XOXO Vitaminwater

We are faced with it every day. They appear in our lives probably more than we would like, and there is no way to get rid of them. I’m talking about product placements, and there is no way to escape it. The traditional way of advertising used to be as simple as plastering the side of a bus or a taxi with your product with the hope that word would get out. Nowadays, there is no way to avoid the obvious placement of certain products as they have taken over Blockbuster movies and primetime TV shows. On the ongoing list that could stretch for miles, there are often product placement repeaters who have no shame when it comes to getting the name of the product stuck in the viewers’ minds.


One repeat offender is Vitaminwater and its recurring role on the CW show, Gossip Girl. In season two, the opening episode had a plot that was based around a “White Party” that was sponsored by none other than Vitaminwater. The episode was spent with the main characters frolicking around this party, carrying Vitaminwater, ordering Vitaminwater from the bar or sipping on a bottle of Vitaminwater. This was not the most obnoxious placement of Vitaminwater as in a Season 6 episode where the characters are talking about a Vitaminwater Design Contest that they will be judging. In this episode there are bottles upon bottles of Vitaminwater on a coffee table and each label is visible to see from the comfort of the viewers couch.

This is effective use of the Cultivation Theory to sell products using popular television shows, and it works. The show’s producers are showing a product repeatedly to make an impact on their regular audience, which helps both the show and the product. This is a proven method and it’s definitely not a new concept. Even the classics have their product placements like Forrest Gump with Dr. Pepper or Back to the Future with the DeLorean Motor Company.

Product Placement is an easy and effective way for name brands to market themselves to a wide audience. By placing products in popular TV shows and movies, companies are able to sway viewers through visual and verbal references to the item at hand. In order for a product to be placed in a film or TV show, companies must pay extremely large amounts of money but based on results, this technique is so effective with today’s generation that it is worth every penny. While at times we may find product placement cheesy and obvious, it works and we can expect to see new trends evolve as it becomes a dynamic marketing tool.

Brandon Hawkins, Bobby Huckabee, SavannaMitchell, Tony Mangili, Danielle Salas,

8 thoughts on “XOXO Vitaminwater

  1. I have always found product placement in movies and TV shows tacky and unappealing. These days people are able to avoid commercials by streaming TV shows from their computers or fast forwarding with DVR’s. Thanks to this technology, the advertisers are having to get more creative about how to sell their products. Unfortunately this often impacts the integrity and creativity of film making when the placement of the product is too obvious. I understand that the productions need the money and the advertisers need the air time, but I just wish there was a better, more subtle way for the advertisers to promote their products. A way that would not ruin scenes of movies or TV shows.

  2. I think that product placement is a great way to get a company’s name noticed; however, once one is familiar with this strategy, it is extremely hard not to pay attention to it in everything we watch. In my opinion, it becomes annoying, because almost every television show or movie features product placement nowadays, and it’s very hard to steer away from it. For the people who are oblivious to this concept, their views are most likely still being shaped by the use of product placement, because now this brand is on the viewers’ minds without knowing someone is deliberately trying to get it there.

  3. I think product placement is a very unoriginal way for audiences to notice a company. Vitaminwater also seems to be pretty desperate if they repeatedly showed their product so many times throughout the GossipGirl episode and in other seasons of the show. To me, product placement is annoying and if I see a product throughout an entire episode it is the only thing I can focus on. I can understand why they chose to product place on GossipGirl though, it is a very popular show with a young demographic. A younger demographic is more impressionable and will more than likely go out and buy a Vitaminwater if they see Serena or Chuck drinking it. Very interesting article!

  4. I think product placement is a smart move for companies to get their brand out there. I must admit, one of the reasons I stopped to read the post was because I saw the xoxo and immediately thought of Gossip Girl. While I typically think that it is a smart move, I do agree that overuse of your product in tv shows or movies can get very obnoxious. There are times when it is too much, and I find myself getting extremely annoyed with not just the company, but the TV show as well. I think that product placement is okay to some extent; if you don’t go overboard, it can prove to be a useful tactic for your company. However, if you place your product too frequently, it can make your audience not want to be part of your brand.

  5. Product placement is a double-edged sword for advertisers – it can put their product out there to be seen, but also – if done incorrectly – can be obnoxious and obvious. I have found that, more often than not, when I see product placement in movies and television it is obvious and obnoxious. There are few examples of a product that is seamlessly tied into a movie or television show – they are more often directly placed in the viewer’s line of vision, zoomed in on by the camera, and even talked about by characters. As soon as I see this happening, I immediately feel like I am trying to be sold something. This is very off-putting and advertisers need to be careful they don’t put off their entire audience.

  6. I found this blog post about product placement very interesting. I watched every episode of Gossip Girl and as I read this I thought back to the episodes and laughed. As much as I think it’s great that Vitaminwater is getting their brand out there and trying to get people who watch this popular show to buy their product, I think in this particular instance its a little ridiculous. Not only did multiple characters on this show drink Vitaminwater but in a future episode they had a Vitaminwater Design contest, which I think is a bit absurd. It’s one thing to have one of the main characters drinking a bottle, but to have multiple bottles on a coffee table looks somewhat out of place.

  7. Product placement really is an dynamic marketing tool!

    What is interesting is that product placement doesn’t only happen with affordable everyday products like Coca-Cola and Vitaminwater. Also really expensive products use product placement in blockbuster movies, which might first feel being agains brand value. A good example is how car brand Volvo showed product placement in Twilight movie saga. In the end the saga is about family-centricity, which is also one of Volvo’s main values.

    In my opinion, product placement is important part of global and highly competed world markets and we need to accept it. Product placement is so popular because it really works. In the end, everything is about customer behavior. Companies are just trying to find best way to communicate themselves to customers and often it happens to be product placement. Product placement integrates many fields and by doing so affects strongly to customer’s mind. Still, in my opinion product placement is more brand value creation and targeting than customer brain washing.

  8. Thank you everyone for your comments and we agree with how product placements can cheapen a show or movie if done incorrectly. There are very few examples of this being done well, but one that comes to mind is the show Entourage. On the show they regularly drink Budweiser, but they don’t make it so obvious that you really focus on it. They don’t turn the label so it can be clearly seen or even talk about it. When it is done right, I think it can really benefit all parties involved.


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