How TV Product Placement Affected this Top 5 Toy Brand’s Sales on Amazon

How TV Product Placement Affected this Top 5 Toy Brand’s Sales on Amazon

By Elise Conlin
Data Science
Retail Media
Retail Strategy
March 27, 2023 · 3  min

A product appearing in a popular movie or television show- whether through a paid placement or an organic piece of writing- is widely considered a great piece of brand marketing. However, with overarching media trends like new streaming platforms and an overall decline in viewers tuning into live TV, the question that arises is how impactful the tactic is in today’s world. By analyzing a real example from one of our clients who are amongst the top 5 toy brands on Amazon, it is evident that media placements can drive a sizable impact on Amazon, yet it is relatively short-lived.

The Research

Our Services Team at Momentum Commerce analyzed Amazon search volume, ad impressions, and total ordered units for a specific toy SKU over several key dates. The product aired live on one of ABC’s leading sitcoms on Wednesday, February 8th with the episode becoming available for streaming the following day. The installment was themed for Valentine’s Day, and the toy in question was given as a gift. Here is an overview of what the team found.

Week over Week Total Ordered Unit Changes


Week over Week Ad Impression Changes


The Story

  • On Thursday, February 9th (the day the episode was available to stream), ad impressions for the SKU spiked 163% compared to the Thursday prior.
  • On February 11th, the total units sold for the SKU increased by 289% compared to the Saturday prior.
  • The search volume for the specific product SKU increased on February 9th and continued to rise to its peak on Valentine’s Day. 
Inverted Amazon Search Frequency Rank
  • Search volume for this SKU also spiked around February 24th when the media released an article about this trending product- even including an Amazon link to purchase. 
  • With the spike in the number of units ordered, this placement was essentially able to extend the holiday sales period surrounding this product during Valentine’s Day.
Total Units Ordered vs. Impressions


Biggest Takeaways for Brands

  • Product placement in culturally relevant media effectively drives search traffic and total sales on Amazon. But importantly, the impact on sales is very concentrated and short-lasting. This outcome also could look different given a non-holiday product or event.
  • Even though the cutoff for timely shipping is typically two days prior, consumers often wait until the last minute to shop for gifts. Brands need to ensure that their advertising strategy reflects this phenomenon and consider extending promotions and their ad budgets beyond the shipping cutoff date prior to other holidays. 
  • Amazon is making investments in making product placement more accessible for brands. At the 2022 NewFronts Showcase Amazon announced a Virtual Product Placement (VPP) beta test with approved products across Prime Video and Freevee Originals. This program allows products to be virtually placed within a scene after filming has finished. One CPG brand specifically experienced, “a 6.9% increase in brand favorability and a 14.7% increase in purchase intent for their campaign.” 
  • For brands that tend to shy away from top-of-funnel awareness tactics, this leading toy manufacturer along with early results from the VPP program demonstrate that product placement can be successfully implemented and measured using Amazon insights.