Advertisers Want Product Placement in Amazon, Netflix Shows to Combat Falling TV Viewership

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 19: In this photo illustration the Netflix logo is reflected in the eye of a woman on September 19, 2014 in Paris, France. Netflix September 15 launched service in France, the first of six European countries planned in the coming months. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty …
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Advertisers are reportedly aiming to increase product placement in shows that appear on streaming services that don’t have advertisements such as Netflix and Hulu.

Variety reports that a number of advertising agencies have been pressured by the big name brands that they represent to focus their product placement efforts on streaming content. Most recently, the real-estate listings website Zillow was featured in Amazon’s series Hand of God. Working with advertisers is something that showrunner Ben Watkins says “is a great way to get things you normally could not get.”

Brendan Gaul, the chief content officer at Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann — a media-buying firm that represents clients such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, and many others — says that their clients are facing a new set of challenges as viewership of traditional TV continues to fall. “More and more clients are struggling with the problem of eyeball shifting,” said Gaul. “Our clients are coming to us, asking us to help them solve that problem: How do they get into the content, and how do they get into it in a meaningful way?”

According to Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, the total viewership of traditional “television” programming among adults between the ages of 18 and 49 fell 5.9 percent in September, preceded by a 5.9 percent drop in August and an even further drop of 6.1 percent in June. “Viewing of unrated programming through internet-connected devices and of premium video on PCs, tablets and mobile phones are undoubtedly accounting for some of these declines,” Wieser commented.

“Streaming platforms are on our innovation checklist to focus on and try to figure out while still in the malleable stages,” said Claudia Cahill, the chief content officer at Omnicom Media Group which represent clients such as Pepsi and Apple. “We are all working together to try to figure out how to connect all of their offerings – data, ad models, e-commerce – to create something robust for clients.”

Many show creators are supportive of the idea, such as Hand of God showrunner Ben Watkins who wants to utilize more real-world products in his show in order to provide a level of authenticity. “I want to be able to partner with brands that feed into the world that we are building,” he says. “The ideal scenario is you get extra money for the budget, but it’s also good for your story.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at


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