Netflix agreed to product placement deal in return for free beer

2 Mar 2015

Actors Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey star in House of Cards. Photo via Netflix

Netflix may not offer traditional advertising, but some firms have managed to get their products on at least one of the video-streaming service’s original shows through product placement deals.

Ad Age has uncovered new details about embedded marketing agreements struck by Netflix and beverage company Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The brewer agreed a deal to be the exclusive beer marketer featured in the new season of Netflix’s flagship series House of Cards, though have maintained a relationship with the show since its launch.

That means viewers will be seeing drinks like Stella Artois and Budweiser dotted around the series. And Anheuser-Busch InBev didn’t pay a cent for the privilege. Instead they just provided the free beer.

“As far as fees, no,” A-B InBev director of entertainment marketing Jim Holleran told Ad Age.

“A lot of time it’s just the point-of-sale, which is signage and stuff that can be used as set [decorations]. And then there’s actual beer and just sending the beer to the right place where they’re filming the movie or TV show.”

According to Ad Age sources, Samsung also arranged a product placement deal to provide the devices of choice for House of Cards characters. Whether or not the agreement saw money changing hands is unconfirmed, though earlier this year, the consumer tech giant offered customers a free year-long subscription to Netflix when they bought certain devices.

The third season of House of Cards was released last Friday (27 February).

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic