Product placement refers to the practice of including a brand name, product, package, signage or other trademark merchandise within a motion picture, television or other media vehicles for increasing the memorability of the brand and for instant recognition at the point of purchase. Product placements are commercial insertions within a particular media program intended to heighten the visibility of a brand, type of product or service. The common practice has been that advertising has been inserted within breaks, 30 seconds or 10 seconds commercial, but with increasing number of channels and media clutter, the target audience is not properly exposed to the message. The tendency of the audience is to change the channel whenever an advertisement appears. But by subtle placement of products in the settings of the Movie or a TV serial, the promotional message can be effectively put across the target audience These insertions are not meant to be commercial break ups rather an integral part of the medium so that the visibility of the brand increases.
Attempts are made for the viewer to read the product or the brand as a quality of the characters using and approving it. Scripts are tailor made for the desired brand so that when they are incorporated they look natural. It is done through special mention in the programs, placement of logo or may be a shot of that particular brand. Movies have been used as the most popular platform for product placement. Showman Subhash Ghai’s Yaadein showcased brands like Pass-pass and coca-cola. But recall the Rishi Kapoor starrer Karz by the filmmaker, which had an entire song sequence with the Emami banner at the backdrop. Similarly time and again we have witnessed so many brands like ICICI, Yamaha, Pepsi, Lays in movies Aakhein, Baghban, Dhoom, Khushi and Krissh respectively.
Product placements are different than the celebrity endorsement advertisements in many ways. The celebrities endorse products and brands with commercial reasons,which normally comes in the breaks in television programs or in cinema halls. The phenomenon of zipping and change in the television usage behaviour due to surfing during commercial breaks has reduced the effectiveness of the television commercials. Similarly the commercials on cinema halls are found to be of low involvement as the audience takes them as blocks between the reasons of visiting the cinema hall and the time available to them for entertainment. So the brand communication and the entertainment products are viewed differently by the audience in both the media. Brand placement provides an opportunity where the involved audience gets exposure to the brands and products during the natural process of narration of the movie or television commercial.
We have taken the issue of the movie as area of research because compared to television, movies are found to be of higher involvement. The audience can undertake multitude of working while observing the television program at a home setting which may affect the degree of attention span of the audience and hence reduce the over all effectiveness of the medium for enhancing brand memory. Quite contrast to this is the movie going behaviour where the audience makes a voluntary choice for viewing (exposure) at a cost (financial, time and opportunity cost) for the purpose of entertainment. So he is more receptive to the information provided to him in the movie hall setting which also includes the dissemination of the product information. Further to this in a television viewing, the audience has a choice to shift the channel, as the programming is an involuntary exposure due to fixed schedules, content and timing. This involuntary exposure makes the audience to have a choice of voluntary viewing of the program of his choice and then he or she may switch to another channel. It has been observed from research that brand recall for commercials...