Product placement seems to popping up everywhere these days, from the traditional places like TV shows and movies, to the more bizarre like presidential debates and even the inauguration. Politics in America have always been an interesting place, but recently they’ve become yet another place companies try to get recognized.

From Pizza Hut offering free pizza for life to any Town Hall Debate questioner willing to ask the candidates what their favorite pizza toppings were, to Allen Edwards shipping several pairs of their shoes to the White House in hopes that President Obama would wear them on Inauguration Day, it seems that product placement in American politics is here to stay. The real question is, will anyone even notice?

After all, isn’t the entire point of doing product placement to get your brand noticed and remembered? Let’s suppose for a minute the President chose to wear the Allen Edwards shoes (which in this case he didn’t, marking the first time in over 20 years that a President hasn’t worn them).

Having the president wear your shoes in front of millions of people seems like a great win for your brand, but is there any way to measure it? Realistically, there is a very slim chance that any of the major news anchors will notice and comment on his shoes as he approaches the podium, or even as he is dancing the night away at one of the Inaugural balls. They have more important things to talk about, like dissecting his speech and his approach to governance for the next four years.

So how would Allen Edwards know if a single sale resulted from sending the President some shoes, much less if anybody even saw them. The simple answer is testing. We see this word thrown out a lot in the advertising community as a way of proving campaigns work or not, and it is often ignored or looked at as an afterthought. Sadly, it is absolutely crucial in the world of product placement.

What better way to justify sending some shoes to the White House on the off chance that if the president does wear them, 5% of the viewing audience will see them, know what they are, and be interested in buying them? The only way to know whether the above scenario is attainable or merely a pipe dream is by testing the placement in advance. Don’t simply send your product or pay money to be featured in a movie without testing it first.


Image Originally From: The Telegraph