Trenae Floyd, president and CEO, Von Enterprises International, Inc.

Trenae Floyd, president and CEO, Von Enterprises International, Inc.

*Have you ever watched your favorite television show or a movie and noticed that certain brand named items were displayed while others were obscured?

Whether you realized it or not, you were witnessing a lucrative practice called product placement. Trenae Floyd, president and CEO of Von Enterprises International, Inc., is helping creative artists cash into a $500 billion business.

Through her firm, she created the Product Placement Expo and seminars to help companies strategically place their brands in promising creative projects and help artists secure product placements to partially fund their projects.

“While I was producing my reality show, I realized that I needed help securing product placements for my project,” Floyd said. “So, I took a look at what was needed in the film and entertainment industries. What most of the people communicated was a lack of knowledge in how to reach out to the various brands and getting those brand to showcase items in their television productions or films.”

Floyd is a communications and creative production veteran with nearly three decades of experience. Throughout her acclaimed career, the Bethune Cookman University graduate has produced virtually every type of multimedia programming. Filling the industry void inspired her to create the Product Placement Expo. Participants can expect the information of the latest business trends, access to industry leaders, and best practices for securing sponsorships for media projects or placing a brand in a project.

“I am looking to expand this horizon to include authors, musicians, and anyone who is a creative artist. I want to assist them with product placement,” she said. “Product placement is not something as common as people think. Many film companies have on-staff people that handle product placement. I want to help people be successful with this process.”

Floyd pointed out the many benefits of product placement.

“It gives brands more exposure. In the past, brands had to solely rely on traditional advertising (radio, print, and banners) to draw the kind of attention they needed from various audiences. With product placement, you are able to garner more loyalty for your customers. If your brand is connected with an admired personality, the viewers are more likely to purchase the product. Also the screening size gives viewers a larger platform that they are more likely to identify with.”

Floyd continued: “I want people to understand that in most cases, product placement will not pay for your entire project. However, successful placement can certainly help.”

The Emmy Award-winning producer offers these fours strategies for successful product placement solicitations.

Explore Your Options: “The models have changed. You used to have to go through the expensive process of having your production filmed, having it professionally edited, and then hopefully getting it distributed into theaters. Now, you can purchase a camera, edit your film on a laptop, and sign your own deal with Netflix or other platforms and distribute your project yourself.”

Be Willing to Start Small: “Product placement does not always include money. Sometimes it is a bartering situation or a company may provide product for your set. But, when you are first starting out, you may not get money for the product placement. If you are new, your chances are slim to none. You have to demonstrate an ability to produce high quality products and develop a good reputation.”

Have Reliable Distribution: “No major company wants to have its brand connected with a project that won’t get the visibility it deserves. It is critical that you have a respected and reliable distribution platform so that brands can increase exposure, visibility, and profitability.”

Have Star Power: “You want to have star power. You need big names like Denzel Washington or someone of that caliber so that you attract viewers and make sponsor comfortable that your project has potential.”

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Zach Rinkins, host and producer, The Rinkins Report

Zach Rinkins, host and producer, The Rinkins Report

Zach Rinkins is the Associated Press award-winning host/producer of the Rinkins Report. We can connect on Twitter @RinkinsReport and Facebook @RinkinsReport