Product placement

29Jul08

I’m really fond of my Cuisinart coffeemaker. It’s a sort-of-retro 12 cup model with dials and switches, and a stainless steel finish. For a drip coffeemaker, it makes superb coffee. I first became acquainted with this model in 2002, when we bought one for the office — it’s still going strong, in fact. I got another one for my apartment, and I’d like to think I influenced my in-laws when they bought one too.

So, it’s no secret that I like my Cuisinart and have told others about it. But what amazes me is how often I see the same exact model on TV. I’ve spotted it on the set for a break room, a kitchen, and other places on shows like 30 Rock, Criminal Minds, and more. And I’ve never noticed a commercial or promotional credit for Cuisinart during those shows, which leads me to believe the product is getting all this free placement just because people like it.

It makes sense, when you think about it. When it’s time to outfit a TV or movie set with various products to make it look real, set decorators are generally going to use stuff that they like and can get their hands on. Unless someone has paid to have their product there, the process favors brands that are popular and widely available in the marketplace. Based on my experience with Cuisinart coffeemakers, and their near-ubiquitous presence on TV shows, I can only guess that a lot of other people feel strongly about the product. For Cuisinart, this provides a steady flow of free product placement that would be incredibly costly to purchase separately.



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