How has product placement came to be such an important factor on television and in the movies today? Why is it that when we are watching a movie, we see all of these random products we’re familiar with? Product placement began in the nineteenth century. It has been used more and more ever since. Product placement is quite frequently used in just about every movie that has came out and every TV show that has aired in the 21st century. “Increasingly, product placement in the multibillion dollar movie industry has become an important advertising medium” (Arens, Weigold 544).
Over two-thirds of advertisers use product placement. It is very common that we, the people who are watching, notice these products being shown, and many of us are familiar with the products. Although many consumers are aware of when they are in a selling environment, product placement improves our connection with a product and the experience it can bring. First, product placement is an advertising technique used by companies to promote their product usually on a TV show, in a movie, or on the internet. Product placement has been involved in early television and films for many decades. The movie, Wings, from 1927 was a silent film that had a scene with someone holding a Hershey’s chocolate bar. The television show, Hazel, from 1961 was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, so there were plenty of Ford vehicles on the TV series” (Schultz 56). An example of product placement in a later film would be any Apple product that has ever appeared, whether it’s a phone, a computer, or a watch. There are so many movies and shows to name where they show Apple products. Product placement has been important for marketers for all of these years.
It has been a great tool to get viewers to recognize the company’s products, and possibly go out and buy them or even just support the brand of product. There are many new ways marketers and advertisers are placing their products in TV shows and films to grab the attention of potential customers. Next, product placement is used frequently today for many reasons. Most of us who view these advertisements make a connection with the product. It could be soda, clothing, tobacco, cleaning products, or even electronics that we notice while we’re watching a show or movie. An example of making a onnection with a product would be if I were to watch The Biggest Loser and then go out and buy a FitBit because I saw one of the contestants on the show wearing one. It makes me think that if that product can help them set goals towards losing weight, it can help me, right? “Consumers recognize, recall, and associate the name, symbol, color, package, advertising, and other factors relating to a specific brand to which they have been exposed over time.
Brand awareness is the simplest form of brand knowledge” (Schultz, Barnes 144). These producers and advertisers want to drive interest to the product. What kinds of ideas, images, and feelings do consumers associate with our brand and with competitors’ brands? Identifying the most common linkages can help us to determine whether there are problems with how our brand is perceived, tell us what sort of imagery will be most effective in our marketing communication efforts, and help us better understand how our brand differs from competitive brands as far as consumers are concerned” (Schultz, Barnes 147). Marketers definitely have a strategy to figure out how consumers associate with their products compared to their competitors’.
Next, some may ask what the point of product placement is or why it is even a thing. “While many people think of movies when they think product placement, television actually accounts for almost 71. 4% of all paid placements — and about 75% of all broadcast-network shows feature placements of some kind. Video games and pop music are other popular industries for product shout-outs” (Kolowich 47). Products placed into storylines can be a lot more successful for brands than traditional advertisements, like TV ads.
It’s easier to sell a viewer on the value of a product if they’re emotionally invested in the storyline in which it’s presented, rather than a viewer who’s watching an ad totally out of context. Plus, it’s far too easy to skip ads and zone out during ads nowadays, anyway. It turns out product placement is pretty cost-efficient in comparison to advertisements. It definitely makes sense that companies are using product placement so much more often because of how often people skip commercials. People will pay more attention to what’s in the show than if they’re just zoning out “watching” a commercial.
It’s much easier for businesses to lose out on money to advertise their products when certain streaming services don’t even have commercials, such as Netflix and Hulu. Furthermore, there is definitely a cost to product placement. I have always wondered how much it would cost to have a show use someone’s product on the show. After researching quite a bit, some interesting information was found. “Product integration into multiple episodes of primetime television series can cost a brand $3–10 million (with full-series deals exceeding $50 million). As for integrations into movies? You’re looking at tens of millions of dollars.
However, you might be surprised to learn that, while some brands pay between hundreds of thousands and several million dollars, many placements are actually done for free. Turns out that movie and film and music producers love forming alliances with brands and are eager to incorporate them into productions” (Kolowich 47). It really surprises me how it can cost millions of dollars just to simply place a product in a movie or show for just a couple of seconds. It’s also surprising how companies will do it for free.
Hershey Foods didn’t pay anyone in the movie industry to have Reese’s Pieces used in E. T. Instead, it agreed to promote E. T. with $1 million worth of advertising in exchange for the product placement in the movie. Hershey’s profit increased by 65% during the movie’s run (Kolowich 49). It seems that doing product placement for free could actually benefit the product and whatever the product is being shown in (movie, show, website, etc. ). There are many strategies that companies have to benefit themselves and make profit. Correspondingly, there are many forms of product placement that are used in shows and movies today. The American Idol judges will sit at their table with Coca-Cola cups facing the cameras.
This type of product placement isn’t as extremely noticeable as other types, but it does catch the consumer’s eye. The Coke logo in shots of the judges helps to ensure that viewers will remember the brand even if they zap the commercials. “Coca-Cola had a high-profile presence on American Idol when the judges drank from the red cups with the logo on them, which is just one example of the emerging brand casting trend, worth an estimated 1. 5 billion dollars in the United States in 2005. Product placement growth is expected to significantly outpace that of traditional advertising. In 2005, global product placement spending rose 42. percent to 2. 21 billion dollars, with double digit growth expected to continue” (Arens, Weigold 544).
It’s crazy to think that just showing something on TV that isn’t a commercial can make so much money in such a simple way. Next, there are types of product placement that are prohibited in most movies and on TV shows. “Cigarettes and other tobacco products, along with medicines that are available only on prescription, can’t be product placed in any programmes. Alcoholic drinks, gambling products, all other types of medicines, food and drink that is high in fat, salt, or sugar and baby milk can’t be product placed in UK programmes.
Also, products that can’t be advertised (such as guns and other weapons) can’t be product placed in UK programmes either” (Kandhadai, Saxena 231). This has been a big controversy. Many tobacco companies and manufacturers have had to withdraw all of their product placements in films, TV programs, and computers games. It was a great idea to get rid of all the products that could be shown on TV. No parent wants their thirteen year old watching a show where cigarettes and tobacco are constantly being shown, and then they know what brands are out there to possibly experiment with because it’s “the cool thing to do”.
Believe it or not, kids remember those types of things and if they’re being peer pressured by another kid, they might just try it because their favorite character on TV was doing it. It’s definitely had a more positive impact since those types of products have been prohibited from being used as product placement. Conversely, there are very few companies who don’t pay the production companies to use their products. Apple is the main one out there. Apple doesn’t pay a penny for shows and movies to advertise their products. Most people do not know this.
Product placement in television and film has become a big deal for companies with devices to show off. For example, basically any other phone brand, like Samsung, Motorola, and LG have to pay the production companies to use their products in their films and shows. “According to Nielsen, a global marketing and advertising research company, Apple devices have made 891 appearances in TV shows in 2011, which is an increase from 613 appearances in 2009. Also, Brandchannel, which tracks product appearances, reported that Apple products popped up in over 40 percent of movies that struck gold in the weekly box office in 2011.
This is huge compared to most brands” (Song, Meyer, Kyoungnam 326). Apple doesn’t pay these companies to use their products, but they are definitely willing to hand out endless amounts of computers, phones, and iPads for the actors in these films and TV shows to use and catch consumers’ attention. With traditional commercials on the decline, free advertisement on TV and in movies seems to be the way to go. Next, there has been quite a bit of talk about product placement and how it takes a toll on consumers, or if it even does at all, in some cases.
There was a survey done, and the question asked was: How will your perceptions of a brand be affected if you saw it on a TV show or film you watch? “The majority said that their perception of a brand wouldn’t change, if they see it in a movie or in a TV show. However, slightly more of them (11 %) would be negatively affected, as opposed to 9 % of those who would be positively affected” (Kran 17). Researchers also asked: Do you think you will be more or less likely to buy a product if you see in on TV as part of a program? “13% admitted that they will more likely buy a product, 81% said that product placement will have no impact.
For the remaining 6% of them we could say that they will be somehow offended by product placement and will less likely buy that product” (Kran 17). It is insane what just a glimpse of a product on a favorite TV show can do to a consumer. Continuing, there are many kinds of product placement I’ve seen on television, in movies, and even on Facebook. I watch my favorite TV shows, and after researching about this topic, I notice product placement so much more. I will be watching Friends or Sex and the City, and I can easily point out product placement.
Most of the time, the product placement is hard to catch. Product placement has definitely changed over the years. It is more advanced now, and the producers make the product stand out more than they did twenty years ago. Now, current shows like Grey’s Anatomy, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad have product placement a lot more than they did in the first couple seasons. This is because these shows have gained more and more popularity over the years and with shows having larger audiences, product placement has a higher amount of impressions than generic advertisements do.
Impressions are the amount of people that see that advertisement or hear about it. Advertisers use impressions to measure the number of views their ads receive, and publishers often sell ad space according to impressions. The more impressions, the more popular that product is. It will be more likely to see that product on TV. What’s crazy to me is that most people will be watching TV or casually scrolling on Facebook, and they don’t even know that their views toward that certain advertisement is making that website or show money.
On average, it takes about 1,000 views to make the company five dollars. That can add up quickly over a short amount of time. In the future, shows will end up becoming even more advanced with the way they use product placement and the way they get impressions. In conclusion, there are many advantages of product placement and what it does for the company and for the customer. Product placement promotes the product through an advertising technique on TV shows, in movies, and on the internet. Customers see the product and usually make a connection with the product.
It’s very common that customers see the product, look more into the product, and want to buy it because they saw how beneficial it was for the person using it on TV or in a commercial. Although many consumers are aware of when they are in a selling environment, product placement improves our connection with a product and the experience it can bring. Product placement is a wonderful way to interest customers without asking if they want to buy it. This advertising technique will continue to be used more and more often in the advertising world today.