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People flip channels during the break...but what if your product were on the <i>show</i>?

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By Gwen Moran

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If you remember the brands in Jerry Seinfeld's cerealcollection or recall that E.T. had a thing for Reeses Pieces,you've seen the work of product placement firms. By reviewingscripts and meeting with set designers and prop masters, thesewell-connected reps have the ability to score your productfront-and-center time in popular TV shows and movies. According toP.J. Westcott, a partner in Rave Reviews, a product placement firmin Sherman Oaks, California, the main difference between productplacement and advertising is credibility.

"There's an implied third-party endorsement when aproduct appears with a celebrity," Westcott explains."When Jennifer Aniston picks up a bottle of apple juice onFriends, people don't think it's there because aprop person put it there. They think it's there becauseJennifer likes that kind of apple juice. And if you want to be likeher, you're going to want that kind of apple juice,too."

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