Samsung’s Product Placement Can Teach Us a Thing or Two About Boosting Event Sponsorship

March 7, 2014

Everyone is all a twitter over Samsung’s product placement and the Ellen DeGeneres selfie at the Oscars.  Samsung received more value out of this sponsorship deal than they had probably dreamed of! A recent Washington Post highlights the details of Samsung’s Oscar ad buy and why the organic product placement worked so well for them.

Instead of debating why the product placement worked so well, I would like to focus on how event managers can use this concept to increase sponsorship sales and ROI.  Every product marketer dreams of getting their product in the hands of its targeted user. “If only they could try it, they would love it.” Tradeshows offer a perfect pool of targeted users to exhibitors. Yes, the exhibit floor is designed for product demos, but the exhibitor is at the will of the attendee.  They can only interact with the attendee who decides to stop by their booth.  Event managers can sweeten the deal for exhibitors by adding product placement opportunities to areas/sessions/receptions/meetings outside of the exhibit floor.

For example, sponsorships are often offered for educational tracks that include a logo on the signage and usually a speaking spot. What if every attendee in that session had the opportunity to use the sponsor’s latest product during the session? Attendees could take notes on the latest tablet, snack on the company’s new cookie line, or walk away with a new pair of wiper blades for their car.  

Word of mouth marketing can be extremely powerful for increasing brand awareness and sales.  The likelihood of at least one of these attendees tweeting or posting on Facebook about the awesome giveaway they just received is pretty high, and you have just gone viral.

I will concede that this may be more difficult for some industries than others, but we can learn from Samsung’s strategy and use this as a launching pad for offering more creative ways to get a product into the hands of the user/buyer. And now you can easily justify charging more for that track sponsorship (or the like).

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