Earlier integration in the creative process makes for better results.

I know, you read “product placement” and you get that cringing reminder of big, bold and badly executed promotion of a product in a piece of content (film, tv, games, etc.).

But can it be done better? Yes. Brands and creatives are really starting to embrace the proper way to do it.

Lately, brands have started to share with production teams their brand strategy, objectives and desires in terms of product integration. But not when they are contacted for their money but rather before anyone asks questions. They are briefing studios and production companies so that brands can be considered by writers and producers.

What this does is that the script, the content, integrates the brand’s values in a much better way as the story is written with the brand in mind from the get go rather than at the end when the producers need to find a way for the product to get visibility in an existing narrative.

This week’s article over at Warc cites examples of this situation, which includes Turner, MillerCoors and Kellog’s.