I enjoy watching Gossip Girl for various reasons. One of them is simple relaxation while another, believe it or not, has to do with branding.
For those of you who don’t know, Gossip Girl is a rather popular American TV show revolving around lives of rich and restless Manhattan youngsters who spend most of their time shopping, partying in fancy clubs and coining conspiracies against each other. As the intro to each episode says, it is “your one and only source into the scandalous life of Manhattan’s elite”. Childish? Maybe. Most valuable when it comes to watching great examples of product placement? Definitely.
Gossip Girl first started airing in 2007 and since then it has provided cozy shelter to numerous brands. Some of the brands that were given a significant role in the show were Vitaminwater, Tally Weijl, Droid, Bing and Verizon. At the same time some premium brands such as Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Louboutin and Chanel have also starred in some rather nice supporting roles, too.
Advertising brands by placing them in a certain context, for example in life of a young movie star in a popular teen show, is defined as product placement. And trust me, Gossip Girl has product placement brought out to the last detail. Either it was the restless Chuck Bass shopping at Harry Winston or the fabulous Serena van der Woodsen wearing her Louboutins, product placement is definitely the name of the game when it comes to Gossip Girl.
This, sometimes more and sometimes less subtle, form of advertising has proven to be very efficient, especially when targeting eager young population seeking for role models when building their own image. A recent study has shown that product placement scores exceptionally well among teens when it comes to building brand awareness, especially when promoting products such as beverages, cell phones and cars. Even bigger winners may be the owners of web sites, as the same study claims that teens not only notice but also actively pursue web sites shown in their favorite series.
The producers of Gossip Girl sure had their homework done. One doesn’t have to watch intensively to notice that the stylish Manhattan gals talk or send messages through one of the latest models of cell phones promoted by the Verizon network. And the fact that almost every little conspiracy that goes on in the show has to first be run through Bing search engine isn’t just a happy coincidence.
So next time when Queen B. (i.e. Blair Waldorf, one of the main characters in the show) drinks her Vitaminwater while wearing a Chanel bag and talking casually over her Droid phone watch carefully. There truly is a great lesson to learn.