Since the invention of personal video recorder (PVR) such as TiVo which enable consumers to zip and zap 30 seconds commercials on TV, the effectiveness of traditional advertisements has fallen. Advertisers now realise that they need to find more effective ways to expose their message to the consumers. Recently, the phenomenon of product placement has become popular among the marketers and advertisement agencies. They have come to recognize that the consumer is more likely to accept product placement in movies compared to traditional advertisements. Therefore, there is no doubt that product placement has a huge probability of success as a marketing tool, as a substitute for the ineffective traditional advertising. Although some people argue that product placement has many negative effects on the consumer such as endorsement of tobacco and alcohol shown in the movie, there is strong evidence that product placement carries a big benefits such as increasing of sales of products and services, enlarging brand awareness of the products or services and attracting audience’s attention. This essay will argue that product placement as a marketing tool has many advantages which indeed outweigh the drawbacks. Product placement is defined as an introduction of the products or services to the consumer by using television and cinema as the media (Nebenzahl & Secunder, cited in Drennan and McDonnell, 2005). Also, Gupta & Gould (cited in Drennan and McDonnell, 2005) define product placement in more detail as “incorporating brands in movies in return for money or for some promotional or other consideration”. In the recently released Hollywood movie Iron Man 2, it is clear that the product placement is being used when Tony Stark drives an Audi R8 Spyder car. In the movie the Devil Wears Prada many products are placed prominently such as Mercedes Benz cars, Prada bags, Starbucks, Clinique, Calvin Klein etc. The exposure of products in these movies lead to an increased popularity of these brands among consumers.
First and foremost, research finds that product placement leads to an increase in the purchase intention of consumers (Gould, Gupta and Grabner-krauter, cited in Wiles and Danielova, 2009). Likewise, Gupta, Balasubramanian and Klassen also point out that purchase intention is affected positively by placing products (2000). Take Riece’s Piece chocolate for example, after being exposed in ET, sales of the chocolate has been increased rapidly by about 60% (Newell, Salmon, and Chang, cited in Gregorio and Sung, 2010). Similarly, the movie The Italian Job, which promoted the Mini Cooper car, successfully attracted many new consumers. Nielsen media research has conducted a survey about relationship between product placement and purchase intent by asking 10.145 people who watched 50 programs that comprised of 199 brands. The survey found that consumer’s willingness to purchase the product rose by approximately 38 % compared with traditional advertising only increased nearly 36 %. According to a 2006 survey by Nielsen media research, the purchase interest of consumer with product placement has rocketed to about 145 % as shown in table 1. For this reason, it is probably true that product placement is more useful than traditional advertising in influencing consumers to buy certain products.
Another advantage of product placement involves the ability to get audience attention (D’Astous and Chartier, 2000). Particularly, the use of endorsed advertisement by brand ambassadors is able to draw audience attention effectively. There is a certain possibility that a huge influence can be obtained when consumers readily notice their admired movie artists using the product. In addition, audiences are more likely inspired by popular stars; for these reasons, they feel more enthusiastic to posses the product that has been exposed in the...