J.Lo + Fiat = An Awkward AMA Performance

Fiat’s promotional roll out is a lot like the little engine that could. It keeps trucking up that hill and into various media venues making such a  it large commotion that I must address it again. Fiat seem to have entrapped JLo in a rather unfortunate contract, which apparently required her to incorporate the car into her AMA performance. When I say forced, sponsorship or blatant unabashed product placement this is what I mean.  See  below.

(JLo AMA Performance 2011)

It’s not awful, it just doesn’t make sense. The car appears, she hops in,it spins and then she’s out and moves on. There is little rhyme or reason to why the car appears in the performance other than the fact that the performance mirrors the ad, choreography, location, song and all.

Fiat achieved its goal in reaching several million captivated 18-34 year-old Americans. As far as catching a large number of eyeballs, the Fiat USA Chief Marketing Officer can sit back and have a scotch, celebrating a job well done.

But as we know, putting in ad out there doesn’t mean it worked. Ads flop everyday, products are pulled from shelves and advertisers have to forfeit multi-million dollar buys to get an ad off the air and out of publication. People don’t like feeling like they are being advertised to. Unabashed product placement gets a big eyeroll from lots of Americans, because we don’t like to be made like we are dumb, consumer machines who will buy anything just because we saw it on television. We especially don’t like it when it encroaches into our entertainment without the warning, “we will return, after a message from our sponsors.”

This is why this placement misses the mark. It’s just to obvious.





Project Runway & L’Oreal, a Seamless Match

Logical yet minimal product sponsorship is a beautiful thing. I know I wasn’t too favorable about Pepsi latching onto Simon Cowell‘s balls in its X Factor sponsorship, but product sponsorship can be done well. It doesn’t really make “sense” in the strictest definition of the word that Pepsi is on The X Factor. As a singing competition show, Pepsi really has no relevance. However, I think they’ve done a pretty good job of positioning themselves in a way that makes them relevant.

But, this is often difficult to do, which is why there are all of those official beverage/car/airline sponsors of big sporting and entertainment events. Usually the sponsors aren’t integrated into the programming and if they are its done rather forcefully. Considering, Pepsi has done a rather respectable job of integrating itself into The X Factor messaging and persona.

Project Runway does such a wonderful job of acquiring and integrating sponsors in a way that makes sense. Let’s walk through them, shall we?

L’Oreal Paris

Yes, the L’Oreal Paris make-up room. The styling of the contestant’s models is without a doubt important. The make-up sets the framework for who the girl they are dressing is and where she is going. Wesee the designers going into the make-up room for consultations and the make-up artists often spend a few seconds explaining the products they are using.

Garnier Hair Salon

Unbeknownst to me, L’Oreal actually owns Garnier, so this partnership makes even more sense. Like with make-up the hairstyling is another critical element to the entire look coming together. On the day of the runway, we see the stylists give a brief demonstration about how to achieve a particular look using Garnier’s various styling products.

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