Reader’s Entertainment is very excited to welcome John Fluke to the blog today. John is the CEO of P4STV, a company that places products in movies and television programs.
Welcome John. Please, tell our readers a bit about you. Where you’re from, a bit of background, where you live.
Hi my name is John Fluke that I’m the CEO of the Media Brand Enhancement Agency P4STV ( Formerly Placed4Succes ) and we specialize in Product Placement for the Entertainment Industry with an emphasis on TV and Feature Film. I started in the mail-room in the Dick Clark productions over 30 years ago; working my way from runner, to production assistant, to Production Coordinator to Associate Producer and my staff came up the same way – through the Hollywood ranks – so we know every end of this business- from the inside out – and just who to talk to get your product the best placements possible.
I’m originally from Northern Minnesota but I have called Los Angeles, CA my home for the last 30 years. I’d like to think that I’ve still got my Midwestern sensibility, accented with a little Hollywood swagger (at least that’s what I tell myself, LOL). It’s also true that my mother is Kensington Publishing’s multiple-time New York Times best-selling Cozy Mystery writer – Joanne Fluke- she of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries (and yes, she IS a client )
Please tell us about Placed4Success / P4STV. Where did the idea come from? What shows/products have you placed. How the process works.
The idea for Placed4Success, or as we now call ourselves, P4STV, grew out of a frustration with the growth of Product Placement companies based in places where either they did not make TV or film Productions or made very few. I mean honestly, how are you going to take a Product Placement / Media Brand Enhancement Agency seriously if they are located in – oh, I don’t know, Oklahoma or Tennessee. Are they situated anywhere near the Studios? Can they your product the Face-to-Face attention it deserves with all the decision makers on Set? The answer of course, to both these questions, is a BIG NO WAY!
Heck, even New York Agencies are not going to be as effective at putting your product on a wide range of shows and movies as a Media Brand Enhancement Agency like P4STV, who are based in Southern California – Freeway close to the studios.
Placed4Success was also born out of a frustration with the Huge Placement Agencies run by Ex-Ad Execs and Studio Heads/Producers, who hadn’t seen or interacted with a Set Decorator in 30 years.
This business changes rapidly and if you’re not constantly at the Studios, on the actual Sets, you have no idea who the players are. We are a Multiple-time Award Winning member of the Set Decorators Society of America and we know who all the players are because we see them all the time, both at SDSA meetings/ Events, and on the set.
If you are not out here “on the ground” at the studios, you are going to miss a lot. Especially true in television is the caveat that, unless you go with an Agency who can walk your products onset & physically meet and greet those who are able to best place your products in the cameras eye, you’re wasting , not just your time, but also your product.
Our offices are located an easy distance from the “Big Five” studios: Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Sony, and Fox , and we are on set delivering and placing products for our clients several days a week.
We work on TV series that range from CSI, to the Big Bang Theory and on networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, Showtime, HBO, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon …we know everyone on set. Plus, we have placed our client’s products on blockbuster movies in the Marvel Universe, in Oscar winners, and in small Independent Feature films. We run the gamut, looking for the best opportunities for our clients, and leaving no stones unturned.
Many of the products we see on television and movies are from large, nationally recognized companies. Is there availability and affordability for small and individually owned businesses?
We prefer small individually owned businesses over corporate giants. Even most of the large companies with whom we deal have been with us since they were small, regional companies. For example, like Tito’s Handmade Vodka– who, in their time being our client, have grown from a small Austin Texas vodka company, to a multi-national/ global player in the spirits industry.
We have wide range of client whose products we represent, from hot sauce and condiment companies like Slap Ya Mama to natural cleaning / home product up-and-comer – Rebel Green – to best selling authors like Laura Levine, Ann Elizabeth and Rosemary Harris.
We are not here to break the bank, we honestly like long-term relationships with our clients, and to that end, we work very hard for them. Part of this hard work includes working to find an affordable plan to place their goods and/or services. There is an Initial Fee for the intense “Vetting Clearance process we perform at the studios for your products, but once your product is cleared for use On Air, our prices and plans range from a Yearly Fee for Unlimited Film/TV placements, to plans with a ‘Fee Cap” for those who just want to dip their toes in the waters of Media Brand Enhancement.
Give us a try…After all, where else can your books be seen by tens of millions potential readers in one week?
What type of products are movie and television programs most interested in using for props?
All types! I can tell you one thing, and that is cleared books are huge in this industry – especially on sitcoms and even most dramas in TV. Feature film can always use cleared books, and the exposure can work out very well for an author who has books on hand at a Media Brand Enhancement Agency like P4STV. Many times the studio will come up short of cleared books at the last minute and will give a better placement because you have “saved them”. That is accomplished by having your books where we can take it -given a moment’s notice -to the studios.
We also work with one of the largest commercial production companies and Literary Prop houses (and, yes, there is such a thing) to place our client’s books on commercials for everything from stomach remedies, to Barnes and Noble Christmas commercials to commercial ads for upcoming TV series.
Can you tell us about the programs where books / authors have been used?
Certainly, I can think of quite a few. On several episodes of The Big Bang Theory both last season and in the previous season, several of client Anne Elizabeth’s Graphic Novels were featured in “Stuart’s” comic book store. Her Seal Team series were also seen in a recent movie starring Sally Fields, one of the books being read by Ms. Fields on screen.
We have placed posters made from a different Author’s – Jo Gibson’s– thriller books on the MTV’s series , “Scream”
And finally, Children’s Author Tori Nighthawk’s book, “Birds of a Feather” has recently been featured on several commercials, ranging from AT&T to an upcoming commercial with Toy’s R US.
Where can those interested in placing their products contact you and what information will you need from them?
What we’ll need from you is your book publisher’s name and company (unless of course you’re self-published), and some examples of your titles you wish placed. That’s where we start.
We will send you back an NDA ( nondisclosure agreement) which will keep our business, OUR business, and if we
decide to move forward – the next step will be an Agency of Record form to be filled out for the Studios…they like to know someone’s accountable for what we bring we bring to set lol. BTW, neither of these forms should, in any way, interfere with any pre-existing agreements or contracts you have with either your Publisher or your Literary Agent- just to ease your mind.
Give us a shout, there’s more bang for the buck in this industry than any other.
That sounds exciting, John. I want to thank you so very much for being with me on the blog today and I’ll see you in the movies!
Sheila English CEO of Circle of Seven Productions and Reader’s Entertainment News, has partnered with John on future projects “because I believe in what he’s doing. It’s exciting, cutting edge and offers something new to our clients.”