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Appendix A2 –– Draft Research Proposal Review

MGB- _____ Cohort

Student Name Roll No & Stream

1.Aman Chhabra cm62 (contemporary marketing


1. Proposed Research area (include details of industry & region) -

Topic- Efficacy of covert advertising in Hollywood movies

Details of industry and region- Media and entertainment industry is involved as what marketing
communication do companies resort to is being studied. Survey to be conducted in Singapore and

2. What are the broader issues that are to be studied? What specific problem or issues are researched? What
are the objectives of this study?

Movies have been a medium to influence the mass audiences. The Hollywood produces approx.
1000 movies in a year. Researchers agree that covert advertising is a major brand communication
strategy used to promote the image and value of a brand. Though it remains a question-how
effective is it, especially when it comes to driving final purchases?
The objectives of the study are-
1) To find the efficacy of covert advertising (does it lead to final sales)
2) the product recall generated by such promotional strategy
3) does the attitude towards a product get affected when a celebrity is using it in the film or it
is portrayed in the movie

3. What is the importance and significance of this research? How will this contribute to the existing body
of knowledge or practice? Explain the feasibility of the study.

I am especially intrigued by branding and advertising. Covert advertising seems to be a good

exercise in brand-building because it is not advertising directly to the market but making a subtle
mention of the product or brand. Conventional forms of marketing seem to be not that effective as
before as the consumer wants something new and unique. In such times, I felt that this form of
advertising i.e. integrating the product or brand in the script is a good way to promote a product.
Though it is unsure how effective it is in increasing sales of a product and does it have a recall value
associated with it or not. In spite of its significance, covert marketing has been less used and has not
been that much researched in India and Singapore.

The study is very much feasible as movies are a source of information as well as entertainment. It is
one of the effective ways to reach out to various audiences.
Covert advertising techniques are the opposite of overt advertising techniques. Overt advertising is
typical blatant advertising found in magazines and newspapers, on television, on billboards, on
leaflets and in film trailers. Covert advertising is sneakier and it is cheaper.
4. Attach the summary of your initial readings that have influenced your selection of the research topic /

Various researchers have explored the area of covert advertising. Barn (2009) explored the impact
of products placement in movie industry of India. He found that product placement is a better and a
persuasive source of brand recognition. Astous & Séguin (1999) determined the impact of product
placement on consumer perception. They took four factors in their experimental study (1) types of
placement (2) sponsor’s image (3) type of TV program and (4) sponsor’s program congruity.
According to their findings overall product placement plays a persuasive role in influencing
consumer purchase.
Thus initial readings have led me to conclude that covert advertising is a promotional strategy of
placing branded products in movies. The recall effectiveness of common product-placement
strategies with each other and with traditional advertising have been compared on a movie to
movie basis in some studies. It is necessary to see how the efficacy is affected overall with respect
to other forms of advertising. An in-depth analysis about how it is perceived is missing. So I decided
to do a research to see how effective it is in sales conversion (i.e. is it a hit and miss phenomenon or
does it lead to the moviegoer making a buying decision) and/or is a product recall also there.

(*) attached below

Methodology- Initial survey amongst respondents to know their awareness and recall level about
covert advertising (product placement) in Hollywood movies. Also it will help gauge if such product
placement impacts their buying behavior or attitude towards the product.
Expert interview with questions pertaining to whether covert advertising is a profitable concept (in
terms of generating sales) or not and their viewpoint regarding the same.

Also 100 respondents in total would be surveyed across India and Singapore. Regression would be
done to compute results.

5. Status of approval by the academic mentor (Select as applicable)

(to be filled by mentor)

1. Yes, discussed and fully approved. [Score range - 8-10 ]

2. Yes, discussed and approved with minor changes within the research area. [Score range 6-8 ]
3. Discussed with changes in the research area, student to resubmit the SOP. [Score range 5-6 ]
4. Incomplete, resubmit

Any other comments –

Next steps: (to be filled by student)

Completed document to be submitted to IIP office by the student.

Student Name & Signature:

Mentor Name & Signature: