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Literature Review

Definition and Meaning of Product Placement


Most scholarly definitions of the concept aim to distinguish product placements from celebrity
endorsement advertising and other public relation practices. Balasubramanian (1994) referred to
it as a hybrid message a paid message aimed at influencing movie (or television) audiences via
the planned and unobtrusive entry of a branded product into a movie 1. Recognizing product
placement as an alternative route for traditional overt advertising, Karrh (1998) defined brand
placement as a paid inclusion of branded products or brand identifiers through audio and visual
means within mass media programming2, noting that the term product placement is used
interchangeably with brand placement.
Collectively described as a cooperative effort of advertisers and creator of entertainment
products in which trademarked goods are embedded into popular entertainment products in order
to encourage their consumption, overriding entertainment and artistic concerns.

Brand

placement is not restricted to movies, it covers television, video games, online videos, plays etc.
Despite the plethora of channels, the principal purpose of brand placement remains unchanged:
generating additional finance for the author, the medium or the production and creating a
platform for the advertiser to introduce brand references into the consumers experience of the
entertainment (Lehu and Bressoud 20073).
1 Balasubramanian, Siva K. "Beyond Advertising and Publicity: Hybrid Messages and Public Policy Issues."
Journal of Advertising 23.4 (1994)

2 Karrh, James A. "Effects of brand placements in motion pictures." Proceedings of the 1995 Conference of the
American Academy of Advertising.

3 Lehu, Jean-Marc, and Etienne Bressoud. "Viewers and brand placement in movies: new insights about viewers."
2007.

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Types of Product Placements


Using integration and implicitness, DAustos & Seguin4 classify product placements (PPL) into-

Implicit PPL: An implicit PPL is one where the brand, the firm or the product is present
within the program without being formally mentioned. It plays a passive, contextual role. In
the implicit PPL the logo, the brand name, or the name of the firm appear without a clear
demonstration of product benefits. For instance in Ra.One (2011), Videocon hoardings are

clearly displayed on the train but no mention of product or benefits is done.


Integrated Explicit PPL: A PPL is integrated explicit whenever the brand or the firm is
formally mentioned within the program; it plays an active role. In this type of PPL, the
attributes and benefits of the product are clearly demonstrated. For instance, in Chennai
Express (2013), Shahrukh Khan is seen describing the key features of his Nokia Lumia

mobile phone in sufficient detail as a part of the films plot.


Non Integrated explicit PPL: A non-integrated explicit PPL is one where the brand or the
firm is formally expressed but is not integrated within the contents of the program. For
instance, in Bodyguard (2011), Sony Vaio laptops are clearly displayed with a reference
thrown in as well.

Shapiro5 (1993) provided three types in the context of movies. They can be grouped as
A. Implicit: where brand is shown without verbal reference to brand name or benefits
B. Used in Scene: utilized in a scene but without name reference or attributes described
C. Integrated explicit PPL benefits and attributes mentioned by main star and hands-on use
4 d'Astous, A. and Seguin, N. (1999), Consumer Reactions to Product placement strategies in Television
Sponsorship, European Journal of Marketing
5 Shapiro, M. (1993) Product Placement in Motion Pictures, Working paper, North Western University,
NY.
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Evolution of Product Placements in Bollywood


Known to reflect and shape societal trends, the oldest instance of product placement is seen in
the movie Shree 420 (1955) where Raj Kapoors entry scene includes a prominent Coca-Cola
banner overhead. Other examples of early years include Mobil in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
and Rajdoot Mortorcycle in Bobby (1975). The practice picked up pace post liberalization as a
rising middle class, proliferation of modern themes and increased targeting improved audience
receptiveness towards product placements. Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) featured several brands such
as Pepsi, Levis and Killer Jeans. The real game-changer was Taal (1999), main characters were
shown not only drinking Coke but also mentioning it in multiple conversations and associating it
with themes of friendship and love. This was supposed to have fetched Subhash Ghai nearly 40%
of the budget in a time when producers were battling with increased production costs and were
exploring alternate sources of funding6.
Known for escapist and exhibitionist fare, the formulaic approach allows easy avenues to place
brands effectively. Songs and dance provide filmmakers a way to showcase brands, as was seen
in the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1999) where a single song included 15 brands. More recently,
films try and use brands already endorsed by the leading actors. For example, Hyundai cars in
Shah Rukh Khans Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) and Don 2 (2011). Lately, brands have been
incorporated into the plot of the movies, from the protagonist working in the fashion magazine
Verve in Dostana (2008) to the title of the film, Mere Dad Ki Maruti (2013) which revolved
around a father-son duo searching for their Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.

6 Mandal, Mohua. Brand placement as media vehicle: A study of mainstream films. Indian Institute of Mass
Communication, 2008

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Process of Product Placements

COMPANY/ORGANIZ
ATION

PRODUCT
PLACEMENT
AGENCY

FILM STUDIO/
PRODUCTION
COMPANY

Three ways in which PPL can occur:

It simply happens. This is done only to add greater credibility to the story/scenes
It's arranged, and a certain amount of the product serves as compensation
Financial compensation

It began as a do-it yourself exercise before dedicated agencies started sourcing both ways. Most
of the discussions revolve primarily around the scenes, context, focus and duration of the brand
visibility.
Theoretical underpinnings
According to (Russell 19987) product placement can be classified on the basis of three
dimensions visual, auditory and plot connection. Visual dimension aids the placement of the
brand and can be further be classified based on appearance. The auditory dimension or the verbal
dimension refers to script and dialogue references, number of times it is done and tonality of
usage. The plot connection dimension measures the integration with the storyline.
Using brands in any modality adds credibility and greater meaning to the presentation and gets
absorbed by persons cognitive structure. (Lehnert, 1981 8) Such stimulus generates deeper
meaning and leads to greater recalls of brands. (Craik and Lockhart, 19729)

7 Russell, C.A. (2002) Investigating the Effectiveness of Product Placements in Television Shows: The
Role of Modality and Plot Connection Congruence on Brand Memory and Attitude, Journal of Consumer
Research
8 Lehnert, W.G. (1981) Plot Units and Narrative Summarization, Cognitive Science
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There can only be two situations in which the combination of modality and plot connections can
be established; Match and Mismatch. The combination can said to be a match' when the
auditory method of placement is higher in use than the visual and the brand names are audible in
narration and is deeply linked with the story whereas the combination can said to be a mismatch'
when the visual method of placement of brands is higher in application than auditory in plot
connection. Key examples of a match include Baghban (2002) which creatively integrated varied
brands such as Archies, ICICI Bank, Ford and Tide into the story. Failures include films such as
Salaam-E-Ishq (2008) where the camera zooms more on the brand Ira Jewels rather than the
jewelry and Yaadein (2001) which had an anti-materialism theme contrasted against multiple
product placements.

Advantages of Product Placements


Exposure

Frequenc
y

Large no.
of people
over a
long time

People
watch
movies
more than
once

Source
Associatio
n

Recall

Bypass
Regulatio
n

Targeting

Indirect
endorsem
ent by
celebrities

Wide
coverage
and
multiple
exposures

laws
related to
banned
products
such as
cigarettes
& alcohol

Right kind
of movie
guarantee
s effective
reach

Risks of Product Placements


Time of
exposure

Limited
Appeal

Lack of
control

Public
Relation

Competiti
on

Negative
Placemen
t

Unless the
camera
zooms,
easy to
miss

Can't
descirbe
detailed
features

Difficult to
control
final
product

Social
concerns

Tough for
marketers
to
penetrate

Opposite
images
will harm
brand

9 Craik, Fergus, I.M and Robert S.L. (1972) Levels of Processing: A Framework for Memory Research, Journal
of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior

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Market Structure
Bollywood movies can be categorized on the basis of following three factors:Genres, Lead Actors and Budget
1. Genres
Different types of genres in Bollywood movies arei. Action: in this genre of movies the protagonist usually ends up in a desperate situation
due to a risky turn taken. E.g., Action Jackson (2014), Rowdy Rathore (2012), Dhoom 3
(2013)
ii. Adventure: here the story is about a journey taken by the protagonist to reach a
destination where the protagonist encounters a lot of obstacles to reach his/her
destination. E.g., Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (2007), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
iii. Comedy: these types of movies are intended to make the audience laugh through a series
of funny or comical events. E.g., Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1982), Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006),
Hera Pheri (2000)
iv. Crime: it shows story where a crime has already been committed or is being committed.
E.g., Satya (1998), Gangs Of Wasseypur I & II (2012), Shootout at Lokhandwala (2008)
v. Fantasy: here the story is mostly about supernatural or a magic. It may also include
elements like science fiction in it as well. E.g., PK (2014), Ajooba (1991), Joker (2012)

vi. Historical: it is usually a biography, period piece etc. where a story about a real event or a
person is shown in a textbook manner. E.g., Ashoka The Great (2001), Mangal Pandey (2005),
The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

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vii. Horror: here audience is deliberately tried to frighten or scare through use of shock,
suspense or shock. E.g., Haunted - 3D (2011), Ragini MMS 2 (2014), Kaal (2005)
viii. Mystery: the story evolves through a series of mysterious events and the suspense is
prevailed till the very last. E.g., Talaash (2012), Kahaani (2012)
ix. Romantic: it mostly involves a story about the protagonists relationships, engagements
etc. The majority of these films features mutual attraction and love between a man and a
woman. E.g., Saathiya (2002), Cheeni Kum (2007), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
x. Drama: these movies portrays realistic character in a serious, plot driven presentations
involving intense character development and interaction. E.g., Shor in the City (2011),
D-Day (2013), Shanghai (2012)
xi. Musical: these cinematic forms are those that emphasize full-scale scores or song and
dance routines in a significant way. Here the narrative is mostly centered on musical or
dance performance. E.g., London Dreams (2009), Rock On! (2008), Rockstar (2011)
1. Lead actors
Most of the Bollywood movies are highly influenced by the lead actors in featuring in it:
i. Super Stars; ii. Stars; iii. New Comers
2. Budget
i. High Budget; ii. Budget; iii. Low Budget

Product Categories
Thought there are many categories of product that can be placed through Bollywood movies,
however, following we shall be working with only following three categories of product:i. FMCG; ii. Automobiles; iii. Electronics
A study will be made to find out which for a product category what is the mix of 3 factors
defined above that will have the maximum impact.

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In-Depth Interviews and Focus Group Discussion


Objectives

To understand the frequency of movie viewership, the preference for the viewing

location and for the different type of movies


To know the level of awareness and recall for product placement in Bollywood movies
To check whether the consumers feel the product placement as relevant and suitable for

brands
To identify the various attributes/characteristics of product placement that consumers
feel necessary for creating a positive experience (in terms of attention/liking/interest to
buy)

Methodology
A sample of 4 respondents (movie buffs) were interviewed in an unstructured format to
understand their interest levels for different types of movies and to get their views and attitudes
on certain product placement in movies by showing a couple of clips. A detailed depth interview
was conducted for each of the respondent to find their preference for the location of viewing,
type of movies and the various characteristics that they ideally expect to be in a product
placement. A prior consent was taken from each of the respondent regarding their willingness to
participate in the interview.
Respondents Demographics In-depth interviews
The respondents were chosen to holistically represent the target population both in terms of
mentality and behavior. The selection of respondents was carefully done using a screening test of
whether they knew about product placement in Bollywood movies. Also the behavioral attitude of
the respondents was taken into consideration i.e., all the respondent were regular viewers of
Bollywood movies. Their ages ranged from 22 to 34 and all of them were from an urban
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background. Equal number of men and women were interviewed to get a fair picture and to
avoid the gender bias. Two out of the four respondents were movie critics, who write reviews on
different movies periodically. These four people from different backgrounds connected on a
common note of interest towards the Bollywood movies were enough to obtain, understand and
analyze the diversity of thoughts, differences in preferences, and variations in attitudes towards
various types of product placement in movies. (Transcripts of two of the interviews is given in
Annexure 1)

Location

Respective Hostel Rooms

Average Duration per respondent

15-20 minutes

Format

One-to-one personal interview

Structure

Unstructured
Table - Methodology employed for depth-interview

Respondents Demographics Focus group discussion


The respondents were chosen using the following criteria

People who know about product placement in movies


People who are ardent viewers of movies and write critical reviews on the same
Marketing enthusiasts like-minded people interested in marketing

The group consisted of eight people and it had an equal representation of both men and women.
There were in the age group of 22-28 years. All the participants were from MASH club
(Marketing club of IIM Bangalore) who knew well about product placement in movies. The
group was formed with these people to get critical insights for the budding concept of product
placement.

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Overall Insights
Consumer Behavior

Respondents on an average watch 5 to 6 movies in a month. They believe that it is a


leisure activity and the frequency can vary based on preference for an actor/actress or

even a director.
Although most of the respondents love to watch movies in the multiplexes or theatres,
there is no fixed pattern observed in the viewing location. Based on the convenience, the

respondents also watch movies online, on rental or even on DTH platforms.


All of the respondents generally watch commercial (or even masala movies). Some of
the respondents also watch art movie, though it is uncommon and some are indifferent.

Product placement awareness

All of the respondents were quickly able to recall product placement in Bollywood

movies.
While some of the respondents were able to recall the brands placed in the movies (e.g. 3
Idiots Fortis, Volvo, Mahindra Flyte; Taal Coke; Dabangg Fevicol, Zandu Balm),
some of the respondents associated brands with the actors/actress/director of the
movies (e.g. Rohit Shetty Mahindra Scorpio; Shah Rukh Khan Nokia, GAP, TAGHeuer; Karan Johar High End Products like Loius Vitton, Ferrari, iPhone).

Product placement relevance

Most of the respondents believe that product placement in the movies is a good idea and
should be there until there is no compromise on the story. Subtle hints and well
integration with the story is important. Any overdue will create a negative impact on
the minds of consumer.

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A video clip of the movie Taal and a video song of movie I was shown to the
respondents and was asked about different features/attributes that make the product
placement a positive experience. The replies signified that too many products in a

single movie dilute the level of attention towards a particular brand.


Product involvement level should match the channel involvement level. (For example
low-involvement products can be shown in YouTube which is considered relatively a
cheap channel, but while watching a movie in a multiplex (after paying for the ticket and

snack) people expect higher-end product to be shown)


The key features identified based on the interviews are (in order of importance):

Attribute

Weights

Usage of Product

13%

Repetition

13%

Awareness of the Product

13%

Popularity of Actor/Actress

10%

Projection Level (Background/Foreground)

10%

Context of Brand Placement

10%

(Positive/Negative/Neutral)
Fit & Relevance to story

10%

Duration of Brand Name Visibility

10%

Total duration of product on screen

5.5%

Success of the movie

5.5%

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Research Questions & Hypothesis Formulation


MRP1: Understanding consumer response (behavior and belief constructs) towards
different types of product placements across different demographics
RQ1
H0
RQ2
H0
RQ3
H0
H0

Do consumers notice product placements in movies?


Consumers notice products in movies.
Does product placements in movies influence buying decisions of consumers?
Product placements influence the product consideration set of consumers.
Does the type of product placement influence the consumer response?
The product visible on the screen affects the consumer response.
The product mentioned by name by any of the characters affects the consumer

H0

response.
The product used by any of the characters in the movie affects the consumer
response.

MRP2: Estimating correlation between factors like genre of the movie, star cast etc., with
the product placement
RQ1
H0

What type of product placement leads to highest recall?


Usage by a principal character leads to highest recall.

MRP3: Evaluating impact and estimating an average saturation point of multiple product
placements in a film on each brands recall
RQ1

Is the intensity of recall of multiple products influenced by the number of

H0

products featured in the movie?


Excessive product placement reduces recall for products.

MRP4: Understanding relationship between product placement characteristics such as the


frequency, time of display, etc. and overall effectiveness
RQ1

Is the effectiveness of product placement influenced by the frequency of

H0
H0

appearance in the movie?


Single appearance (1) is looked at favorably.
Moderate appearance (2-4) is looked at favorably.
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H0
RQ2

Excessive appearance ( >4) is looked at favorably.


Does product placement, particularly new launches, impact awareness set of

H0

the consumer?
Product placement, particularly new launches, expands the awareness set of the

RQ3

consumer.
Is the impact (favourable recall) of product placement influenced by the star

H0

cast in the movie?


Association with leading industry stars leads to favourable recall for products.

RQ4

Does projection levels/zoom gets the attention of the user thereby enabling

H0

recall?
Zoom levels do influence the attention given by the viewer

RQ5

Is it necessary for the products to gel with the context of the movie?(i.e.,

H0

should it be fit and relevant to the story to improve remembrance)


Yes, it makes it easy to remember the product

RQ6

Is brand name visibility necessary to help viewers associate with the product

H0

easily?
Brand name helps for easy association with the product

RQ7

Does the duration for which the product appears matter significantly?

H0

Duration of the product on screen matters

Segmentation of The Respondents


The psychographic and demographic characteristics of the respondents from both the depth
interview and focus group are as follows- (this is the profiling of the respondents who represent
the target population i.e., ardent viewers of movies)
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Psychographics

Demographics

Usage Heavy users of movies (i.e., 6 to 7

Age & Place Respondents are in the age

movies a month)

group of 22-32 years, IIM students

Lifestyle Dependent, Fun loving, Outspoken


Attitudes Movies are seen for relaxing and

Geodemographic Urban/ MBA college

leisure activities

students with a similar mentality towards

Opinions High inclination towards

movies (high degree of affect behavior

commercial and block buster movies

towards watching movies was exhibited during

Interests Likes to hang out with friends or

the interview)

relatives for watching a movie


Life stage Student (MBA) and Executive

Gender There was an equal representation

professionals (EPGP) who are in their final

of both men and women to ensure a fair

years

representation and to avoid the gender bias

Hobbies Entertainment/Sports/Literary

Income and social status Most of the

interests

respondents in this category are extroverts who


like to enhance their social capital, income

Benefits Sought Laughter/ good storyline/


levels are not significant because of their lifeActor or Actress favoritism
stage (students)

Quantitative Methods To Be Used (Future Scope)


In addition to primary analysis, we would use the following quantitative methods:

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1. Correlation Analysis: Based on the quantitative questionnaire, we would be conducting


a correlation analysis between the market structure and product categories to get a best fit
for products in different movie segments.
2. Clustering Analysis: Based on the survey responses, we would cluster viewers based on
various attributes of product placement.
3. T-Test: Based on survey responses for each of the questions, we check the hypothesis for
null and alternate using the t-test analysis.
4. Factor & Conjoint Analysis: We will reduce the number of attributes using factor
analysis. Conjoint analysis would help to determine relative importance consumers attach
to different attributes to product placement.

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APPENDIX 1: Transcripts of Depth Interview


Annexure Interview 1
Person
Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer

Participant (Shaunak, Male 25 years)


Discussion
How often do you watch Bollywood movies?
I used to watch like 6 to 7 movies a month but it is now reduced to once a
week
Where do you prefer to watch the movies? Will you prefer watching them
online or multiplex or theatres?
I prefer watching them online in my laptop rather than going to theatres or
multiplex
What genres of movies do you like or associate yourself with? (For example
commercial, social, art, drama etc.,)
I would most likely prefer commercial (some type of masala movies or the

Participant

big budget ones) but I also occasionally watch art movies (like the Oscar

Interviewer

winning ones)
Do you recognize or observe different products being placed in the movies?
Yes it is very much visible in recent movies and the trend of advertising in

Participant

Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer

Participant

Interviewer

movies is also gradually gaining attention amongst the brands I guess. Many
placements of the past movies had a background presence but now it is very
much on the foreground and has a clear visibility.
Do you think product placement in movies is a good idea? Do you consider
it relevant?
Yes, I think this is also a medium of communication for the brands to the
customer. But I prefer the placements that are subtle and not overdone
Can you recall a product placement in the movies in recent times?
Yes, actually many. For example Fortis hospital in 3 idiots, Zandu balm
and fevicol in Dabangg, Coke in Taal, Duracell in PK
A clip from the recent movie I, Gillette product placement was shown and
the reaction to it was asked
This clip, since it comes along with a short love story, passes pleasantly and I
do not think behavior of the consumers will result in conation upon viewing
this placement
What are the different type of attributes, from the ones listed, you think are
effective for a product placement? (participant was shown 12-13 attributes)
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Foreground projection, Usage of the product, Repetition, Duration on


Participant

Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer

Screen, Popularity of actor/actress, Movie success, Awareness of the product,


Number of product in the entire movie, Context of brand placement
(positive, negative, neutral)
Are there any other attributes that you think should be added apart from the
ones mentioned above?
Yes, fit in the context, for the products with the storyline is necessary.
Thank you for your time!

Annexure Interview 2

Person
Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer
Participant

Participant (Tanu, Female 27 years)


Discussion
How often do you watch Bollywood movies?
I watch 2 or 3 movies a week (occasionally when I am free, I watch 4)
Where do you prefer to watch the movies? Will you prefer watching them
online or multiplex or theatres?
I prefer watching them in multiplex or theatres; but on certain occasions I
would also not mind watching it in my system
What genres of movies do you like or associate yourself with? (For example
commercial, social, art, drama etc.,)
I am indifferent towards the movie genres but I would certainly watch the

Interviewer

ones which are recommended by my friends as good


Do you recognize or observe different products being placed in the movies?
Yes I recognize products being advertised in the movies, like for example on

Participant

top of the mind I can recall the Shah Rukh Khans description of Nokia

Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer
Participant

Lumia mobiles features in Chennai Express.


Do you think product placement in movies is a good idea? Do you consider
it relevant?
I think it depends on the audience pool and the type of movie. I believe there
is a correlation between the movie type and the product type
Can you recall a product placement in the movies in recent times?
As I said, Chennai Express is one that I recalled, others would include the
brands that actors use, like for example Shah Rukh Khan using GAP shirts
A clip from the recent movie I, Gillette product placement was shown and
the reaction to it was asked
This is in-fact good, I liked the way the song is conceived to gel with the
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love-story. I think this might create a positive effect since at the end of that

Interviewer
Participant
Interviewer

two-minute ad kind of song, they show the brands name for the full screen
What are the different type of attributes, from the ones listed, you think are
effective for a product placement? (participant was shown 12-13 attributes)
Foreground projection, Usage of the product, Repetition, Duration on
Screen, Awareness of the product, Duration of Brand name visibility
Are there any other attributes that you think should be added apart from the
ones mentioned above?
Yes, relevance of the product to the story line, for example some hi-fi

Participant

bikes and cars being used in action sequence of James Bond movies and so

Interviewer

on.
Thank you for your time!

Appendix 2: Movie Analysis


CASE STUDY: Happy New Year (2014)
No of Prints: 4000 Budget: Rs. 125 crore
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan
Box office status: Super Hit
Director: Farah Khan
Producer: Gauri Khan
Brands featured: Lenovo, Nokia, Renault Duster, Tommy Hilfiger, Hitachi, Puma, Microsoft,
Baskin Robbins, Marriott, Atlantis, Groupon, Lux Cozy, Videocon and Mad over Donuts.
One of the biggest hits of 2014, Happy New Year marked the return of the SRK-Farah Khan
combination after the hugely successful Om Shanti Om after 7 years. The film was promoted as a
musical heist showing a bunch of losers who compete in a dance competition in Dubai to steal
diamonds on New Years Eve. A multi-starrer, the film rode high on anticipation to create several
box office records on release, working well for all brands associated with the movie.
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The Atlantis in Dubai is the location of the films second half. With multiple dialogue references
and shot from several vantage points, the hotel even received space on all posters and
promotional material. Nokia was the next most widely publicized brand as it is mentioned in
dialogue more than once when the viewers are encouraged to vote using their Nokia phones. Not
just that, key installations and hoardings are seen 5 times on-screen. Total time captured by the
brand stands at around 12 minutes. Similarly, the lead actor is shown driving the Renault Duster
in the first half of the movie capturing nearly 22 minutes of total screen time. Lenovo gained
from association as one of the characters a hacker is shown using the equipment resulting in 12
screen appearances for the brand. Other key brands such as Baskin Robbins and Mad over donuts
were also involved with commercial tie-ups preceding the release of the film. Apparel brands
such as Tommy Hilfiger and Puma also received close-ups during costume change sequences.
Other SRK-sponsored brands such as Videocon and Lux Cozy were implicitly placed throughout
the film.

IMPLICIT
USED IN
SCENE
INTEGRATE
D EXPLICIT

Lenovo, Tommy Hilfiger, Hitachi, Microsoft, Groupon, Lux


Cozy, Videocon
Renault Duster, Puma, Baskin Robbins, Mad Over Donuts
Nokia, Atlantis

CASE STUDY: GHAJINI (2008)

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Budget: Rs. 45 crore


Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan
Box office status: Blockbuster
Director: A. R. Murugadoss
Producer: Allu Aravind, Madhu Mantena
Not very often you see a particular brand hogging the same
limelight as the movie itself (in which it is placed) even before
the release of the movie. Circa 2008, during the promotions of Ghajini, Van Heusen was being
talked about as much as the movie. Largely thanks to brand association with the lead actor Aamir
Khan. The brand created a complete clothing line to be worn by the actor on- screen. The actor
was seen publically wearing the same even before the trailers for Ghajini were screened. The
actor talked a lot about the brand in the interviews lined up before the release and even did a
fashion show promoting the movie (read the brand). This paved way for one of the better and
subtle product placements in recent times in a Bollywood movie. The movie was about the story
of a successful businessman in India and that was leveraged by Van Heusen resulting in the
protagonist wearing an entire range of suits and shirts designed by the company for a substantial
portion of the runtime of around 185 minutes. The duration for which Aamir Khan in seen in Van
Heusen attire during the course of the movie is 28 minutes accounting for 15% of the runtime.
But, in the movie the actual name of the brand or any branding/logo was shown for only a
second which makes it a subtle and innovative way for product placement by creating a buzz
before the movie releases and then, making the movie goers anticipate and look for when the
brand comes and identify it without any straight branding placement. During the course of the
movie, there were around 16 product placements which accounted for almost 34 minutes of the

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total runtime, approximately 18% of the total runtime. But the majority of it is dominated by Van
Heusen for 28 minutes as mentioned above. There is also an interesting product placement of
iMac, Macbook and iPhone, all Apple products which seem odd because Aamir Khan, the actor
in leading role was a brand ambassador for Samsung Mobiles at the time movie was released and
how it might have affected or created a negative image for Samsung which was interestingly
placed in the movie as well. Thus the following brands were in all placed in the movie with the
duration mentioned as illustrated below in the table.
Brand
Van Heusen
TVS Scooty Pep
BMW
Sony
Volvo, IBN7
Apple
CNN
Mercedes
Samsung Mobile
Haier
Exide, Honda, Tata
Indicom
Montex Pens, Coca
Cola

Duration
28 minutes (Attire)
10 seconds (Logo)
1 minute
30 seconds
20 seconds
20 seconds
18 seconds
15 seconds
15 seconds
12 seconds
10 seconds

Frequency

8 seconds

Once

4 seconds

Once

Multiple
Multiple
Multiple
Once
Once
Multiple
Once
Multiple
Multiple
Once

Appendix 3: Sample Design Calculation


For calculations of sample size for the primary survey, the design calculations are as follows.
Since the standard deviation is not known for our problem (product placement in movies), by
judgment and secondary study the safe assumption for standard deviation is taken as 0.5.
Sample size n = Z2 * S2 / D2 and here S = 0.5 and D = margin of error (deviation of sample
mean from the population mean) be 5% and the confidence level be = 95%.
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Therefore, sample size = (1.96)2 * (0.5) / (0.05)2 = 768.32. (770 approx.)

Appendix 4: Sample Questionnaire


MRPRQ

Survey question

MRP1
RQ1

Product placement in
movies are easily
noticeable

MRP1
RQ2

Buying decision is
influenced by the
product I see in movie

MRP1RQ3(i)

The product visible on


the screen in a movie
affects my response
towards that product

MRP1RQ3(ii)

The product mentioned


by name by any of the
characters affects my
response towards that
response

MRP1RQ3(ii)

Product used by any of


the characters in the
movie affects my
response towards that
product

MRP2RQ1

Use of product by lead


character in a movie
makes it easy to recall

MRP3RQ1

More products in a
movie makes it difficult
to recall products

Strongly
Disagre
e

Somewha
t disagree

Neither
agree
nor
disagree

Somewha
t Agree

Strongly
Agree

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MRP4RQ1(i)

Product featuring only


once in a movie is more
favourable

MRP4RQ1(ii)

Product featuring 2-4


times in a movie is
more favourable

MRP4RQ1(iii
)

Product featuring more


than 4 times is more
favourable

MRP4RQ2

Product placement in
movies is favourable
for new product launch

MRP4RQ3

Association with
leading industry stars
make recall of product
easy

MRP4RQ4

Zoom level of the


product influences the
attention towards the
product

MRP4RQ5

The context of the


movie influences the
product recall

MRP4RQ6

Brand name visibility


helps for easy
association with the
product

MRP4RQ7

Duration of the product


on screen matters
significantly on the
impact it creates

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