- Product placement
Product placement, or embedded marketing, [cite web
last = Schiller
first = Gail
title = Win, draw for Burnett branding
publisher = "
The Hollywood Reporter"
url = http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000939337
accessdate = 2008-05-28
quote = "But marketers warned that "Apprentice" had used nearly every episode this past season as a call to action for its advertising partners and viewers could become wary of the embedded marketing messages that are becoming a bit too blatant. ."] [cite web
last = Swift
first = Deanna
title = Leaked Memo Reveals WTO Plan to "Sell" Itself to American Youth
publisher = "
url = http://www.alternet.org/story/11172/?page=entire
accessdate = 2008-05-28
quote = "Adopt embedded marketing strategy. Teen marketing research shows that teens may respond positively to marketing symbols used in association with formerly unpopular brands."] [cite web
title = When ads get Personal
publisher = "CFO, The Magazine for Senior Financial Executives"
url = http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-5809504_ITM
accessdate = 2008-05-28
quote = "The executive creative director at marketing firm RTCdirect, in Washington, D.C., Shapiro sees embedded marketing as the logical next stage in the development of loyal brands."] [cite web
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title = Advertising, Disrupted
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accessdate = 2008-05-28
quote = "Product placements and programming with embedded marketing messages are also becoming more prevalent."] is a type of
advertising, in which promotional advertisements placed by marketers using real commercial products and services in media, where the presence of a particular brand is the result of an economic exchange. It is also known as product integration, especially when the product becomes integral to the plot. [ [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94851729 Taking Product Placement Another Step] by Neda Ulaby. Morning Edition, National Public Radio. 22 September 2008.] When featuring a product is not part of an economic exchange, it is called a product plug. Fact|date=September 2008 A few countries, notably the United Kingdom, do not permit product placement in domestically produced films.
Product placement appears in plays, film, television series, music videos,
video gamesand books. Product placement occurs with the inclusion of a brand's logoin shot, or a favorable mention or appearance of a product in shot. This is done without disclosure, and under the premise that it is a natural part of the work. Most major movie releases today contain product placements.Solomon. Zaichkowsky, Polegato.Consumer Behaviour Pearson, Toronto. 2005] The most common form is movie and television placements and more recently computer and video games. Recently, websites have experimented with in-site product placement as a revenue model.
Product placement became common in the 1980s, but can be traced back to the nineteenth century in publishing. By the time he published the adventure novel, "Around the World in Eighty Days" the French writer
Jules Vernewas a world renowned literary giant to the extent transport and shipping companies lobbied to be mentioned in the story as it was published in serial form.Fact|date=September 2008 Product placement is still used in books to some extent, particularly in novels.
Possibly the first film to feature product placement was "Wings" (released in 1927), the first film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. It contained a plug for
Another early example in film occurs in the 1946 film "
It's a Wonderful Life" by Frank Caprawhere a young boy with aspirations to be an explorer displays a prominent copy of National Geographic. Another is in the 1949 film " Love Happy", in which Harpo Marxcavorts on a rooftop among various billboards and at one point escapes from the villains on the old Mobillogo, the "Flying Red Horse".
Still another example is the conspicuous display of
Studebakermotor vehicles in the television show " Mr. Ed", which was sponsored by the Studebaker Corporation from 1961 to 1963.
The earliest example of product placement in a
cartoonoccurs in the Comedy Centralshow: Shorties Watchin' Shorties. [ [http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/culture/product-placement/in-another-conquest-for-product-placement-the-new-comedy-central-cartoon-for-adults-joins-the-trend CommercialAlert.org] ]
In other early media, e.g. radio in the 1930s and 1940s and early
televisionin the 1950s, programs were often underwritten by companies. " Soap operas" are called such because they were initially underwritten by consumer packaged goods companies such as Procter & Gambleor Unilever. Sponsorship still exists today with programs being sponsored by major vendors such as Hallmark. Incorporation of products into the actual plot of a TV show is generally called "brand integration". A recent example is HBO's " Sex in the City", where the plot revolved around, among other things, Absolut Vodka, a campaign upon which one of the protagonists was working, and a billboard in Times Square, where a bottle prevented an image of the model from being pornographic. " Knight Rider", a TV series featuring a talking Pontiac Trans Am, is another example of brand integration.
The earliest example of product placement in a computer or
video gameoccurs in the 1984 game Action Bikerfor KP's Skips crisps. Video games, such as " Crazy Taxi" feature real retail stores as game destinations. However, sometimes the economics are reversed and video game makers pay for the rights to use real sports teams and players. Today, product placement in online-video is also becomming common. Online agencies are specializing in connecting online-video producers, which are usually individuals, with brands and advertisers.
Categories and variations
Actual product placement falls into two categories: products or locations that are obtained from manufacturers or owners to reduce the cost of production, and products deliberately placed into productions in exchange for fees. [ERMA.org, a Hollywood product placement association ]
Sometimes, product usage is negotiated rather than paid for. Some placements provide productions with below-the-line savings, with products such as props, clothes and cars being loaned for the production's use, thereby saving them purchase or rental fees. Barter systems (the director/actor/producer wants one for himself) and service deals (cellular phones provided for crew use, for instance) are also common practices. Producers may also seek out companies for product placements as another savings or revenue stream for the movie, with, for example, products used in exchange for help funding advertisements tied-in with a film's release, a show's new season or other event.
A variant of product placement is "advertisement placement". In this case an
advertisementfor the product (rather than the product itself) is seen in the movie or television series. Examples include a Lucky Strikecigarette advertisement on a billboard or a truck with a milk advertisement on its trailer.
Quantification methods track brand integrations, with both basic quantitative and more demonstrative qualitative systems used to determine the cost and effective media value of a placement. Rating systems measure the type of placement and on-screen exposure is gauged by audience recall rates. Products might be featured but hardly identifiable, clearly identifiable, long or recurrent in exposure, associated with a main character, verbally mentioned and/or they may play a key role in the storyline. Media values are also weighed over time, depending on a specific product's degree of presence in the market.
Consumer response and economic impact
As with any advertising, its effective tends to be proven by the fact that advertisers continue to use product placement as a marketing strategy. However, some consumer groups such as
Commercial Alertobject to the practice as "an affront to basic honesty", [http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/culture/product-placement] which they claim is too common in today's society. Commercial Alert asks for full disclosure of all product placement arrangements, arguing that most product placements are deceptive and not clearly disclosed. They advocate notification before and during television programs with embedded advertisements. One justification for this is to allow greater parental control for children, whom they claim are easily influenced by product placement.
According to PQMedia, a consulting firm that tracks the product placement market, 2006 product placement was estimated at $3.07B rising to $5.6B in 2010. However, these figures are somewhat misleading in PQMedia's view in that today, many product placement and brand integration deals are a combination of advertising and product placement. In these deals, the product placement is often contingent upon the purchase of advertising revenues. When the product placement that is bundled with advertising is allocated to part of the spending, PQMedia estimates that product placement is closer to $7B in value, rising to $10B by 2010.
A major driver of growth for the use of product placement is the increasing use of digital video recorders (DVR) such as
TiVOwhich enable viewers to skip advertisements.Fact|date=September 2008 This ad skipping behavior increases in frequency the longer a household has owned a DVR.
Certain products are featured more than others. Commonly seen are automobiles, consumer electronics and computers, and tobacco products.
The most common products to be promoted in this way are automobiles. Frequently, all the important vehicles in a movie or television serial will be supplied by one manufacturer. For example, "
The X-Files" used Fords, as do leading characters on "24". The James Bondfilms pioneered such placement.Nadja Tata: "Product Placement in James-Bond-Filmen". Saarbrücken 2006 - ISBN 3-86550-440-X] The 1974 film "The Man with the Golden Gun" featured extensive use of AMC cars, even in scenes in Thailand, where AMC cars weren't sold, and had the steering wheel on the wrong side of the vehicle for the country's roads. The last two Bond films had used vehicles from Fordor its subsidiaries. In " Bad Boys 2" and " The Matrix Reloaded", almost every car was made by General Motors, the only exception being the Ferrari in "Bad Boys 2".
Other times, vehicles or other products take on such key roles in the film it's as if they are another character. In "
Desperate Housewives" three of the characters drive Nissans, and the camera view often focuses on the Nissan symbol on someone's car, also the character Gabrielle Soliscan also be seen driving an Aston Martin DB9 Volanteprominently. Nissan cars also feature prominently in the 'Heroes' TV show, the logos often zoomed in/out of or whole cars shown for a few seconds at the beginning of a new scene. In " The Matrix Reloaded", a key chase scene is conducted between a brand new Cadillac CTSand a Cadillac Escalade EXT. The chase scene also features a Ducatimotorcycle in the getaway. Three of the James Bondfilms starring Pierce Brosnanfeatured a BMWcar before fan outcry pressured the producers to return to using the traditional Aston Martin. In addition, a Shelby GT500 is used very extensively at the beginning of "I Am Legend". In the 2008 movie Taken Leam Neeson drives AUDI cars, first an A3 and a S8 in the final high speed scene on the streets of Paris.
Consumer electronics and computers
The 2006 film "Casino Royale" features many
Sonyproduct placements throughout: A BD-Rdisc is prominently portrayed at one time, all characters use VAIOlaptops, Sony Ericssoncell phones and GPSs, BRAVIAtelevisions, and a character uses a Cyber-shotto take photos.
Apple's products frequently appear in films and on television, Apple has stated that they do not pay for this. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041401670.html "Apple Gets a Big Slice Of Product-Placement Pie", "Washington Post"] April 15, 2006] . (Notably, recognizable Apple products have appeared in newspaper
comic strips, including Opus, Baby Blues, Non Sequitur, and FoxTrot, even though paid placement in comics is all but unknown.) In a twist on traditional product placement, Hewlett-Packardcomputers now appear exclusively as part of photo layouts in the IKEAcatalog in addition to placing plastic models of its computers in IKEA stores, having taken over Apple's position in the Swedish furniture retailer's promotional materials several years ago. Hewlett-Packardalso put their computers in the US production of "The Office".
In video games, products that most often appear are placements for processors or graphics cards. For example in EA's "
Battlefield 2142", ads for Intel Core 2processors appear on map billboards.
The James Bond film "
Licence to Kill" featured use of the Lark brand of cigaretteand the producers accepted payment for that product placement. The studio's executives apparently believed that the placement triggered the American warning notice requirement for cigarette advertisements and thus the movie carried the Surgeon General's Warning at the end credits of the film. This brought forth calls for banning such cigarette advertisements in future films.
Within the United Kingdom, product placement is banned.Fact|date=August 2008 A recent EU directive would have allowed it, however culture secretary Andy Burnham refused to accept it, and it appears likely the UK will introduce laws to fully outlaw it, whereas in the past it was only regulated by OFCOM.
Reviewing previously secret tobacco advertising documents, the "British Medical Journal" concluded:Fact|date=September 2008
The tobacco industry recruits new smokers by associating its products with fun, excitement, sex, wealth, and power and as a means of expressing rebellion and independence. One of the ways it has found to promote these associations has been to encourage smoking in entertainment productions.1 Exposure to smoking in entertainment media is associated with increased smoking and favourable attitudes towards tobacco use among adolescents.2–8
While the tobacco industry has routinely denied active involvement in entertainment programming, previously secret tobacco industry documents made available in the USA show that the industry has had a long and deep relationship with Hollywood. Placing tobacco products in movies and on television (fig 1Go), encouraging celebrity use and endorsement, advertising in entertainment oriented magazines, designing advertising campaigns to reflect Hollywood's glamour, and sponsoring entertainment oriented events have all been part of the industry's relationship with the entertainment industry.How the tobacco industry built its relationship with Hollywood, BMJ 2002 [ [http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/11/suppl_1/i81 How the tobacco industry built its relationship with Hollywood - Mekemson and Glantz 11 (Supplement 1): i81 - Tobacco Control ] ]
Extreme and unusual examples
The film "I, Robot", though set in the future, makes heavy use of product placements for
Conversetrainers, Ovaltine, Audi, Fedex, Dos Equis, and JVCamong others, all of them introduced within the first ten minutes of the film. One particularly infamous scene borders into an actual advertisement in which a character compliments Will Smith's character's shoes to which he replies "Converse. Vintage 2004" (the year of the film's release). Audiinvested the most on the film, going so far as to create a special car for the film, the Audi RSQ. It was expected that the placement would increase brand awareness and raise the emotional appeal of the Audi brand, objectives that were considered achieved when surveys conducted in the United Statesshowed that the Audi RSQ gave a substantial boost to the image ratings of the brand. [ [http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=135557 Product Placement in the Film "I, Robot" a Huge Success: The Audi RSQ Spurs on the Brand's Image Ratings ] ] The Audi RSQ is seen during nine minutes of the film, although other Audis like the Audi A6, the Audi TTand the Audi A2can be seen sprinkled throughout the film. [ [http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/112_0407_i_robot/index.html I, robot - Movie Review - Motor Trend ] ] "I, Robot" was ranked "the worst film for product placement" on a British site. [ [http://www.theshiznit.co.uk/review.php?id=144 TOP 10 WORST MOVIES FOR PRODUCT PLACEMENT Movie Feature at TheShiznit.co.uk ] ]
The film "The Island", directed by
Michael Bay, features at least 35 individual products or brands, including cars, bottled water, shoes, credit cards, beer, ice cream, and even a search engine. [ [http://numsum.com/spreadsheet/show/7807l "Numsum.com"] Partial list of product placements in "The Island". Retrieved March 8, 2007.] The film was highly criticized for this. [ [http://advertisingindustrynewswire.com/2006/04/03/13_005916.php "Advertisingindustrynewswire.com"] Criticism of product placements in "The Island". Retrieved March 8, 2007.] In movie's DVD Commentary track, Michael Bay claims he added the advertisements for realism purposes. [ [http://www.agonybooth.com/agonizer/article.asp?Id=0000004#bay "Agony Booth"] Discussion of "The Island" DVD Commentary Track. Retrieved April 26, 2007.]
The comedy film "" also contained a high amount of product placement. Characters repeatedly mention brands under the disguise of
NASCARsponsorship. The movie contains possibly the first instance of an actual television commercial in a movie. It was intended to mock the controversy with NASCAR fans under the Unified Television Contract 2001-06 where they criticised the excessive number of commercial breaks during races. [ [http://www.themoviespoiler.com/Spoilers/talladega.html "Themoviespoiler.com"] Plot, product placements. Retrieved March 23, 2007.]
Bill Cosby's film "
Leonard Part 6" was widely criticized for its Coca Colaproduct placements, as was "The Wizard" for Nintendoproducts.
The 2001 film "Josie and the Pussycats" featured a large amount of blatant product placement for brands such as Puma, Target,
McDonaldsand TJ Maxx. This appears to be done ironically, as the plot of the film revolves around subliminal messages in advertising. The film's general message can also be construed as an anti-consumerist one.
The Japanese animated series "
Code Geass" is sponsored by the Japanese branch of Pizza Hut. Despite the fact that the series is set in an alternate reality, at least one main character is depicted ordering and receiving a Pizza Hut pizza on several occasions. The company's logo also appears throughout the series.
The pilot episode of the
NBC sitcom" 30 Rock" prominently featured General Electric's Trivection oven, which many people believed was an example of product placement. [ [http://www.kitchencontraptions.com/archives/007881.php] ] However, Tina Fey, the show's creator, stated in an interview that the oven was included purely as a joke, [http://www.accesshollywood.com/news/ah1969.shtml] ] although this didn't stop GE from running ads for the oven during the commercial break. Allison Eckelkamp, a spokesperson for GE, said that GE chose to do this to make sure viewers knew it was a real product. [ [http://www.twice.com/article/CA6396950.html?industryid=23104] ]
The 1988 film "
Return of the Killer Tomatoes" utilized the concept in a parodic way. At one point the film stops due to money shortage and we see George Clooney as the producer suggest product placement. Follow several scenes with too-obvious product placement, like a big Pepsi billboard installed in front of the villain's mansion
The film "Minority Report", makes heavy use of product placement, including
Coca-Cola, Gap, and Lexus. Director Steven Spielbergalso uses one scene to criticize advertising: the main character ( Tom Cruise) is harassed by personalised advertisements calling out his own name.
The film "
Wayne's World" included a parody in which both Wayne and Garth decry product placement while at the same time clearly endorsing products.
The film "Fight Club", directed by
David Fincher, bit the hand that fed it by depicting acts of violence against most of the products that paid to be placed in the film. Examples include the scene where the Apple Store is broken into, the scene in which Brad Pittand Edward Nortonsmash the headlights of a new Volkswagen Beetle, and trying to blow up a 'popular coffee franchise', a thinly veiled dig at Starbucks.
The film "Superstar," starring
Will Ferrelland Molly Shannon, shows every resident in town driving VW New Beetles. However, it is possible that this was done for comic effect.
The comedy film "
Kung Pow! Enter the Fist" also attempted to spoof its product placements, clearly pointing out the anachronistic inclusion of a Taco Bellin the film. In a similar vein, in "" the main characters stumble across a Wal-Martwhile stranded in the middle of Death Valleyand get all necessary supplies for their endorsement of the company.
Faux product placement and parodies
The 1998 film "
The Truman Show" utilized the concept although in a manner different than other films. The film's focus, a 24-hour television broadcast called "The Truman Show" that focuses on the life of Truman Burbank, uses faux product placement. His wife places products in front of the hidden cameras, even naming certain products in dialogue with her husband, all of which increases Truman's suspicion as he comes to realize his surroundings are intentionally fabricated.
Some filmmakers have responded to product placement by creating fictional products that frequently appear in the movies they make. Some examples:
* Kevin Smith - Nails Cigarettes, Mooby Corporation, Chewlees Gum, Discreeto Burritos
Quentin Tarantino- Fruite Brute, Red Apple Cigarettes, Big Kahuna Burger, Jack Rabbit Slim's Restaurants
Robert Rodriguez- Chango Beer
Pixar Animation Studios- Pizza Planet, Dinoco
Warner Brothers- Acme Corporation
Coen Brothers- Dapper Dan Hair Wax
This practice is also fairly common in certain
comics, such as Svetlana Chmakova's " Dramacon", which makes several product-placement-esque usages of "Pawky", (a modification of the name of the Japanese snack " Pocky", popular among the animeand mangafan community in which the story is set) or Naoko Takeuchi's " Sailor Moon", which includes numerous references to the series "" which "Sailor Moon" was spun off of; the anime makes further use of this meta-referential gag, going so far as having an animator on a "Codename: Sailor V" feature film be a victim in one episode.
This practice is also common in certain "reality-based" video games such as the Grand Theft Auto series which feature fictitious stores such as Ammu-Nation, Vinyl Countdown, Gash (spoofing Gap. Another spoof was made in with Zip), Pizza Boy, etc.
So-called "reverse product placement" takes "faux product placement" a step further, by creating products in real life to match those seen in a fictional setting. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070701/ap_on_bi_ge/7_eleven_kwik_e_mart_1] For example, in 2007,
7-Elevenrebranded 11 of its American stores as " Kwik-E-Marts", selling some real-life versions of products seen in episodes of the Simpsons such as Buzz Cola and Krusty-O's cereal.
In the 1984
cult film"Repo Man", a reverse form of product placement is used, with an exaggerated form of 1980's era generic packaging used on products prominently shown on-screen (these include "Beer", "Drink", "Dry Gin" and "Food - Meat Flavored"). Reportedly, this was done out of necessity after an intended advertiser, who was to have used product placement, backed out in mid-production.Fact|date=May 2008
Virtual product placement uses computer graphics to insert the product into the program after the program is complete. [http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/02/business/media/02digital.html&OQ=_rQ3D1&OP=295c0536Q2FQ5B6ZQ3DQ5BamQ2BpemmbtQ5BtQ3FQ3FQ3AQ5BQ3FqQ5BQ3FtQ5BQ3DQ24p.Q5DZppQ5BIZa.Q2FQ5BQ3Fta.d.bQ2FyPibIy] [http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/48956.html]
As of 2007, a new trend is emerging in product placement, the development of capabilities that permit dynamic or switchable product placement. Previously post production tools have permitted one time insertion of new product placement images and billboard advertising, notable in televised at baseball and hockey games. As of 2007,
startups are offering or developing the ability to switch product placement.Fact|date=September 2008 First generation virtual product placement has tended to be based upon sports arenas where the geometrical relationships of camera and the surface of the flat area onto which the billboard is projected, can be easily calculated. Second generation product placement or dynamic product placement is more focused upon commercial products. Third generation virtual or dynamic product placement allows targeting of customers with different products that can be dynamically switched based upon such factors as demographics, psychographics or behavioral information about the consumer. Also of interest are hypervideotechniques that can insert interactive elements into online video.
Their name in lights!
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" was one of the first films to be completely centered around a product or product retail store, even going so far as to include the restaurant name in the title. The White Castle fast foodchain, though very regional, enjoyed a high rise in exposure when the film was released.Fact|date=April 2007
Another example is "
The Coca-Cola Kid" a 1985 movie about an employee of the Coca Cola company. In this case, however, the film was not sponsored by the company. Similarly, Kodak and Nikon did not have anything to do with Paul Simon's decision to write a song about his Kodachrome film and his Nikon camera though, presumably, they benefitted from the exposure.
Recently there has been an increased number of subliminal messages and product placement examples in reality tv-shows. For example a famous russian tv show
Dom-2(Similar to Big Brother (TV series)very often features one of the participants stating something along the lines of: "Oh, did you check out the new product X by company Y yet?" After which the camera zooms in onto the named product. It has been stated that the participants get paid for it, however it is unclear wheather the show itself has anything to do with it.
#Balasubramanian, Siva K. (1994) "Beyond Advertising and Publicity: Hybrid Messages and Public Policy Issues," Journal of Advertising, 23 (4), 29-46.
#Balasubramanian, Siva K., James Karrh and Hemant Patwardhan (2006), "Audience Response to Product Placements: An Integrative Framework and Future Research Agenda," Journal of Advertising, 35 (3), 115-141.
#Pascal Schumacher: Effektivität von Ausgestaltungsformen des Product Placement, Fribourg 2007
#Russell, Cristel A. and Barbara Stern (2006) “Consumers, Characters, and Products: A Balance Model of Sitcom Product Placement Effects,” Journal of Advertising, 35 (1), 7-18.
#Russell, Cristel A. and Michael Belch (2005) “A Managerial Investigation into the Product Placement Industry,” Journal of Advertising Research, 45 (1), 73-92.
#Russell, Cristel 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, 29 (3), 306-318.
* [http://www.brandchannel.com/brandcameo_films.asp Brand Cameos] - Tracks product placement in blockbuster movies.
* [http://www.brandspotters.com/ Brandspotters] - Examples of product placement in movies, television shows, and vlogs.
* [http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/114/next-emerging-web-jargon.html Fast Company - Plinking as Emerging Web Jargon] .
* [http://itvx.net/productplacement/itvx-product-placement-glossary/ iTVX Product Placement Glossary of words]
* [http://www.brandbrigade.com/ BrandBrigade] - Digital Product Placement Specialists
* [http://www.seesawmedia.co.uk Seesaw Media Ltd - Product Placement Specialists]
* [http://www.mirriad.com/ MirriAd] - Embedded Advertising Specialists
* [http://grub.tv/virtual/ Product placement example.]
* [http://matdonline.free.fr/Product_placement_in_videoclips_subliminal_ads.html Product placement in famous video clips.]
* [http://www.itvx.net/ Product Placement News and Measurement]
* [http://www.klugeragency.com/ Kluger Agency] - Brand Integration and Product Placement in Music (Agency)
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