Marketing Idea No. 58 – Does product placement work?

This idea is contributed by Rizwana Tasneem

Many advertsiers would like to know the answers to the following questions: Does product placements work? If so, why? If not, why not? If a person sees a movie character sipping Starbucks coffee, will s/he go out and get one? If they see a Survivor contestant gulping down Mountain Dew, will they be inclined to do the same?

Here are some reasons why product placement works:-

1. You can’t veto it out: because it’s part of the actual entertainment

2. It’s not interruptive: viewers aren’t annoyed because their favourite T.V programs are not interrupted and they do not have to wait to go back to what they really wanna watch- the TV show or movie

3. It’s almost like a celebrity endorsement: the viewers think that if these famous people are using it, then they must like it and it must be good

4.The message is subliminal so the filters in our brain that normally weeds out advertising messages don’t step in to block the message. It seeps into our subconscious

Here are some reasons why product placement doesn’t work:-

1. Consumers are not stupid: they know that these brands are paying big bucks to have their products “placed” into the entertainment. They are skeptical and do not buy whatever message the advertiser is trying to get across

2. Consumers feel manipulated: They think that this type of “advertising”is sleazy because it’s not honest. At least in a commercial, the advertiser admits that it’s an ad. However, with product placement, the consumers feel that the advertisre is trying to “put one over” on the consumer.

3. Diminishing ROI: product placement costs are skyrocketing and it’s extremely difficult to measure the effect. So, many advertsiers are thinking whether it’s worth it or not

So, whether product placement works or not, or whether it’s ethical or not is still debatable.  

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2 Comments

  1. I would like to say that product placement works, other wise it would be faded out by now. Here I am gonna place few examples:

    Who doesn’t know the “Ray-Ban sunglasses”? Luxottica Group experienced a 55% gain in sales following prominent use by Tom Cruise in 1983’s Risky Business from their Ray-Ban sunglasses.

    BMW used 1995’s GoldenEye, a film in the successful James Bond series, as an integrated element for introducing a new model, the BMW 328i. It was judged the most successful promotion of 1995.

    Well, those examples were taken from International Market. Why don’t local companies try to place their products/services in the “drama” or “movie”? If they don’t give it a try then how could they know wheather it is a good idea or a bad one?

  2. Uh, why do you include ethics in the last comment? That doesn’t make sense. You’ve been talking about effectiveness throughout.

    I think the RIGHT product placement is worth more than money. (Hello, brand-building anybody? Relationships with customers? Identification?) But we waste too much money doing too many of the wrong things.

    To answer Md Jobaer Adnan: in the industry we’ve often thought about it, but I think ultimately ad agencies in Bangladesh are stifled by their own ineptitude and laziness. Assholes with power (like yours truly!) expect others to get it done, but the “others” (copy writers and interns, or God forbid, junior account execs) are too stupid or inept or inexperienced. And so things never come to fruition. Now if we started getting rewarded or evaluated on performance, rather than how outre our self-presentations can be, maybe we’d get off our asses. But right now, the industry is too full of self-absorbed jackasses.

    Shahriar: great blog man, keep it up.

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