Product Placement in Animation with Kid Cudi’s ‘Entergalactic’
With Entergalactic, Netflix audiences—and marketers—were transported into the creative mind of Kid Cudi via an animated project years in the making. As he’s done with past creations, his latest work combined the beauty of music and story with innovation. Product placements transcended the animated music special and become real shoppable moments for viewers. Throughout the special—based on a fictionalized version of Cudi himself—QR codes were embedded into the scenery. Scanning those codes allowed viewers to access and purchase exclusive merchandise, including a sweatshirt designed by NY streetwear designer Staple. Cudi also worked with high-end designers to create authentic looks for each of the characters, even collaborating with Louis Vuitton’s late creative designer, Virgil Abloh.
VIRTUAL ACCESS TO PRODUCTS WITHIN CONTENT
We’ve all seen QR codes in commercials or links on Amazon’s video platform to items available through its online store. But Entergalactic is special as the products are specifically curated for the content—and the audience engages as it choses to while viewing. One of the QR codes links directly to Entergalactic’s store and the collab with Staple. You’ll find character-based t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and even skateboards. This is where Jabari’s famed ”Closure” sweatshirt quickly sold out. Another code leads to the Entergalactic album that Cudi released ahead of the special’s release, and a third code brings viewers to a comic book of the story.
animation & intersectional product placement
Strides taken by Entergalactic are important to the future of commerce because for a while, product placement opportunities inside animated content were either limited or nonexistent. This project feels like a perfect example of integrating products into animated content. The beauty of this realistic, artistic aesthetic allowed brands to participate while depicting their products the way they wanted with few liberties. This is something that has rarely been done before—especially with high-end designers. A concept like this also allows for the intersection of multiple mediums within one piece of content. Kid Cudi is known for his love of fashion, TV, comics, and music. All of these come together within the special and audiences have access to it all. Entergalactic proves that taking technological risks can lead to massive success and unchartered potential. With Kid Cudi at the center of product placement advancements recently, the future of branded integrations inside all types of content offers endless opportunities.
The total number of virtual QR Codes that appear in Netflix’s animated Entergalactic.