The Influence of Film and TV on Advertising Trends
December 19, 2023
BY: EMMA IRIONDO
In the world of advertising, staying relevant and engaging with the audience is a constant challenge. Advertisers and marketers are always on the lookout for innovative ways to capture the public’s attention and leave a lasting impression. One potent source of inspiration that has had a significant impact on advertising trends is the world of popular films and television shows. In this blog post, we’ll explore how these forms of entertainment have influenced the video marketing strategy choices of some of the world’s biggest companies, from subtle product placements to thematic campaigns that take the world by storm.
Product Placements: Stealthy Marketing
One of the most common ways in which popular films and TV shows influence advertising is through product placements. This advertising technique is so seamlessly integrated into the storyline that viewers often don’t even realize they’re being marketed to. For example, think of James Bond casually sipping a Martini, or the Office characters mentioning the superiority of Staples to Dunder Mifflin (Merberg 2022). These placements make the products seem like an integral part of the character’s world, making the audience more likely to have a favorable opinion of them.
Nostalgia Marketing: Tapping into the Past
Popular films and TV shows often transport us to different eras, evoking nostalgia for the past. Advertisers have recognized the powerful emotional connection people have with these portrayals of bygone times and have used nostalgia marketing to create impactful campaigns. Whether it’s a retro-themed product launch or an advertisement that transports us to a specific time period, the influence of media in bringing the past to life is undeniable. In 2016, Spotify made a nostalgic commercial video with Falkor and Atreyu from the 1984 fantasy movie ‘The NeverEnding Story’. It even featured the original actor of the boy and the dragon’s voice actor (Hesterberg 2021)! The advertisement takes place where the movie left off and plays the same outdo music used in the film. As they glide through the crowds, Atreyu says “I can’t believe people still listen to this song!”. Words then appear on the screen that say: ‘Stories end, songs are forever’ (Spotify 2016).
Cinematic Storytelling Commercials
Advertising has evolved to embrace cinematic storytelling techniques seen in popular films and TV shows. Commercials have become storytelling videos, complete with compelling narratives, character development, and emotional arcs. These storytelling techniques engage viewers on a deeper level and have been used in everything from car ads to perfume campaigns. Google even used storytelling in their advertisement ‘Parisian Love’ (Google 2009). In it, we follow the protagonist who moves to France, falls in love, and rearranges their life to be with their lover. Google helps them with every step along the way (Du Plessis).
The Rise of Branded Content in Video Marketing
In recent years, there’s been a surge in branded content. Companies are partnering with filmmakers and content creators to produce brand videos that blur the lines between entertainment and advertising. For example, Red Bull’s “Stratos” campaign, which featured Felix Baumgartner’s historic skydive from the stratosphere, was a masterful way of engaging viewers and associating adventure with their product. The cinematography looks right out of a real movie. and viewers are left feeling inspired (Redbull, 2012).
Character Inspirations for Branding
Characters from popular films and TV shows often become symbols of certain traits or lifestyles. Advertisers frequently draw inspiration from these characters to create brand personas. Think about how the character of Tony Stark, Iron Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, became synonymous with innovation and technology. Brands can leverage these associations to craft advertising campaigns that align with the values and qualities associated with these characters. Dr. Pepper made a promotional video in 2010 commercial that featured a janitor trying on the Iron Man costume, only to turn into a Dr. Pepper machine. At first he was frustrated, but as soon as he had a sip of Dr. Pepper he was fine (Dr Pepper 2010).
Super Bowl Commercials: A Cinematic Showcase
The Super Bowl is not just a sporting event but a showcase of some of the most cinematic and extravagant award-winning video productions made to advertise products. The advertisements are intended to resonate with the massive Super Bowl audience by adopting storytelling techniques and memorable moments from popular films and TV shows. From celebrity appearances to clever parodies, these commercials aim to captivate viewers just as blockbuster films do. The Amazon Alexa product video stands out, as it features many celebrities comically trying to take over Alexa’s job when she loses her voice (Garrett 2023). Of course, they fail miserably, and Alexa says she can “take it from here” at the end of the video (Amazon 2018).
Popular films and TV shows have long been a source of inspiration for advertising trends, and this influence is only growing stronger in the age of digital media and viral marketing. From the subtlety of product placements to the grandeur of Super Bowl commercials, the world of entertainment continues to shape the world of advertising.
By drawing upon the emotional connections and cultural significance of these media and using cinematic storytelling, advertisers can create campaigns that resonate deeply with their target audiences. As the lines between entertainment and advertising blur, it’s clear that the creative synergy between films and TV shows and the advertising industry will continue to shape the way brands connect with consumers for years to come. Need help making your iconic advertisement, our video production company has you covered!