overview • “There is nothing accidental in a frame in a movie,” Soar (2007). • Over one hundred specialized advertising agencies are devoted to product placement (Schor, 2004). Coke machine in Brokeback Mountain
History of Placements • Cigarettes • De Beers diamonds • E.T. & Reese’s Pieces • Reese’s sales increased 65% after the movie’s release • Seinfeld and Junior Mints
Definition of Product Placement • Inclusion of branded products, logos, or insignia in a movie, TV show, or other media (including music videos, novels, and videogames). • Plug versus Placement: • a “plug” is an on-camera mention of a brand, usually delivered by a celebrity. • Placement usually integrates a brand into a scene or story line.
Product placements amounted to $2.21 billion in 2005 (Lazar, 2006). In 2005, there were 108,000 instances of product placement in TV Shows; a 30% increase from 2004 La Ferle & Edwards (2006) found 1 placement per 3 minutes of prime-time TV programming As much as 75 percent of all prime time scripted shows on U.S. television include some element of brand placement (Consoli, 2004). Example: Mac/Apple: During the first 4 months of 2006, TV shows mentioned or showed Apple products at least 250 times. Pervasiveness of placements
Catalysts for product placement • Channel surfing, flipping • Advent of TIVO and DVRs • Fragmented Media: Cable & satellite channels, Internet, etc. • Economical: production costs for commercials far exceed placements • Permanence: A placement is forever, including the DVD release
Recent placements in movies • Link to brandchannel, a website that itemizes product placements in movies • http://www.brandchannel.com/brandcameo_films.asp • Example: Brands featured in Click, starring Adam Sandler: 7-Eleven, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Budweiser, Doodles, Ford, Huffy bicycle,, Red Lobster, Twinkies, Sharp, Sony, Speedo, Tag Huer, Tic Tac, Yodels
Types of placements • Visual: a branded product serves as a prop in the scenery or background • Audible: A character refers to a brand by name • Use: A character uses a product • Integrated: the brand is integrated into the story line. • Integrated placements are the most effective • Virtual placements: (digitally added after the fact)
Theoretical frameworks • Mere exposure: repeated exposure to a brand increases liking for the brand • Associative networks: the images and associations with the characters or story “rubs of” on the brand • Psychological reactance: movie-goers might rebel if they think their freedom to avoid advertising is being restricted Starbucks in the background of Meet the Fockers
Studies on placements • Brand placement had a significant effect on brand image (Reijmeersdal, Neijens, & Smit, 2007) • Placements can be effective even if they are not consciously recalled (Reijmeersdal, Neijens, & Smit, 2007) • Example: Pontiac sold 1,000 Solstices within an hour after the car was featured on an episode of The Apprentice in April 2005. Pope Benedict XVI wearing Prada shoes
Placements may be overrated • “a lot of the placements are just going to pass people by” Romaniuk, 2008) • About 70% of visual exposures were less than five seconds • 41% of brand placements in reality shows were ``slightly obscured''
Reactions to placements • Sheth & Sisodia (2005) 60% of consumers believe that marketing and advertising is “out of control.” • However, consumers (69%) report they don’t particularly mind product placements, unless they are disruptive • Placements may add to realism, verisimilitude
Newer forms of placement • Madison Avenue is scrambling to place brands anywhere and everywhere • Board games: Monopoly now features playing pieces molded in the image of McDonald's french fries, a Toyota Prius, a Motorola cell phone, and a Starbucks mug. • Children’s books: M&M's sells book to help teach counting skills to preschoolers • Music: In the top 20 songs of 2005, Mercedes-Benz was mentioned 100 times, Nike 63, Cadillac 62, Bentley 51, and Rolls-Royce 46. • Prescription drugs: According to Neilson, there were 337 visual or audio mentions of Prescription drugs in 2006 • Eggs: CBS hired EggFusion, an "on-egg messaging" company, to print its logo on 35 million eggs.
Controversial placements • Johnny Walker placed this billboard in Beirut, Lebanon at the location where a bridge had been bombed. • Placements aimed at children (Campbell 2006) • cigarettes • alcohol • junk food • Sexy placements?