6 Clever Brand integrations and Product placements with the sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Lately, we heard a lot of hues and cries about Netflix dropping the greatest sitcom ever F.R.I.E.N.D.S out of their list. A week ago, Netflix put an end to the rumors by confirming that it retained the rights to broadcast “Friends” at least until the end of 2019 spending a total of $100 million on it! Being a 90’s sitcom, this is enough to clarify that the sitcom has still its charm. Especially, when Netflix has to spend such a considerable amount to retain the show. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. had an impact far beyond the realms of television, and it persists even after generations.

You may all have watched the show for a gazillion times but have you ever spotted a brand or a brand name frequently used. This part of the programme is called product placement or brand integration, and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. blended some interesting millennial brands with the show in an ingenious way.

What is Product placement and why?

There are numerous benefits to using product placement, from the obvious to the complex. For example use of product placement in a soap opera creates familiarity with a commodity, along with adding an ingredient of authenticity to the soap.  Furthermore, product placement can breed indirect celebrity endorsement. The most basic method of product placement is when a product is featured in the background of the scene in a film or a movie. This has been suggested to be the simplest way to miss the placement. However, merchandises can do more than that to get notified. Frequent usage of the brand name in a sitcom or other shows could make a more profound impact in the viewers regarding the brand and its product. This routine earned massive reactions, and it is noted that it can increase brand awareness from somewhat 20 percent to 43 percent, depending on the quality of the show.

Product placement is not a new thing though. It is suggested to have started in the 1890s! The first film to ‘successfully’ product place, was E.T with ‘Reeces Pieces’

Brands Integrations and Product placements in F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Ralph Lauren

Clever Brand integrations and Product placements
Rachel Green with Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has a quick connection with the show. A die-hard fan of  F.R.I.E.N.D.S could quickly identify that it is the most frequently used brand name in the show. From being the worst waitress in Central Perk, Rachel Green found her career in fashion, and this ended up in Ralph Lauren! Ralph Lauren, the UK based clothing company, from its iconic Polo shirts, to designing outfits for Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas grand wedding ceremony, had a revolutionary growth from the beginning. And being integrated with F.R.I.E.N.D.S, the brand name flourished across the planet to a low note. The designer Ralph Lauren himself had a cameo role in one of the episodes with the lead character. As the show scored a big success around the globe, there was a significant impact on brand recall.

Pottery Barn

Clever Brand integrations and Product placements
Pottery Barn reference

Remember the Apothecary table Rachel bought? The one from Pottery Barn, the US-based home furnishing store chain! F.R.I.E.N.D.S had a dedicated episode for Pottery Barn in the show, and this was indeed a great product placement. The episode named “The One with the Apothecary Table” showcased some extra good products from the store. The episode literally got turned into an advertisement with some drama in it.  The table, the cage, the sheets, the lamp… every exclusive product got its label, and the show made an excellent product placement out of it! Two minutes silence for those who thought that the store was just a fake place named for the plot! It actually exists, guys!


Clever Brand integrations and Product placements
Joey with the Porsche

Porshe had multiple appearances in the show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Porshe made its entrance in both season 6 and 7, and it was more of product placement than that of brand integration. Remember when Joey finds the keys to a Porsche in the sixth season. He tends to keep the vehicle as some random people praise him for having that. And the episode where Monica gets the Porsche as a gift from her dad? And it was then, people fancied the car, thanks to F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Porsche became the dream car for many out there.


F.R.I.E.N.D.S Bijan
Bijan and Hombre reference

Perfumes are worth a fight! Especially when it is between Hombre and Bijan. The product placement for Bijan was brilliantly executed as it made people ask for the same brand at stores. The heroic appearance of Joey in a cowboy suit trying to get the girl by defeating his colleague who sells Hombre Cologne was epic in every means. Though the episode focuses on two brands Bijan and Hombre, it was Bijan that scored brownie points at the end. So indeed the episode was on Bijan, or on “Bijan for Men” as Joey says!

Boddingtons beer

F.R.I.E.N.D.S Boddington
Boddington beer reference

In the fifth season of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode entitled “The One With All The Kissing,” Ross, Chandler, and Joey remember with enthusiasm drinking Boddingtons at a pub recommended by their taxi driver when in London for Ross’ wedding. Being an American Sitcom, the show adjourned product placement for a regional brewery in England, and it went viral as it got an international identity through the episode. This made a hype in demand for the brand, and it was just because of a high-profile international promotion through the sitcom.

Days of our lives

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Days of our lives

DOOL is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, it started in the year 1965 and is still airing, which is unbelievably fascinating. The show had a great connection with F.R.I.E.N.D.S. DOOL was satirized in the show when Joey Tribbiani got a job as an actor for playing the role of Dr. Drake Ramoray. Technically, through this promotion, one tv show was promoted through another tv show.

These are some of the most excellent product placements and brand integrations which was done by the sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S. THe list also includes Bloomingdales, Nestle’ Toll House Cookies. Victoria’s Secrets, Oreo, Hotel London Marriot, 7up, Nike, etc. Some of the brands and corporations stated in the show, run throughout the ten series and this has created intimacy in the audience towards the brands as they swiftly recall the brands from the show.