Monday, July 17, 2017

Product placement done right

One of the most annoying things that can happen when watching TV or a movie is product placement that sticks out like a sore thumb and distracts from the story. It's a real pet peeve for me.

This, on the other hand, is a beautiful example of how to do it right: Breaking Brand: Cinnabon Sees $1 Million in Media Value From "Better Call Saul" Placement.

From the article:

As AMC's "Better Call Saul" opened for the first time, the camera panned in on Gene, a character played by Bob Odenkirk, whose nametag, apron and regalia indicate that he's the manager of a Cinnabon.

Set in black and white, the scene followed Gene as he makes the company's famous cinnamon rolls step by step. For many, the scene was a peek into the new life of Saul Goodman, a beloved character from "Breaking Bad" forced to change his identity. For Cinnabon, it was two minutes of uninterrupted TV time in front of millions, a boon for its marketing department.


Cinnabon's brand name was the first thing the show's 6.9 million viewers saw during the show's premier. How did the company get here? Quite organically, as Jill Thomas, vice president of marketing at Cinnabon, tells it.

I think the key word here is "organically".

When Saul Goodman had to leave Albuquerque for parts unknown, he told Walter White he'd be lucky to end up as a Cinnabon manager in Omaha, Nebraska. He didn't seem thrilled with the prospect. But instead of taking offense, Cinnabon treated it as an opportunity. They tweeted a job application to Bob Odenkirk, who played Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad and Saul's predecessor Jimmy McGill on Better Call Saul. Brilliant, just brilliant. And it didn't cost them a cent.

When the morally flexible lawyer was spun off to his own show and the producers approached Cinnabon to be part of the his post-Breaking Bad future, the company not only agreed, but put Odenkirk through Cinnabon training for the opening scene mentioned above. Odenkirk has told the story on various talk shows, providing even more publicity. Again, no money changed hands, but everybody wins.

Do take the time to read the whole article. With so many companies crashing and burning on social media and in the public eye, it's kind of amazing to see a company do it right.

H/T to Better Call Saul Fun Facts on Facebook.

No comments: