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Review on The Effectiveness of Brand/product Placement in Films and A Comparison between Brand Placements in Hollywood and Bollywood films

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Review on The Effectiveness of Brand/product Placement in Films and A Comparison between Brand Placements in Hollywood and Bollywood films

Pulidindi Venugopal, Avinash Inuganti, P. Harsha Vardhan, Vedika Kashyap

Abstract:
The advertisements of products/brands in televisions are experiencing skipping of channel and the marketers finding it difficult to promote their brands or products, effectively. So the marketers are now finding new media to promote their products/brands. One of those media is films. This paper studies the effectiveness of brand placement in films in the minds of consumers, especially in Hollywood and Bollywood films.

Key words: Brand placement, Hollywood films, Indian films, Product placement

Introduction:

India is the world’s biggest film industry and product placement in Indian films is relatively a new concept and films are now turning out to be a powerful media for promoting the brands (Pavan C Patil and P L Bisoyi, 2012). Product/brand placement is defined as “A paid product message aimed at influencing movie (or television) audiences via the planned and unobtrusive entry of a branded product into a movie or television program” (Balasubramanian, 1994). Majority of the product placements are of display and dialogue product placement. Most of the product placements are taken for instance, for which, they are not paid (Alex Walton, 2009). Generally, the duration, number of types of product placements and level of product placement, that is, it may be positive, neutral and negative are taken as the criterion for the product placement and the criterion differs from a movie to another movie (Shriti Vinayak Gokhale, 2010).

The product placements are very expensive and the marketers have to evaluate the effectiveness of the placement and that is evaluating the reach and it is quite difficult to determine the reach (Dr. Judy Drennan and Dr. John McDonnell, 2010). Product or brand placement is not restricted only to the movies but also have presence in computer games, TV shows, songs, etc. (Wasko, Phillips and Purdie, 1993). Product is mostly placed through TV, radio, computer games and film and according to the findings the average consumers are exposed to at least 3000 commercials each year (Kaylene Williams, Alfred Petrosky, Edward Hernandez and Robert Page, Jr., 2010).

Literature review:
History of placements

The concept of brand placement had evolved 90 years ago and a well-known promotional tool in Hollywood movies (Alex Walton, 2009). The concept of brand placement started in Hollywood movies with Columbia pictures, endorsing the brands or products like cigars and alcohol. This concept is new to the Indian movies. In India Leo entertainment was the first to bring the brand partnering strategy into India and the Indian Cinema (Dr.Meera Mathur, Dr.Shubham Goswami, 2012). This played a major role in developing the concept of brand partnering in the context of Indian Cinema. Brand partnering was something new to Indian Cinema. In 1970’s Emami was the first brand to use this promotional tool in Indian film (Dr.Meera Mathur, Dr.Shubham Goswami, 2012). The observation from the above history of placements, it is clear that Indian films were influenced from Hollywood films, in placing the brand or product in the films.

Effectiveness of brand placement in films
Well-known brands have higher brand recall than the less-known or new brands in brand placements (Tapan K Panda, 2004). The usage of product/brand placement has increased from time to time (Mahima Kapoor, Rohit Bhatt, 2006). Film industry plays a very prominent role in promotion of a product/brand. Many marketers like to promote through movies which gives them more benefits at a time (Prachi Singh, 2013). Most of the brand placements are clearly visible on the screen, the number of brand placements has increased from time to time and integration of the brand into the brand has low relevance in films (Alex Walton, 2009). The brand placements can be only display the logo of the brand in the scene or inserted into the scene or the brand is used and a dialogue reference is presented by the character in the scene and the third type of product placement is more effective than any of the product placements and the effectiveness of the brand placement also depends on the genre of the film (Tapan K Panda, 2004). It frustrates the consumer especially if the story line is out of context. Clear brand placement proved to have great brand recall and well-known brands are more recalled (Rishikesh Padmanabhan, Sanjay Kumae Jena, 2013). The main aim of product placement is that consumer should not only notice it but also should remember it and the entire product placement situation is win-win, in which both film producers and the marketers do benefit (Kaylene Williams, et. Al., 2010). Familiar brands have more advantage than less-familiar brands. Selection of a movie, in which the need to be placed is very important and it is very difficult to evaluate the reach to the target audience, because different age groups do watch the film, the marketer cannot analyze that (Dr. Judy Drennan and Dr. John McDonnell, 2010). The strategy will benefit a brand only if it is seamlessly integrated with the script or otherwise the work will look forced and jarred1 .Product placement in movie is worth full and it gives a good combination of commercial and non-commercial activities, it helps to achieve audience exposure and increase consumer’s memory, makes product or brand the complete success, to change consumer’s attitude (Kaylene Williams, Alfred Petrosky, Edward Hernandez and Robert Page, Jr., 2010). The following are the alternatives for remuneration of brand placement, established when a contract is done:
1. Reduction in the cost of production of a film
2. Cross promotion
3. Payment of fee (Corniani Margherita, 2001)

On the review, the observations would be:
O1: Brand placements are more useful for the well-known brands than less known brands.
O2: The placement that is out of the story, irritates the audience
O3: Product placements are difficult to evaluate the reach in the target audience
O4: The impact of brand placement depends on genre of the film

Hollywood vs. Bollywood- Brand placement
The degree of integration in Hollywood films is higher than Bollywood films and the number of types of product placement has increased and multi-brand placement are more than single brand placement in both Hollywood and Bollywood films (Shriti Vinayak Gokhale, 2010). In film placements mostly automobiles and electronics are shown in India. Mostly they show the usage of the product to give maximum publicity. (Sonal Kureshi, Vandana Sood, 2011).
O5: The level of insertion of brand or product into the scene is more effective in Hollywood films than Bollywood films.
O6: The number of brand placements in Hollywood and Bollywood films depends on the genre of the film.
O7: Both Hollywood and Bollywood films go for multi-brand placement rather than single-brand placement.
Conceptual model:

The factors influencing brand placements in both Hollywood and Bollywood films are the level of integration, the genre of the film and the type of placement and these factors lead to either brand identification or brand recall, depending on whether the brands are new brands or existing brands and these leads to brand awareness or purchase intension and it leads to increase of sales.

Categories of brand placement (Tapan K Panda, 2004):

Just display product placement, in which the brand is displayed in the movie scene but no dialogues or reference regarding the brand or its benefits.

Inserted in the scene product placement, in which the product or the brand is used in a movie scene but no dialogue reference to the brand.

Display and dialogue product placement, in which the product or the brand is used in the scene where the star mentions about the benefits of the brand/product (Tapan K Panda, 2004).

Only dialogue reference product placement, in which the brand or product is not displayed, but a dialogue is inserted in the scene, in reference to the brand or the product.

The integrated explicit product placement has higher impact when compared to other product placements. The consumers take the brand or the product into their mindset, only when they remember the brand even after they finish watching the movie. There are three modalities, namely, Prominence modality (the size and the position of the brand/product on the screen), audio-visual modality (display of logo of the brand and insertion of dialogue related to the brand) and plot insertion (the relevance of the brand being inserted into a scene) (Etienne Bressoud and Jean-marc Lehu, 2008).

Comparison between Hollywood and Indian films:

Higher number of films using this brand placement as the promotional tool for promoting a brand/product belongs to Hollywood. In Indian film industry the brand placement plays a major role now-a-days. There are many multi-national companies in India and they are trying to improve their brand image by using brand placement as one of the major promotional tool and Hollywood had a wider range of products that were using in films placements in contrast to Bollywood (Sonal Kureshi, Vandana Sood, 2011). When we take FMCG into consideration the breakfast cereal plays a major role in the Bollywood films. They are trying to differentiate from the normal way which we follow daily. The appearances of the celebrities in the films change the lifestyle of them as well as the viewers. They are making a greater impact on the society (Sonal Kureshi, Vandana Sood, 2011).

The significantly lower incidence of alcohol and tobacco brands as placements in Bollywood in comparison to Hollywood (Sonal Kureshi, Vandana Sood, 2011). Alcohol and tobacco are allowed in the Hollywood and they are being restricted by showing statutory warning in the films usage will cause problems and they are advising the viewer’s not to use the products which are related to alcohol and tobacco and in Hollywood movies, the brand/product is effectively inserted into a scene compared to Indian films (Sonal Kureshi, Vandana Sood, 2011). In both, Hollywood and Bollywood films, transportation is the major product placement, followed by electronics and cars. Both Bollywood and Hollywood films focus on multi-product placements rather than a single product placement and the drama or romantic films has good number of placements in Bollywood and comedy films had found highest number of brand placements in Hollywood (Shriti Vinayak Gokhale, 2010).

Exhibit 1: Some of the examples of product placement in both Hollywood and Bollywood films (Anshul Rathi, Bhaskar Pant, Alpa Rathi, 2006):
Film name Brands placed
Hollywood/ Bollywood
3idiots
Acquafina, Samsung mobiles, Volvo, Air India, Airtel, Fortis, Mahindra Flyte

Bollywood
Jab We Met
Indian Railways, Bisleri, Toyato, BMW, Mercedes,
SBI ATM, Cadbury 5Star, Tourism destinations (Manali, Bhatinda, Mumbai, Shimla)

Bollywood
Krrish
Bournvita, Tide, Lays, Hero Honda, Star Plus, Singapore Tourism

Bollywood
The Social Network
Harvard University, Gap, Facebook, My Space, Napster, Sony Vaio

Hollywood
Iron Man 2
Audi, Ferrari, Apple, Royal Purple, Oracle, Starbucks coffee

Hollywood

From the above information, it is very clear that both Bollywood and Hollywood films prefer multi-brand placements rather than single brand placement.
Product placement is effective but expensive for the marketers:
The film producers can reduce their high budgets through product placements; they also seek multi-product placements in a film. This makes the marketers worry about the expenses.

Exhibit2: Statistical data (Coonoor Kripalani, 2006):
Film Brand/product Amount
Road Tata Safari Rs. 1.25 Cr
Coca-cola Taal Rs. 75lacs- 1Cr.
Bournvita Koi Mil Gaya N/A
Suzuki Hayabusa Dhoom N/A

This statistics are taken for the films released years ago, now the budget for product placements may raise higher, with increased film production budgets. On average, according to the statistics available, the marketer has to spend nearly Rs. 85lacs- Rs. 1Cr. to place their products or brands in the film. Though the product placements are expensive, they are effective, as the marketers insist the film producers to use their brand logo in the film promotions, audio-launch and film banners (Coonoor Kripalani, 2006).
Product placement in independent films:
Independent films are the documentaries and narrative films (KAREN FENTON, 2007). Many filmmakers had said that they would see how well the product placement will sink with the movie script, but none of them had said the product placement would overweigh the vision of the film. Many of the independent filmmakers said that they were interested in product placements in independent films, considering the level of control. As the independent films are not backed by any financiers or shot in production studios (KAREN FENTON, 2007). The idea of placing a product in independent films will carry both benefits and risks. For the independent filmmakers, the product placements will reduce the cost of production of the film, who receives the goods or services from the branded companies, who wants to place their product/brand. The major disadvantage of this product placement is that loss of control on the film and it adds artificiality to the film.
Tourism as brand placement in films
In Bollywood movie, Kaho Na Pyar Hai, this featured the film in New Zealand that had doubled the tourists from India to New Zealand (Anshul Rathi, Bhaskar Pant, Alpa Rathi, 2006). Observing that trend, many countries like Malaysia and Thailand had promoted their countries for good locations to shoot. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) had signed a contract with Krrish film producers, to have their shooting 60% of the film in Singapore. Similarly, in Bollywood film Jab We Met, which focuses on the tourist spots in India like Manali, Bhatinda, Mumbai, Shimla. More than 55, 000 locations were identified by United Kingdom, for shooting of Bollywood films (Anshul Rathi, Bhaskar Pant, Alpa Rathi, 2006).
Findings:
From Exhibit-1, it is very clear that both Hollywood and Bollywood movies prefer multi-brand placement to single-brand placement and it is also found that the marketers and film producers both see to avoid competitors’ brands in the film. Exhibit-2 shows that brand placements are expensive, yet it creates a huge impact, as huge audience watches the movie and it is found that many marketers are really interested to catch the pulse of the people’s mania towards the movies.

Future research:

There is a lot of scope in future research, this research limits to only visual placement and the future research can also include audio too. This paper mainly focuses on the qualitative analysis and the future paper can include the quantitative analysis. The research had focused on the commercial films; the future study can focus on animation films too. The future research should include the brand placement in short-films and in this paper only the Hollywood and Bollywood films are taken into consideration, in further research, the researchers should also focus on product placements in other languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Bengali, Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Marathi, etc. This paper only analyses the brand placements in films and TV shows, further research can be focused on games, documentaries, etc.

Conclusion:

Brand/product placement in films is one of the best alternatives that the marketer can find in order to promote their brands or products. There are many similarities and differences between Hollywood and Bollywood films. In both the films, multi-brand placements take place but the degree of integration is high in Hollywood films than in Bollywood films. Though the brand or product placements are expensive, they are effective. Brand placements are beneficial to both film producers and the marketers. The film producers have to be wise in inserting the brand in the film and should not compromise for the insertion of an unwanted scene with reference to the brand in the film.

References:

1. Alex Walton (2009), The Evolution of Product placement in film, The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications • Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 73-76
2. Anshul Rathi, Bhaskar Pant, Alpa Rathi, (2006). Trendsetting and Product Placement in Bollywood Film: Consumerism through Consumption, Journal of Contemporary Film Volume 4 Number 3, pp. 205-207.
3. Anshul Rathi, Bhaskar Pant, Alpa Rathi, (2012), Remarkable ‘marca’ in houseful movies, International Journal of Marketing Studies Vol. 4, No. 2, 159-164
4. Balasubramanian S. K. (1994). Beyond advertising and publicity: hybrid messages and public policy issues, Journal of Advertising, Vol. 23 Issue 4, pp.29-46.
5. Coonoor Kripalani (2006), Trendsetting and product placement in Bollywood film: Consumerism through consumption,Journal of Contemporary Film Volume 4 Number 3, pp. 200-203.
6. Jean-Marc Lehu and Etienne Bressoud, Viewers and brand placement in movies: new insights about viewerscontribute to a better understanding of the effectiveness of the technique, halshs-00305723, version 2 – 5
7. Karen Fenton (2007), Product Placement In Independent Film: A Qualitative Analysis Of Attitudes Of Aspiring And Existing Independent Filmmakers, Master Thesis, 8-12.
8. Mahim Kapoor, Rohit Bhatt, Product Placement in Films: The new age branding mantra, sibm.edu [Internet], (November, 2006). Available from: http://www.sibm.edu/FacultyResearch/pdf/srp/marketing/SRP_Product_Placement_in_Films_The_new_age_branding_mantra.pdf, (13 January, 2014).
9. Meera Mathur,Shubham Goswami (2012). A Study of Consumer Behavior and Product Placement in Indian Cinema. Annals of Management Research, Vol2, Number 1, 29-38
10. Moonhee Yang, David R. Roskos-Ewoldsen (2007) The Effectiveness Of Brand Placements In The Movies: Levels Of Placement, Explicit And Implicit Memory, And Brand-Choice Behavior, Journal of Communication ISSN 0021-9916, 469-489
11. McDonnell, John and Drennan, Judy (2010) Virtual product placement as a new approach to measure effectiveness of placements. Journal of Promotion Management, 16(1 & 2). pp. 25-38.
12. Pavan C. Patil, P. L. Bisoyi (2012), Product placement in movies: a way of brand promotion, IJRFM, Volume 2, Issue 2, ISSN 2231-5985, 221-224
13. Prachi Singh (2012), An Analytical Study On Covert Advertising: Product Placement In Indian Cinema, International Journal of Research and Development - A Management Review (IJRDMR), ISSN: 2319–5479, Volume-2, Issue – 1, 79-82.
14. Rishikesh Padmanabhan, Sanjay Kumar, (2013), Jena Asian Journal of Multidimensional Research Vol.2 Issue 6, ISSN 2278-4853, 67-71
15. Seoyoon Choi, (2007), Effectiveness of product placement: The role of plot connection, viewer involvement and prior brand evaluation, Master’s Thesis, University of Florida, 1-45.
16. SonalKureshi, VandanaSood (2011) In-Film Placement Trends: A Comparative Study Of Bollywood And Hollywood, Journal of Indian Business Research Vol. 3 No. 4, 2011, pp. 244-262.
17. Shriti Vinayak Gokhale (2010). Comparative Study of the Practice of Product Placement in Bollywood and Hollywood Movies, Master 's Thesis, 18-23.
18. Tapan K Panda (2004), Consumer response to brand placement in films Role of brand congruity and modality of presentation in brining attitudinal change among consumers with special reference to brand placement in Hindi films, South Asian Journal of Management, Vol. 11, No. 4, pg. 13-15.
19. Michael A. Wiles, Anna Danielova (2009) The Worth of Product Placement in Successful Films: An Event Study Analysis. Journal of Marketing: July 2009, Vol. 73, No. 4, pp. 44-63.
20. Corniani Margherita, Product Placement and Brand Equity, Symphonya. Emerging Issues inManagement (www.unimib.it/symphonya), n. 1, 2001, pp. 66-82.
21. Rajiv Singh, Emami ties up with upcoming film '3 ' for brand placement in 'Kolaveri Di ' song, economictimes [Internet], (10 Feb., 2012). Available from: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-02-10/news/31046421_1_kolaveri-di-song-hair-oil-boroplus, (04 January, 2014).

References: 1. Alex Walton (2009), The Evolution of Product placement in film, The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications • Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 73-76 2 3. Anshul Rathi, Bhaskar Pant, Alpa Rathi, (2012), Remarkable ‘marca’ in houseful movies, International Journal of Marketing Studies Vol. 4, No. 2, 159-164 4 5. Coonoor Kripalani (2006), Trendsetting and product placement in Bollywood film: Consumerism through consumption,Journal of Contemporary Film Volume 4 Number 3, pp. 200-203. 9. Meera Mathur,Shubham Goswami (2012). A Study of Consumer Behavior and Product Placement in Indian Cinema. Annals of Management Research, Vol2, Number 1, 29-38 10 11. McDonnell, John and Drennan, Judy (2010) Virtual product placement as a new approach to measure effectiveness of placements. Journal of Promotion Management, 16(1 & 2). pp. 25-38. 12. Pavan C. Patil, P. L. Bisoyi (2012), Product placement in movies: a way of brand promotion, IJRFM, Volume 2, Issue 2, ISSN 2231-5985, 221-224 13 14. Rishikesh Padmanabhan, Sanjay Kumar, (2013), Jena Asian Journal of Multidimensional Research Vol.2 Issue 6, ISSN 2278-4853, 67-71 15 16. SonalKureshi, VandanaSood (2011) In-Film Placement Trends: A Comparative Study Of Bollywood And Hollywood, Journal of Indian Business Research Vol. 3 No. 4, 2011, pp. 244-262. 17. Shriti Vinayak Gokhale (2010). Comparative Study of the Practice of Product Placement in Bollywood and Hollywood Movies, Master 's Thesis, 18-23. 19. Michael A. Wiles, Anna Danielova (2009) The Worth of Product Placement in Successful Films: An Event Study Analysis. Journal of Marketing: July 2009, Vol. 73, No. 4, pp. 44-63. 20. Corniani Margherita, Product Placement and Brand Equity, Symphonya. Emerging Issues inManagement (www.unimib.it/symphonya), n. 1, 2001, pp. 66-82.

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