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0 INTRODUCTION Since 1999, Godin estimated that an average consumer is exposed to just about one million marketing messages per year. Academic studies verify that the number of advertisements a consumer is exposed to has increased drastically (Rumbo, 2002). Today consumers are exposed to a greater number of advertisement, but it is becoming more difficult to estimate the current volume of advertising a consumer is exposed to, it is yet to be proven using empirical evidence the number of advertisements, but there is a general agreement that consumers now a days are exposed to a very high volume of advertising in comparison to the past. Marketers jobs have become even harder, they are finding it more difficult to expose their brands and companies to the public, this is because consumers do their very best to avoid advertisements. The clutter, lack of interest and technological development today gives audiences the equipment that allow them to ignore television advertised messages by zapping to other channels or skipping them altogether with the help of digital video recorders. Faced with this predicament, marketers had to find a new and unconventional way to reach their target audience. They had to modify their promotional tactic to fit the todays audiences and adapt to the technological advancements, and this is where product placement comes in. Product placement is sometimes referred to as brand placement which is defined as a marketing practice in which a firm pays for inclusion of its branded products in films and television programs as stated by Balasubramanian (1994), there are different definitions by different authors of what product placement is for example Russell & Belch (2005) defined it as the purposeful incorporation of brands into editorial content (Russell & Belch 2005). Karrh (2011) defined product (or brand) placement, as paid inclusion of branded products or brand identifiers through audio and/or visual means within mass media programs. In the words of Russell and Belch (2005), product placement can be defined as, "the purposeful incorporation of a brand into an entertainment vehicle." Product placement is also considered as product brand placement, in-program sponsoring, branded entertainment or product integration, whereby different aspects of a brand such as a brand name, product, package, signage or other trademark products are placed in movies, television programs or other mediums for commercial reasons. Therefore, the beauty of product placement is that the 1

audience or the target market get exposed to or become aware of the brand through a natural process in the movie or television program. Thus, by inputting their brands and products into popular mass media markets provided the consumers with the opportunity to learn about their brand while it is being used in a natural setting. Today, product placement has evolved into a strategy which is an essential part of the marketing mix of millions of brands all around the world, including in the UK NMG's report measured the media value of the (unpaid) product placements in Trollied and found a total value of 286,200 for the brands featured. Trollied's premier episode had 1.5 million viewers with subsequent episodes averaging around 400,000.

Figure 1 Product Placement Spending

Fortune 100 companies, such as Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and Anheuset-Busch currently spends on the placement industry $3.46 billion, with $1.88 billion spent on television placements alone in 2004 Avery and Ferraro indicated that there were some 15 brand appearances per half hour of prime-time television programming (PQ Media, 2005). Most of these brand appearances 2

were subtly inserted into dramatic portrayals of real life, intertwined with the story line and reinforced by character interaction (PQ Media, 2005). Over 1000 appearances of brands were found and in half of them the brand was both displayed and spoken. It was predicted that spending on different types of paid brand placement will be $2.90 billion in 2007 and showed an annual growth rate of 40.8 percent from 2002 to 2007 (PQ Media, 2008). Today product placement is more advanced and seems to be playing well-defined and well-integrated roles with respect to editorial content in various media. Figure 2 shows examples of products that have been placed in high grossing movies, the names of the movies and the length of the scenes.
Figure 2

Advertised Brand Rolex/Omega Red Bull Converse All Star Porsche FedEx Apple Mac Donalds Louis Vuitton Starbucks

Scene length 30 seconds 35 seconds 30 seconds 30 seconds 35 seconds 50 seconds 35 seconds 25 seconds 50 seconds

Original movie James Bond: Casino Royale Crank I, Robot Gone in 60 Seconds Runaway Bride Sex and the City The Fifth Element Sex and the City Youve Got Mail


There are different reasons and purposes behind the implementation of product placement. Throughout the years, product placement has been very successful. Product placement has a wide range of purposes for its existence and usage. Product placement has been very useful in achieving a number of purposes. In accordance to the studies by Wiles and Danielova (2009), Wilson and Till (2011), Balasubramanian, Karrh and Patwardhan (2006) and Reijmersdal,
Neijens and Smit (2007), some of the main purposes of product placement among many

others include attaining prominent audience exposure, visibility, attention, and interest; increasing brand awareness; increasing consumer memory and recall; creating instant recognition in the media vehicle and at the point of purchase; and changing consumers' attitudes or overall evaluations of the brand. 2.1 ACHIEVE PROMINENT AUDIENCE EXPOSURE, VISIBILITY, ATTENTION AND

Product placement has significant influence on gaining audience exposure, visibility, attention and interest. A firm that implements product placement strategy can attain huge popularity by linking its product with a famous movie or program which has been targeted toward a particular market segment. The benefit of associating a product with a popular program or movie is that the program is viewed by a large number of frequent viewers. Therefore, it achieves significant audience exposure, makes itself visible to a big crowd of viewers, arrests and stimulates viewers attention and interest toward the product.


The use of celebrities for endorsing products is very effective and results in meaningful outcomes since the celebrities symbolic characteristics are carried on and associated with the product. According to Wiles and Danielova (2009), consumers connect the film world to their own, mapping their aspirations onto the products placed in the film which in turn influences attitudes and consumption norms. Due to these reasons, product placements in movies and films enhances brand awareness, evokes positive attitude toward the brand and result in positive purchase intent. Nicely tailored product placement ideas arrests attention of the viewers and moulds the consumers behavior toward the product. 4

Thus, product placement helps in increasing brand awareness. The main advantages of brand awareness is that it raises recall rate, increases positive attitude toward a brand, and results in a stronger intention of purchase. When audiences watch their favorite actors and actresses using or consuming a particular product it catches their attention and makes them more aware of the particular brand. Consequently, when there is high awareness about a product a positive attitude is created in the audiences mind about the product and which in turn leads to higher recall rate. 2.3 INCREASE CONSUMER MEMORY AND RECALL OF THE BRAND OR PRODUCT Furthermore, it can also be considered that product placement increases recall of a brand. When viewers watch a certain brand in a movie it becomes easier for them to correctly recognize and recall the placed brands in movies through using their aided recall measures. Also, brands placed in a movie scene enjoy higher brand recall than those that are not. According to Wilson and Till (2011), studies have identified that the prominent product placements in movies consistently receive higher levels of recall. An actors interaction with a brand significantly gains the viewers attention resulting in an increase in recall of the particular brand. In product placements, the movie actors do not only present the brand or the product to the audience but they also talk about the brand. Thus, the idea of both verbally mentioning the brand and visually presenting it can be better recalled than through only using either verbal or visual presentation. Therefore, audience recall of the brand is enhanced when a product placement has both verbal and visual aspects. 2.4 CREATE INSTANT RECOGNITION OF THE PRODUCT/BRAND IN THE MEDIA VEHICLE AND AT THE POINT OF PURCHASE Product placement can have a significant effect on recognition as well. Brands that are familiar to the viewers attain higher levels of recognition than unfamiliar brands. As noted by Balasubramanian, Karrh and Patwardhan (2006), products or brands that are paired with an actor and creatively placed in movies generate higher brand recognition. When a product is used by a famous actor it is much easier for viewers to recognize and identify the brand. 5

2.5 BRING DESIRED CHANGE IN THE OVERALL EVALUATIONS OF THE BRAND Product placement helps to bring about a desired change in the overall evaluation of a brand. The study by Reijmersdal, Neijens and Smit (2007) has shown that the integration and placement of a brand into a program left significant effect on the image of the brand. As the viewers watch brands being used by famous stars in well known television programs or movies, they start to agree and positively evaluate the brand. When consumers view a product being used by their admired actor they start to perceive and evaluate the product in a similar and positive manner like the actor. Hence, it can be stated that consumers match their attitudes toward products with the characters' attitudes to the products. In addition, this process is also affected by the consumers' attachment to the characters. When consumers are highly attached to the character they tend imitate them and pay attention and positively evaluate the brand being used by the character. Eventually, accept the brand placement in movies and take celebrities as references when shopping. 3.0 PRODUCT PLACEMENT STRATEGY Product placement strategies can be generally categorized into three different types such as: implicit product placement, integrated explicit product placement and non integrated explicit product placement (Tiwsakul Hackley, and Szmigin, 2005). An implicit product placement occurs when the brand or product is being clearly shown in a scene of a movie or program but without the actors verbally mentioning the name of the brand or product. For instance, this strategy can be seen when a scene of a movie is shot at Starbucks for example, in the movie License to Wed; without the actors mentioning the name of the coffee shop. An integrated explicit placement occurs when the name of the brand or product is spoken out by the actors in a movie. It plays an active role in the movie. For instance, this strategy can be seen when the actors in a movie are hungry and they decide to order pizza from Pizza Hut; which can be seen in the movie Invention of Lying.

License to Wed (Starbucks)

Invention of Lying (Pizza Hut)

On the other hand, an integrated explicit product placement is a strategy whereby the brand or the firm is formally shown but it is not implemented or integrated within the movie itself. For example, at the end of a television program the name of a brand is visually expressed such as This program was sponsored by Pizza Hut. Thus, an implicit product placement is comparable to a visual placement of a product, and on the other hand integrated explicit product placements occur when the actor of the movie uses and verbally mentions the name of the brand or product. 4.0 USAGE OF SPECIFIC MEDIA Throughout the years product placements have been carried out through different kinds of media such as computer/video games, digital games, movies, television ( fiction, talk shows,
reality), television magazines, novels, online games, simulation games, sporting events, game

shows, radio, and songs. However, among all these different kinds of media most product placements have been shown in movies making movies the most prevalent media for product placement.

4.1 MOVIES What is the effect of Tom Cruise wearing Ray Ban in Top Gun or James Bond using a BMW? 7

BMW in James Bond

Ray Ban in Top Gun

These are typical examples of product placement in movies. According to Karniouchina, Uslay and Erenburg (2011), product placement in movies can be considered as the modern weapon or marketing. Movies have almost always been a popular medium for product placement. Movies require higher involvement from the audience than television programs. When watching television programs viewers engage themselves in multiple tasks reducing their attention and brand retention. On the other hand, moviegoers actively choose the experience, movie, time, and cost. Therefore, they are much more receptive to the brand or product placement shown during the movie. A majority of movie watchers have a positive attitude toward product placement, and feel that product placement is more preferable to commercials shown on the screen before the movie. There are four types of product placements in movies quiet similar to the product placement strategies discussed earlier. First type of product placement is where a clear image of the brand or product can be seen without verbally mentioning the name for example, a bottle of Aquafin mineral water sitting on the counter as shown in Bollywood movie Mein Hoon Na. Secondly, a product can be used in a scene without any verbal reference when an actor drinks a Coca-Cola but does not mention anything about it, for instance in Bollywood movie named Dhoom Hrithk Roshan (famous Indian actor) drinks coca-cola. Thirdly, the name of the brand or the product is verbally mentioned or spoken out by the actor, an example is in the movie Miss Congeniality (refer to video clip 1) when the actress walks into a crowded makes an order, 8

saying I need 8 double tall latte. and closes by saying that she also wants a Starbucks complementary CD. Lastly, the product is used or consumed by the main actor and at the same time the actor makes a positive judgment about the product for example, in the movie You Got Mail Starbucks has been praised by. There is a higher impact when the actor uses and speaks about the brand in movie rather than just visually displaying the brand, enabling marketers to generate higher recall rate about their product in the audiences mind. To gain greater audience recognition, the brand must be used by the main character or needs to play a role in the story.

Dhoom (Coca-Cola)

Aquafin (Mein Hoon Na)


5.1 ADVANTAGES OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT There are many benefits of product placements. Firstly, the cost-per-thousand (CPM, i.e. cost per thousand comparison of medium efficiency) is minimal since the lifetime of a film is long and has a long reach, making it a relatively cheap option. One of the biggest product placement success can be seen in the placement of Reeses Pieces in E.T. is remembered by Hershey marketing executive Jack Dowd as the biggest marketing coup in history and is credited with momentarily tripling candy sales (Newell 1982). Dowd recalls, We got immediate recognition for our product, the kind of recognition we would normally have to pay fifteen or 9

twenty million bucks for; it ended up as a cheap ride (Newell et al. 1999). Another good example is the 1995 James bond movie Golden Eye which featured the BMW Z3 Roadster, the placement for which the car company paid about $3 million to the movie producers. The money spent by the company certainly paid off. The placement helped BMW earn $240 million in advanced car sales (Maynard & Scala, 2006). Secondly, when a person is in a movie theatre there is little room for any distraction and the target audience cannot escape the message by changing the channel as with television commercials. Other benefits include high credibility and the opportunity to show the product in the natural environment as well as showing the products usage (McDonough & Egolf, 2003). According to Linda Swick, president of a product placement and promotional agency, Theres more of an impact for the consumer when a brands name or product is in the context of a movie. Michael Greenberg, president of the California-based Skechers shoe company, notes that product placement in films is a means of trend-influence marketing. It creates a setting in which the audience feel secure and are affected by the product placement on an implicit level. Product placements are also a tool that gets in touch with the difficult to reach 16-39 year olds that are an attractive segment for marketers and research as shown that they are difficult to reach (McDonough & Egolf, 2003). The movie Sex and The City is a perfect example, in this movie the viewer are shown the glamorous side of New York and the lifestyle of the upper-class of New Yorkers, which gives realism to the move and products from Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Cuisinart, Pringles and various other manufacturers. These products play a significant role in making the movie more believable and the actresses in the movie are also seen as very credible sources since the products are presented in what seems to be there real life.


Sex and the City 2 (2010)

Thirdly, product placements are associated with an increase in sales and save in cost for the brand company. Today product placement is seen as a cost-effective and precise method of targeting specified (McKechnie and Zhou, 2003). According to Wells (1996), product placement costs less than a 30-second advertising slot at the same time in the television schedule. Advertising on television is still one of the traditional promotional methods that is most effective. The main goals of product placement are to increase sales and create brand awareness. This can be done by the strategically inserting the products within the movies and in turn in boosts product sales and awareness.


Transformers 2007

Lastly, consumers attitudes towards product placement are generally positive: in fact, product placement is often preferred to commercial advertising (Nebenzahl and Secunda, 1993). Product placement represents a relatively unobtrusive form of marketing communications that can enhance realism in entertainment (Gupta, 2000) and therefore, may engage consumers on a level that conventional advertising cannot. In the image above, product placements in the Transformers movie were successful in promoting the new car models as well as the various electronic products without making the viewing experience uncomfortable for the audience by them.


5.2 DISADVANTAGES OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT Finding ultimate product placement is hard, it is difficult to measure the effect product placement have since it is usually used in a combination of other promotion tools (Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders, & Wong, 2002). Firstly, high initial costs, clutter, and audience selectivity are other drawbacks of product placement in television and motion pictures (Kotler, 1993). Secondly, the cost of placing products in films varies depending on the placement and the film itself. For example, Statoil is said to have paid SEK 500 000 for the placement in the Swedish film Hamilton, while Ericsson paid SEK 80 million for a placement in BondTomorrow Never Dies. As well as the fact that there is no guarantee that the movie would be successful, this could prove to be hazardous to the company that invest in the movie (McDonough and Egolf, 2003). Thirdly, for the film production company, product placements can compromise the artistic integrity of the film. Too much product placement can be negative, if the majority of the audience feels that the film is no more than an elaborate advertising vehicle, resulting in negative attitudes and hence will not be interesting for marketers anymore since marketers prefer positive contexts to promote their brands in and product placements will decline (McDonough & Egolf, 2003). A good example of this is in the 2001 movie Evolution, it placed the head and shoulders shampoo but it was not made to fit the plot and looks like a commercial. It was used by the main characters to destroy the alien that where destroying the city.


Evolution (2001)

6.0 ETHICS AND REGULATION The ethical issues in product placement can be composed of two kinds of issues. One is relevant to the ethics of the product itself appearing in the movie. Another is related to the ethics of product placement as a marketing strategy. Both of the issues are controversial among consumers and marketers (Gould, 2000). Some studies have dealt with the ethical issues of product placement (Gupta and Gould 1997; Nebenzahl and Secunda 1993). Gupta and Gould conducted consumer acceptance of product placement in view of ethical issues and the results followed the outcomes of prior research (Gupta and Gould, 1997). Consumers generally accepted appearances in movies for general products more than ethically charged products such as tobacco, alcohol, and guns. Additionally, differences in individual characteristics such as the frequency of watching movies, attitude toward product placement, and gender influenced consumer acceptability of product placement (Gupta and Gould 1997). Consumers, who went to movie theatres more frequently, objected less to restrictions against product placement and who had positive attitudes toward product placement, were more likely to be accepting of product placement (Gupta and Gould 1997). In addition, males were more likely to accept placing ethically charged products in movies than females (Gupta and Gould 1997). Nebenzahl and Secund, (1993) examined attitudes and acceptability toward product placement and results of their study also showed consumers generally had positive attitudes toward product placement. Most consumers considered product placement as a less obtrusive form of marketing communication than other advertising forms in the movie theatre, even though some of them criticized product placement as a deceptive communication strategy (Nebenzahl and Secunda, 1993). The ethical standards held by advertisers who place brands in films are questioned in a wealth of studies and subjective articles. One common ethical concern is the notion that product placement constitutes a form of subliminal advertising, since products are integrated into films, but no disclaimer is present that warns the viewer of any form of advertising in the film (Gupta 14

& Gould, 1997 and Nebenzahl & Secunda, 1993). Among the most controversial subjects, however, is the use of ethically-charged products in film. Gupta and Gould define ethically-charged products (or emotionally charged products) as products which especially arouse ethical concern and differences across consumers regarding their marketing and consumption (Gupta and Gould 1997). The researchers specifically cite tobacco, alcohol and firearms as fitting into this category. The use of such controversial products as tobacco, alcohol and firearms typically garners a great amount of attention from media experts and moviegoers due to the potentially hazardous implications their overexposure may have on an individual (Gupta and Gould, 1997). The study shows some individuals impressions of such placements in films. Each ethically- charged product merits certain debate. As a result of the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, the advertising of cigarettes in broadcast media was banned in 1971 (. Smoking 1). Despite this ban, however, tobacco companies unrelentingly continue to place brands in films. According to some controversial memos that were found, tobacco companies formed contracts with film producers by placing their products in movies combined forces and used celebrities in films to help market cigarettes (smoking 1) The blatant branding of cigarettes in films warranted additional concern. (smoking 2) makes note that in 1991, the Federal Trade Commission considered mandating health warnings for placements of cigarettes in movies broadcasted on television (smoking 2). According to Gupta and Gould the tobacco industry voluntarily banned the use of all paid product placements that same year, thus curbing it of what has proven to be a lucrative practice (Gupta and Gould, 1997). One common concern is that the inclusion of these products will entice the movies viewers to adopt smoking as a habit. Smoking 1 and smoking 2 authors according to the researchers, this Theory states that much is learned through observation, since moviegoers are subjected to viewing actors smoking cigarettes (and in some cases adopting specific brands) and since this depiction is usually portrayed as a glamorous activity oftentimes enjoyed by members of a high socioeconomic class, the moviegoers may possibly be drawn to the habit.