Plainly stated, music video product placements work. In a new study, Nielsen found that not only do people notice brands in music videos, but these videos can contribute to a lift of 8 percentage points, on average, in purchase intent and improved perception. Even in the cases where the brand product placements weren’t as noticeable, overall awareness increased. In essence, these videos can present a more organic alternative to a blatant endorsement, which can be less effective with certain music genres.
Beyond awareness, music videos also provide the opportunity to show off unique selling points about products. For example, Avril Lavigne’s “Rock n’ Roll” video showed off the Sony Ericsson Experia phone’s waterproof feature when she answers it after taking it out of a glass of water. And the artists’ endorsement through usage and product placement within their videos will also boost perception of a brand. As is always the case with this art form, however, the truly creative benefit the most.
Brand placement in music videos can take a variety of forms—from Miley Cyrus using EOS lip balm in her “We Can’t Stop” video to Katy Perry taking a selfie with her Nokia phone in her “Roar” video. However, we’ve learned that a brand’s effect actually reflects how it’s placed rather than the number of on-screen seconds it gets. Our research found that it’s possible for products that have 5 seconds of exposure to create 35 percent (or even higher) brand lift, the same as those that are on the screen for 35-60 seconds.
Overall, these partnerships can be beneficial to both artists and brands. For example, in 2013, Miley Cyrus’ wildly popular “We Can’t Stop,” featuring both the EOS lip balm placement and a second with her Beats Pill, was a video hit as the sixth most-streamed on-demand song with 151 million streams. And given the short time needed for a brand to have an effect, artists don’t always have to be concerned about brand overexposure while brands don’t have to worry about how much time their product is shown to see results. At the same time, unlike other types of video—like TV or movies—music videos can go viral. When a new song comes with a video element and becomes a viral story, artists—and brands—can achieve consumption and exposure levels that straight audio (and advertising) cannot always garner.
*Does not include Pandora. Streaming reporters include: AOL, Cricket, Medianet, rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, YouTube/VEVO, and Zune.