively).

Top Broadcast Television Brands

The top 10 featured brand occurrences on primetime broadcast network television increased 38.5% in the first half this year, from 6,848 in the first half of 2007 to 9,485 between January and June of 2008.


Coca-Cola was again the top brand, with 2,990 occurrences for this time period. 24-Hour Fitness Centers and Chef Revival cooking apparel rounded out the top three brands on broadcast television, with 1,765 and 1,308 occurrences, respectively.

Top Broadcast Television Product Categories

Among the top 5 product categories on broadcast network television, Apparel ranked first, with 4,493 placements. Of these, Chef Revival apparel accounted for 1,308 occurrences.

The Soft Drinks, Fitness Centers/Clubs, Football Team, and University categories also ranked among the top five.

Cable Television Product Placements

Top Cable Television Programs

The top 10 cable programs featuring product placements accounted for 85,480 occurrences in the first half of 2008 – a decrease of 8% from 92,925 occurrences during the first and second quarters of 2007.


During the first half of 2008, “American Chopper” on TLC was again the top program, with 26,794 placements. Four of the programs in the Top 10 air on TLC, and another four air on MTV. Two BRAVO programs rounded out the top 10.

The decrease in cable occurrences stems from changes in program line-ups. Several shows that featured a significant number of product placements were aired less frequently, or were removed from Cable networks’ primetime line-ups in the first half of 2008. Examples include TLC’s “American Chopper” and “Miami Ink,” MTV’s “Run’s House” and “Pimp My Ride,” and A&E’s “Driving Force” and “Dog The Bounty Hunter.”

“American Chopper” featured the greatest number of product placements, but TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” which aired six of the top 10 best performing placements during the first half of this year, had the most successful product placements.

Home Depot placements that aired on April 12 and April 5 episodes of “Trading Spaces” offered the highest impact levels – almost 75% of viewers recognized and responded positively to those placements. Overall, nine Home Depot placements – on “Trading Space” and HGTV’s “Colorsplash” – ranked among the 10 top performing product placements for the first half of 2008.

Top Cable Television Brands

The top 10 featured brands on primetime cable network television in this year’s first half accounted for 22,334 occurrences – a 19% decrease from 27,696 occurrences in 2007.


Orange County Choppers apparel was the top brand, with 3,706 occurrences for this time period. Orange County Choppers motorcycles claimed second place, with 3,223 occurrences, and Under Armour apparel rounded out the top three with 3,068 occurrences.

Top Cable Television Product Categories

With 26,063 placements, Apparel was easily the number one product placement category on cable television during the first half of 2008. The top three apparel brands include Orange County Choppers Apparel (3,706 occurrences), Under Armour Apparel (3,068 occurrences), and Big Black Apparel (1,843). Nike and Adidas Apparel also ranked among the top five apparel brands.

MTV dominates the list of the top cable programs with the most apparel placements:



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