The music video for Hilary Duff’s latest single, ALL ABOUT YOU, has just been released, and it heavily features the Amazon Fire phone.
This not only marks the first time the Fire phone features prominently in a major music video, but it is also the first time Amazon engages in product placement.
Whilst the Amazon Brand might be new in music videos, mobile phones appearing as a product are not.
Back in 2003 – when Concave Brand Tracking‘s data scope begins – Nokia, Sanyo and T-mobile phones were already appearing in videos. Examples include THOIA THOING by R Kelly (Sanyo SCP-5300), RAIN ON ME by Ashanti (Nokia 3300) and EXCUSE ME MISS by Jay-Z (T-Mobile Sidekick I).
A total of 5 Billboard Year-End Hot 100 music videos featured mobile phones in 2003. In following years, this figure rose, reaching a peak of 21 music videos in 2006 with Nokia accounting for 14 of them. However, with time, as Nokia declined as a whole, so did the number of videos in which it appeared. This was also the case for other Brands such as Blackberry and Motorola.
Whilst some Brands have fallen, others have emerged. The following graph shows that as Apple iPhones have risen to prominence, so has their presence in music videos.
As for the present situation, Apple accounts for 78% of mobile phone sightings in music videos for songs that charted in the Billboard Weekly Hot 100 in 2014 so far. Samsung follows with 13% of sightings. Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia and Sony have only appeared in one video each.
In Nokia’s hay-day, their handsets appeared in music videos as product placements intended to promote the Brand and particular models. However, in recent years, phones have tended to receive less attention and are merely used as props or canvases for other Brands. For example, over 30% of Apple’s iPhone sightings in 2014 Billboard Hot 100 music videos occur in the context of a Beats by Dre product placement, whether it be their headphones, speakers or Beats Music app.
The result of receiving less attention than mobile phones used to is that despite Apple’s 2014 music video sightings adding up to almost 6 minutes of screen time, their logo is only visible 15% of the time. This makes it harder for viewers to identify the Brand they are seeing and hence makes for less effective Brand awareness.
Also check out all appearances by the Apple Brand in all entertainment on our Pinterest board:
Follow Concave Brand Tracking’s board Apple on Pinterest.
However, the Amazon Fire Phone sighting we are looking at today is a clear case of product placement. The viewer is meant to notice the phone and the Brand as well as make some very clear associations. The phone , whose Amazon logo is clearly visible, enjoys 18 seconds of screen time, of which 7 are close-ups. This is the longest close-up appearance for a mobile phone in which its Brand’s logo is seen, so far in 2014 Billboard Hot 100 music videos. We have to go back to Ke$ha’s BLAH BLAH BLAH in 2010 to find a longer close-up appearance by a phone with a visible logo. In that video, the Nokia X6 is shown in close-up shots for a total of 12 seconds.
Hilary Duff uses the Amazon phone to take a photo of the man she is attracted to and subsequently broadcasts it through instant messaging and by showing people the photo on her phone. In doing this, viewers are introduced to the Fire phone’s photography, zoom, instant messaging, photo sharing and photo display capabilities.
The use of the phone by Hilary Duff to show her dancers/girlfriends the aforementioned photo also portrays the phone as fun and associates it with girl talk, socializing, attraction and having a crush.
The other obvious association the Fire Phone and Amazon Brand achieve is with Hilary Duff herself. As a white, female and 26 year-old (at the time of the video’s release) she falls right in the cross hairs of multiple important demographics. In the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 music videos from 2003 to 2013, mobile phones have been associated almost equally with males and females as well as with black and white individuals. Furthermore, the average age of famous individuals associated with mobile phones was 28. With Hilary Duff introducing the Amazon phone, it begins its demographic positioning in the white, female and slightly younger part of the market.
The market map below shows how other Brands have positioned themselves over the past decade.
What will now be interesting to see is if this is a one-off move for Amazon or if it invests in further product placement, whether just in music videos or other forms of entertainment. Should it do so, we will also have to see whether it diversifies, or sticks to the young, white and female demographic.
Finally, ending with Hilary Duff herself, this second music video for her up coming new album follows CHASING THE SUN, which also featured product placement of EOS Lip Balm.