Cobra Kai Season 5: Which product placements worked best?
February 17th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Cobra Kai Season 5: Which product placements worked best?

All ten episodes of Cobra Kai Season 5 were released on September 9, 2022, on Netflix, and several brands have positioned themselves multiple times throughout the season - 91 brands and 737 instances to be exact.

New data from YouGov Stream’s valuation tool, YouGov PQS (Placement Quality Scoring), calculates the value of this product placement among UK and US audiences. The product analyses and values SVOD product placements through media valuations combined with rich audience intelligence.

This data reveals that Nike has driven $3.6 million in product placement value in Season 5 so far, the highest of all brands. Out of the net brand valuation $3 million came from episodes 3 and 8 alone. The top performing assets for the brand were the Track Jacket ($1.97 million) worn by Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), followed by Women's 1/4 Zip ($641k), Men's Tracksuit ($295k) and T-Shirt ($196k).

Sportswear brand Champion ranked second in YouGov’s net product placement valuation at $1.7 million. Their dedicated Cobra Kai Sportswear, worn by the members of the Cobra Kai dojo, drove $852k of value for the brand in just over 1 and a half minutes on screen.

Eight of the top ten assets in the show were sportswear and apparel items, which helped brands such as Champion ($1.7m), Primitive Skateboards ($1.1m), Adidas ($910k), Puma ($490k), and Vans ($419k) perform well in terms of product placement value. The top five sportswear brands alone drove 56% of all product placement value for the season.

Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is almost always drinking Coors Banquet beers in the series, driving the brand’s product placement valuation to $642k, and making it the top performing alcohol brand. Coors Banquet continues to see strong results in Season 5 just as it has in the previous seasons. A couple of years ago YouGov traced the brand’s valuation through its connected tools, YouGov Profiles and YouGov BrandIndex, before we developed YouGov PQS, to investigate the impact on brand awareness after featuring in Netflix’s Cobra Kai.

Apple products including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook feature throughout the season driving $589k of net placement value for the brand.

Specialist supplier Century Martial Arts Supply benefited from its featuring in the Cobra Kai dojo to the tune of $524,256 with a total screen time of a little over a minute.

For automotive brands, BMW and Mercedes-Benz both saw solid returns with $224k and $209k of brand placement value, respectively.

Looking at the demographics of viewers across both markets, Season 5 has had a similar proportion of male (57% UK, 55% US) and female (43% UK, 45% US) viewers. When it comes to age, however, it is notable - given the show is a sequel of a 1984 cult classic - that more than half of viewers in both the UK (64%) and US (52%) are aged between 30 and 54 years.

Commenting on the data, Dominic Prince, Product Lead of YouGov PQS, said:

“With the release of this data, Cobra Kai will be revered not only by its many fans, but also by the brands lucky enough to be featured in the show.

What we're seeing here demonstrates the value that product placement can drive for brands willing to engage in it, supporting the story told by the release of our Stranger Things valuations last summer. Since then, Netflix have made clear strategic moves towards diversifying their revenue streams, introducing an ad-supported tier and clamping down on account sharing.

With the ways we consume content shifting and our preferences around advertising becoming increasingly stubborn we expect product placement, which is insulated from many of these trends, to have an increasingly important voice in the ongoing conversation around the future of advertising.”

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Methodology: To value product placements, YouGov combines verified, zero-party viewership data from YouGov Stream with current marketing rates to calculate gross valuations of the spaces that product placements occupy.

YouGov PQS then takes data about the exposures from the titles and runs it through its in-house model built from YouGov panel data to evaluate the quality of each of the product placements, discounting the gross valuations into net valuations based on the quality of the exposure.

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