If you haven’t seen the viral video “Baby & Me” from Evian take a second to watch it above. With 84 million hits on YouTube and counting, it’s safe to say this video is sweeping the nation. What struck me as odd, was the total lack of product placement and brand placement in the body of the spot. Not a single bus ad, billboard, poster or magazine boasted the word Evian. If you saw this ad without seeing the final three seconds, you may never know this was a commercial for Evian. Brilliant or foolhardy?

With the trend of trying to design a commercial to not feel like a commercial, let’s look at some other big name brands who are also producing viral commercial spots.

1. Coca-Cola

America is Beautiful

At 0:06 you see a Coke logo at the right of the screen, subtle but clearly visible. Throughout the clip you see the iconic Coke bottle and logo pop up. When thinking of brands with heavy product placement I immediately thought of Coke. Whether it be polar bears or an animated short, Coca-Cola is the master of weaving their product into the background.

2. Taco Bell

Grandpa Goes Wild

In this Taco Bell spot, we do not see any type of branding until the very end, much like the Evian spot. This advert is particularly interesting because they rely on the brand recognition of their tagline and audio tag. “Live Mas” while iconic with Taco Bell will only resonate with an audience already familiar with the brand.

3. Audi


Another example of a company working to keep consumers engaged for nearly 47 seconds before revealing what product is being advertised.

4. Jaguar

British Villains ‘Rendezvous’

Now we change tracks a bit. We know this is an advertisement for cars and if we know our cars we may be able to figure out the type of car by looking at the body. We can also presume this is a British manufacturer. The subtle product placement throughout is a nice mix of entertainment and branding.

5. Budweiser

Puppy Love

Awww, puppies! Who can argue against puppies? This spot has very subtle product placement throughout, with the Budweiser logo on his hat and the Clydesdale horses. With 50 million YouTube hits since it’s debut in February, I think it’s safe to say this puppy commercial is a hit.

6. Volkswagen

The Ultimate American Commercial

I loved this commercial and it was one of the few I had not seen before. It has everything you could want in a commercial. Babies, puppies, humor, beautiful women and break dancing – what more could you ask for? This is an example of brand placement throughout. From the beginning we have Volkswagen’s tongue in cheek stereotypical interpretation of a German engineer cluing us in to the commercial we are about to view, the car front and center of the action, and closing with our German engineer.   These are several examples of product and brand placement in hugely popular commercials. I hope you enjoyed them and got a laugh out of them too.

Also published on Medium.