Guaranteed placement is becoming a more popular distribution option as news holes continue to shrink and news directors remain leery of VNRs.
Ed Lamoureaux, SVP of sales and marketing at West Glen Communications, says guaranteed placement allows companies to "ensure value to the clients who pay to produce and distribute this material. Does it provide the same kind of value as PR?" he asks. "That has to be determined by the client for whom the program is being done."
Lamoureaux thinks paid placement has an interesting place in the communications tool set and that its growing popularity is being driven by "the failure of a lot of VNRs to score the kind of hits clients have come to expect."
Tim Bahr, president of MultiVu, says that guaranteed or strategic placement should be used in conjunction with traditional outreach.
"Strategic placement adds a level of controlled media strategy on top of traditional broadcast distribution," he says. "The two strategies work hand in hand."
Bahr says one of the main benefits of guaranteed placement is that it adds a level of control to broadcast campaigns and ensures that target audiences receive the message. "For example, a beverage company promoting a new drink might create a longer video segment that discusses the benefits of the drink and place it on a closed gym network," Bahr says. "That same video could be shortened and distributed as a VNR to broadcast news stations for airing as part of news programming."
Bahr believes guaranteed placement's significance will only continue growing.
"As the communications industry moves more toward creation of video content that better explains the benefits of a product or service, strategic placements will become even more important as longer feature formats will be required," he explains.
Bahr says because strategic placements are secured, the client has a built-in ROI. "A level of audience reach is built in to the project, and a level of uncertainty is removed," he says. "This provides a base audience from which a broadcast campaign can grow."
Guaranteed placement helps in message delivery and reaching target groups
Guaranteed placement programming is usually placed as interstitial programming
Strategic placements allow for a fuller explanation of a product's benefits