Product placement refers to the collaboration of marketers and companies of entertainment products to promote them among the consumer segments through various mediums. It’s to expose a product or service to billions of customers through broadcasting. It is considered to be an innovative and strong communication strategy that allows organizations to communicate with their customers. The goal of this paper is to discuss the concept and significance of product placement in the lights of broad and diverse academic resources.
It is the type of promotional strategy used to promote the product without revealing its intention to the audience. The idea behind the use of product placement is to attract customers by ensuring that the product is endorsed by famous celebrities in movies and television shows. In this way, the target audience would feel connected to the product more personally. Product placement is defined as the art of positioning brands through famous celebrities and movie stars through movies, mediated news, entertainment programs, computer games, movies and television shows. It is the practice used by firms to promote branded products through mass media programming.
The introduction of product placement led to the development and promotion of brand communication. Targeted consumers feel a strong connection with the promoted product or service and therefore, connect with the brand since it is being used by famous artists of the entertainment industry. Another important impact of product placement is that it helps in increasing product awareness and brand image and influences customer perception. Thus, product placement helps in ensuring that the consumers are connected with the product through brand communication and that their perception regarding it is increased. Brand communication acts as an agent that fills the gap between brand image and consumer perception. Its purposes also include exposing the brand, increasing brand awareness, influencing consumer perception, changing consumer attitudes, influencing the purchase intention and creating an emotional bond between the consumers and the brand.
The concept of product placement in marketing is considered to be important since it aims at reaching the target audience without disclosing its agenda. Companies use it to communicate with the consumers by ensuring that they are connected to the brand emotionally and personally. Famous movie stars, celebrities and television personalities are selected to endorse the product through entertainment programs, mediated news and movies. This can help in creating a strong connection between the consumers and the brand image.
I have this trick I pull on myself. In order to watch movies guilt free while I work from home, I'm only allowed to watch what's currently on. Go to the premium movie channels, find the movie closest to beginning, press go, and work.
So I didn't see the very beginning of The Deer Hunter when I rewatched it recently. That's all right, I think I studied the 1974 Vietnam classic in school. Definitely deep watched it before at least.
There were, as with any movie made that decade, glaring differences in movie making style embodied in The Deer Hunter and the styles we see today. Violence in the seventies was something you could spend a whole movie building up to. You get an hour plus of a wedding in rural Pennsylvania before you ever see jungle. Go watch Taxi Driver or Dog Day Afternoon again and you might be surprised by how little screen time the violence gets.
What surprised me on this watching was not about movie making style, at least not in terms of pacing. What surprised me was this exchange between Robert DeNiro’s character Michael and Meryl Streep’s Linda:
Mike Duesenberg / Good Beer Hunting
What? That's a record scratch, especially for a critically acclaimed movie. I had to break my rule and rewind to confirm what I had seen, but yeah, there it was, one of the best actors of all time interrupting a movie for what has to be blatant product placement. It's an ad in the middle of a masterpiece.
But the exchange doesn’t appear in the original script by Michael Cimino. In fact, the words “Rolling Rock” never appear in that script. They show up five times in the movie. Definitely negotiated in.
Mike Duesenberg / Good Beer Hunting / Data: Untappd
It’s not the worst choice of product, given the beer’s ties to the region. But as much as Rolling Rock is Pennsylvanian, so is Yuengling, and probably more so in the rural areas at that time. Yuengling gets more (and better) ratings than Rolling Rock on ratings app Untappd, but both beers get a home state boost. Yuengling gets 50% more ratings in Pennsylvania than the national average, and Rolling Rock enjoys 25% more checkins than usual. And if you’re really going to get micro-regional about it, the movie might have been in Iron City territory.
Further watching showed that the green bottle is all over that movie. Check the famous bar scene, and look at the bottles in the front. Probably not Heineken.
It's pretty terrible product placement for a movie so good. We're used to this stuff in movies now, though – maybe filmmakers have just gotten better at it?
The James Bond franchise is perfect for it in style and execution. Dude is supposed to be the guy all guys want to be. All he has to do is drive the car or order the drink. Done.
That would tell us that Rolling Rock should maybe have been cool with their green bottles being everywhere, and maybe one line about ordering it.
It's fine that they wanted to push it just a bit. Three instances of ordering their beer and a couple product shots, who can blame them.
It's just.. the way DeNiro tells the lady she "should" buy this drink. The mansplaining is so off putting. It doesn't read like any normal situation I've been in. Especially if you're interested in the person romantically, badgering them about beer choice is weird. It’s not even about the sexes of the people involved, it’s that relationship. She said any kind! Go get her a beer! What are you doing?
If you're going to set up a "you should" type of product sequence, take a hint from another classic film with its own record scratch product placement: Blue Velvet.
There might be the same element of surprise here for the viewer, but it's totally germane to the character to yell like that. That's who Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth is. And a friend would definitely yell at a friend about drink choice. That's happening right now, as you read this, in a bar not too far from you.
In a perfect world, we wouldn't have any of these scenes in our movies. They threaten to take us out if the movie, to interrupt our suspension of disbelief, to awaken us to the outside world while we've bought into the movie's world.
But businesses have to sell things, beer included. That dollar makes the world go round.
The lesson here, then, if there is one? Take care to make the moment as seem as rea as possible, even if it means going big like David Lynch did in Blue Velvet.
Go to a bar and watch friends interact. Heck go to the bar with old friends yourself. Order something you know they won't like.
You probably won't hear a "should." If your friends are anything like mine, you will hear some curse words, though.
ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October