Introduction Product placement can be considered a new marketing tool when associated within motion pictures and television. It can result in a more positive brand attitude when the product is associated with a character or group of characters that are preserved to be positive in the eyes of their audience. It is the intention of this study to look at the effects of product placement and it's use in combination with advertising and their effects on the target audience. This literature review is an attempt to view both sides of the controversial issue. Problem Statement The problem of this study is the effect of product placement, used as a marketing tool, in motion pictures, television, literature, Internet, and in games, and the effect that it has on particular product consumers. Summary of ArticlesShinan Govani is a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in George magazine.
She was summarized in saying that products don't tarnish a movie; sometimes they enhance it. She justifies this by saying .".. these products give movies an indelible imprint of realism. In real life, we eat, drink, wear, and drive brand name products.
It's part of our typography." (Govani, 1999) She went on to comment, "Some may disparage this product treasure-hunt mentality, but it's something nearly all of us respond to. Even during the Clinton-Lewinsky saga - the year's most popular movie, according to Neal Gabler, author of 'Life: The Movie' - we chuckled at mention of Monica's blue Gap dress or at Clinton taking a swig from a Diet Coke can during his grand jury testimony." (Govani, 1999) Was this planned, was this product placement... no it's real life. David Bauder reported on the controversy and was quoted in saying, "The new technology isn't likely to replace regular commercials", he also reported that when it comes to television, "it's starting to get harder to tell when the ads end and the show begins." (Bauder, 1999) Bauder interviewed several experts and officials in the industry such as Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, who said, 'There is certainly a sense that the bleeding of the commercials into the programs is getting more extreme than it ever has been." For many years, networks took pains to avoid product placement.
The results often looked awkward: Actors would drink from a beer bottle with a generic label instead of a Budweiser. Showing actual products may better reflect real life, but the decision on whether to use them should rest with the people making the shows, not with advertisers." (Bauder, 1999) New technology is making product placement in movies easier and easier. Bauder reported, "TV viewers probably barely noticed the Coca-Cola can on a desk and the Wells Fargo billboard in the background of a recent episode of UPN's drama 'Seven Days.' ' The actors certainly didn't notice -- because the soda can and billboard weren't even there when the series was filmed. It was the first prime-time test of a technology that allows advertisers to have products digitally added to a scene, a practice that could blur beyond recognition the line between entertainment and advertising." (Bauder, 1999) He went on to comment, "The product placements were quietly done as an experiment during one episode two weeks ago to gauge viewer reaction.
The response is still being evaluated, UPN spokesman Paul McGuire said." (Bauder, 1999) This technology is not just used in television and movies but also in sports, video games, and even literature. "The technology has been used in sports, to add commercial billboards in the background of baseball games."Although product placement is popular in movies but much less so on television, where there are plenty of opportunities to run full-fledged ads." (Bauder, 1999) "The first Product Placement was in the 'African Queen's tarring Humphrey Bogart & Katharine Hepburn with a bottle in Gordon's Gin in 1951. That is correct Product Placement has been around fifty years now. The first Product Placement in television was on 'Perry Mason' also in the fifties. The story (I was told) was the production company forgot to take off the Ford logo from the vehicle. The day after the show aired the producers of the show thought that when Ford saw or heard of their vehicle being on the show, they felt they were going to be sued.
Well Ford did call the next day but, instead of being upset, Ford offered the producers two new vehicles while they are in production. Hence Product Placement in television started." (Weinberg) Weinberg went on to ask company's why they use product placement and receive a overwhelming response saying, 'We do it because it is a heck of a lot less expensive than taking out an ad in a magazine or doing a billboard ad.' (Weinberg) He asked Sandra Sheri Sandra who is in charge of Product Placement for MET-Rx & Worldwide Sports Nutrition if she is able to track the effectiveness of product placement for her products and she said, 'Absolutely! We did a promotion with the Warner Brothers production, 'Any Given Sunday'. What we did was a insert in our Protein Plus Bar. We track sales from the promotion. Suddenly our sales jumped 33%. The movie went from third place in the box office and then dropped down, but we kept our promotion going.
I spoke with Warner Brothers and they would like to do more Product Placement with us, because after the film dropped in the box office our promotion regenerated interest in the film causing it to shoot back up in the charts. Warner Brothers said this was a first! We know Product Placement works because only that particular product from our whole product line went up in sales'. (Weinberg) Weinberg also asked the question what are the benefits of the television production team to use product placement. "Keep in mind I do have a budget, which was never enough money. Product Placement helped me stay within my budget. I would rent 4 briefcases, buy 4 briefcases and get another 12 briefcases from Product Placement land for free.
Not only did it save me money but I also had many choices for the actor or director to make a selection from." (Weinberg) It was commented in an article entitled Product Placement and politics of advertising, "Product Placement is a surreptitious marketing tool whereby products are 'placed' in films and TV shows. The audience thinks the product 'just happens to be there'. In fact the TV/film producer saves substantial amounts of money through 'product placement' and the 'prop houses' are paid substantial amounts of money for their successful placement of the product in the public eye." In Weinberg's conclusion he said, "I have been told that in the future while one is watching a television show one will be able to pause the show and order a product or service right there and then. Though that may sound exciting to the Corporations who are involved in Product Placement, I find it very sad. I don't think Alfred Hitchcock would like that at all. Product Placement should make sense.
If all the labels were turned around in every scene that would look unrealistic." (Weinberg) Conclusion After extensive research and reading the views and opinions of several experts and officials in the world of product placement and advertising I feel that product placement is beneficial in the marketing of motion pictures and television. I agree with the opinions quoted in my article from Shin an Govani. She felt that the cross marketing of movie to promote products and products to promote movies is very beneficial. I feel that the use of products in movies and television (also literature and video games) puts a real life edge on the picture. You can identify with the characters that are being portrayed.
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