In the fast-paced and competitive landscape of today’s market, emerging brands are constantly seeking ways to gain exposure and propel their growth. One effective avenue for achieving this is through strategic partnerships and product placements in movies and TV shows. By strategically positioning your brand in the film industry, you can create remarkable awareness without breaking the bank. 

This article explores the strategies and opportunities available for emerging brands to collaborate with the film industry, maximizing their brand exposure and paving the way for remarkable success.

Finding the right film or TV project for your product

To determine which projects align with your brand’s objectives, it’s crucial to start by defining your brand’s goals, understanding its story, and establishing its positioning. By doing so, you can identify the types of movies that resonate with your brand and target audience. Analyze your product sales and explore how movie partnerships could boost your brand’s performance. By taking a creative and strategic approach, you can find the perfect movie project for your brand.

Lainie Strouse, President of Lower Merion Productions who has developed, produced and sold Teacher Of The Year, is Executive Producer of “E.A.T. with Gavin Rossdale and the feature film, “Abby’s Party.” Lainie has secured funding for projects such as the Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” the best-selling thriller “Ultimatum,” and “Spinning Gold,” and produced large-scale live events including the inaugural live concert event for Ellen DeGeneres’s “Ellen Fund” with Bruno Mars and Chris Martin, raising $5 million dollars (with a $2 million dollar goal), and Hilarity for Charity for Seth Rogen, among others.  
According to Strouse, there are a lot of ways to figure out what movie projects you should be investigating. It starts with asking yourself the following questions:

  1. What are your goals for the brand? 
  2. What is your brand story? 
  3. What is the positioning of your brand?  What kind of movie does it make sense to be in? 
  4. What is your strategy? What are you trying to do to get your brand to the next level? 
  5. What are your demographics, who is your audience and what kind of movie would influence them?  
  6. How are you selling your product and what might help sales? 
  7. What kind of visibility are you seeking? Do you want your product to be in the movie, supporting the movie or part of the promotion of the movie?  What kind of engagement are you seeking? 

You have to be creative when strategizing what opportunities you want. 

Make it mutually beneficial

Securing a place for your brand in a movie requires considering what you can offer to the film project. Think about whether your brand has access to celebrities, supports a cause, or possesses a highly publicized message that can help generate buzz for a film. Assess if you can provide products or collaborate with makeup artists to contribute to the movie’s production. 

Investing in the project financially is also an option worth considering. Remember, movie producers are constantly seeking everything from products to funding to support their projects. Success stories abound, such as Julia Roberts sporting a Wallaroo unisex fedora hat called “The Outback” in her latest movie, “Ticket to Paradise,” which not only highlighted the importance of sun protection but also exemplified the effectiveness of product placement.

Opportunities for emerging brands

Recent television shows have provided exposure to a range of brands, from the trendiest compost bin, Bamboozle, featured on Netflix’s “BEEF,” to Dark Matter Coffee on Hulu’s “The Bear,” KIND snack bars on Comedy Central’s “Nora is Awkwafina from Queens,” and Eggos in Netflix’s popular series “Stranger Things.” These examples demonstrate that brands of all sizes can achieve significant exposure by effectively showcasing their offerings and being in the right place at the right time when it comes to TV and films. Movie producers actively seek partnerships with manufacturers, presenting opportunities for emerging brands to create their own chances and attract attention. 

Attending prestigious film festivals like Sundance, engaging with industry trade publications, exploring IMDb, connecting with makeup and hairstylist guilds, reaching out to independent film production companies, and considering product placement companies are all viable avenues for emerging brands to explore.

Nurturing collaborative relationships

Award-winning independent Producer Kia Kiso, President of Zaza Productions, emphasizes the importance of mutually beneficial deals between brands and filmmakers. While product placement companies can facilitate these connections, it’s important to consider the associated commissions and fees, which can complicate the relationship. Kiso advises brands to clearly display contact information on their websites for potential opportunities. 

Producers often lack the time or resources to conduct extensive research or make cold calls to marketing departments. Therefore, when brands with aligned values and objectives approach them, it presents an ideal scenario. Being creative, flexible, and judicious in structuring the partnership ensures that both parties’ goals are met while preserving the creative vision of the project.

How to make your product a star

For emerging brands seeking alignment with movies, several strategies can be employed. Making your products visible in the film, providing assistance with makeup on the set, featuring in gift bags, and offering touch-up services at parties are all effective ways to showcase your brand. Drawing from her experience producing documentaries, Kiso highlights the success achieved by brands that understood the essence of the project, shared the same target audience, and devised creative ways to collaborate. Social media campaigns and unique offerings, such as providing crowdfunding event spaces and products for community giveaways, can associate your brand with the film’s popularity and success.

Embarking on the journey of featuring your brand in movies can yield incredible results and ignite a wave of magic and success. By aligning your brand’s goals, story, and positioning with appropriate projects and leveraging strategies such as product placement, you can unlock new avenues for growth and engagement. 

Cultivating meaningful relationships with filmmakers and exploring various channels, such as film festivals, trade publications, and independent production companies, can help you seize remarkable opportunities. Ultimately, the synergy between brands and movies is a win-win situation, empowering both parties to reach unprecedented heights.

Remember, the world of movies presents a vast playground for emerging brands to maximize their brand exposure and make a lasting impact. With strategic planning, innovative thinking, and collaborative partnerships, your brand can shine on the big screen and captivate audiences worldwide.


Editor’s note: To delve deeper into this subject, don’t miss the free webinar offered by We Make Movies, where you can connect with producers actively seeking partnerships with brands like yours. You can attend the webinar on how filmmakers raise corporate funding for films on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at 6:30 pm PT | 9:30 pm ET. You can register for the webcast here

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