Kate Bulkley, Media Analyst.

C4: Hollyoaks could be worth £12m in product placement

By Kate Bulkley

Broadcast News

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For Broadcast June 02, 2011

Channel 4 has identified up to £12m in product placement opportunities in Hollyoaks, according to a document seen by Broadcast.

The opportunities cover six categories including fashion, coffee and health and beauty, and were offered late last month. They will be auctioned to interested advertisers and brands, with sealed bids due by 10 June.

The quick-turnaround process follows weeks of meetings with brands and agencies about how C4 can best integrate product placement into its high-visibility soap.

The 52-page Product Placement Prospectus has been prepared with input from the programme’s producer, Lime Pictures.

C4’s timetable is for contracts to be signed by 8 July in order for the production team to have time to put the products into programmes and deal with regulatory, editorial and client approval issues. The first products should be on screen in Hollyoaks by August or September.

C4 has attributed values to its six categories (see box), which it says are “a very significant discount to any conventional expert valuation of placement”, and that the winning bids will benefit from both “first-to-market value” and “first access” to all findings and research in the nascent PP space.



The document says C4 is interested in well-rounded PP that will be more than simply putting products on screen, and will include off-screen licences and promotional rights such as using cast members for PR.

Channel 4 head of sponsorship, placement and funded content David Charlesworth said the plan is to demonstrate return on investment through sales that are traced directly back to PP.

He added that it was hard to know what level of budgets would be available and that “no one has been squirrelling away cash in expectation of PP”.

He also warned that the bids may not achieve the value guide parameters and that C4’s “ambition” was to take “circa £3m for PP in Hollyoaks for the first 12 months, one way or another”.

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