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Product Placement Newsletter – March 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Although The Last of Us strategically chose not to compete with Super Bowl Sunday, the hit HBO show took its chances with Oscar Sunday, drawing 8.2 Million Viewers.  
  • Ad targeting capabilities continue to evolve and pose effective solutions, but advertising executives are still slow to adapt to change proving the importance of optimization.  
  • Netflix is delivering, and reaping the rewards, of their commitment to increase Korean titles through the universal genre of Reality TV, captivating audiences who crave Korean content.  
  • As AI breaks into more industries, a broad coalition of musicians and artists have come together to launch a campaign to ensure AI is developed and used in ways that support human artistry and culture.  
  • Jordan Peele and his associated MonkeyPaw Productions will continue to pave the way for the revival of thrillers and horrors. Audiences can expect two projects from Peele and MonkeyPaw toward the end of 2024 and brands should anticipate a large draw-in.  
The Last of Us still

"The Last of Us" Finale Draws 8.2 Million Viewers

The season finale of The Last of Us drew 8.2M viewers across HBO’s linear channel and digital platforms on Sunday, which is the series’ largest same-day audience to date. Despite competing with the Oscars, the episode’s viewership inched above the previous week’s 8.1M for the penultimate episode. It also marks a 74% increase from the series premiere in January, which brought in 4.7M viewers. According to HBO, the average audience for the series’ first six episodes is now about 30.4M viewers across all platforms, with the series premiere approaching 40M. (Source)

Ad Creative Still Mostly Fails to Leverage Converged TV’s Targeting Capabilities

The targeting capabilities of advanced/converged TV should be a boon to advertising effectiveness. But most of the ad creative out there now still isn’t capable of optimizing them. Seventy percent of 53 senior brand advertising executives recently surveyed by Innovid reported that while they develop some kind of variations for different platforms, the overall creative for campaigns is basically the same. (Source)

"Physical 100": Are K-Reality Shows the Next Korean Cultural Trend?

Physical 100 has stormed Netflix’s charts, becoming its most-watched non-English language show worldwide. It is the first reality show to ever take this top spot. Given the domination of K-pop and K-dramas, this success might seem expected. Variety shows have long been essential viewing in Korean homes, uniting children, parents and even grandparents. Netflix knew it had a captive audience, thirsty to learn more about Korea, after the success of shows like Squid Game and Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Last year an astonishing 60% of all Netflix members watched a Korean program. (Source)

RIAA And Over 30 Other Groups Launch AI Campaign to Support Human Creativity

The 30 signatories include the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Recording Academy, SAG-AFTRA and SoundExchange, among other groups. The principles state that: technology has long empowered human expression, and AI will be no different; human-created works will continue to play an essential role in our lives; and use of copyrighted works, and use of the voices and likenesses of professional performers, requires authorization, licensing, and compliance with all relevant state and federal laws. The campaign also stresses that copyright should only protect the unique value of human intellectual creativity; that trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI and protection of creators; and that creators’ interests must be represented in policymaking. (Source)

Universal Reveals Two Jordan Peele Movies Slated for 2024

Jordan Peele won’t have one but two movies coming out in 2024: an untitled horror thriller on September 27th courtesy of Monkeypaw Productions, and a second directorial project slated for a Christmas Day release. No details were provided by Universal in regards to who is writing or directing the September-releasing film. Peele’s sci-fi movie Nope was one of the last tentpoles of summer 2022. It opened to $44.3 million and grossed $123.2M domestic, $171.2M worldwide. The Christmas 2024 release will rep Peele’s fourth directed title after his Oscar-winning hit Get Out ($225.7M worldwide box office off a $4.5M budget) and the 2019 horror title Us ($256M WW off a $20M production cost). (Source)

Special thanks to Angelica Morris for her contribution to the Product Placement Newsletter – March 2023.

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