Public Relations and Earned Media – Product Placement

PR/Earned Media
1. Product Placement is a technique that companies use to expose their product through film or television.
2. Advantages of Product Placement
• It helps film companies be able to pay for content creation: Advertising has been part of the movie and television viewing experience from the very beginning. Even the earliest TV shows would have product placements or live announcements about the sponsorship of the show so that viewers would be exposed to specific brands. The money from those sponsorships brings the stories to the consumers. Without it, there would be fewer stories.
• When done correctly, it enhances the viewing experience: The great thing about movies and television shows is that it blends fantasy with reality to make it a viewing experience that can relate to the average person. A good show makes people feel like they are really there. Product placements that are subtle and realistic within the context of the story can help to enhance this experience. Would Bruce Wayne drive a Chevrolet? Of course not. That wouldn’t be realistic as a billionaire. A Lamborghini would make sense.
• It increases the profit margins for film companies: Movies and TV shows have to make money in order for them to continue producing new content. Product placements reduce the expenses needed for filming, which enhances the potential profitability of a movie. If a film costs $40 million to make, but $20 million of that is covered by product placement, then the film only needs $20 million at the box office to break even.
• It creates a greater awareness for the brands that is positively associated with a good movie: If people enjoy a movie and there are product placements involved with it, then those positive feelings get translated to the brand. Taco Bell had huge product placement investments into the 1990′s movie Demolition Man. The movie still has a cult following and many celebrate Taco Bell day on the anniversary of the movie’s release.
Disadvantages of Product Placement
• It can interfere with the plot of the movie: Although there are billions of dollars in advertising revenues up for grabs every year thanks to product placement, having excessive levels of advertising in a movie can be distracting. Some movies like Minority Report or The Island become known not for their plot, but because of the shameless product placements that are placed in front of viewers. Obvious product placements break people into reality.
• It creates a cluttered screen: Even if a director notices that the amount of products in the shot is cluttering the screen and making the acting difficult to follow, there isn’t much that they can do about it. The contracts that authorize the product placements often dictate how, when, and how often those products are displayed. Since this form of advertising has become highly competitive, the amount of clutter is only going to keep increasing.
• It is expensive: Movies and TV shows have a global reach that hits billions of people. That means advertising through a product placement isn’t going to be cheap. It’s almost always going to be a 7 figure investment for a minimal placement and likely $10 million or more for a brand to be involved with the plot of the movie. Heineken, for example, paid $45 million to have James Bond stop drinking martinis and start drinking their beer.
• Competitive brands can cancel each other out: Some movies and shows include so many different product placements from within the same industry that the effect of the advertising gets canceled out. If too many brands from the same industry are seen by viewers, then there is no loyalty created. That’s why you never really see Burger King in the same movie with McDonald’s.
3. Attention: The goal is to integrate the product placement with the other activities related with creating awareness of the new product.
Interest: The product in the movie will face forward, so that the audience can see what it is.
Desire: Product placement lend themselves very nicely in situations designed to provoke desire among the viewers.
Action: People will buy that product as soon as it is on the shelves.

4. I think the best audience for product placement is anyone who watches TV or a movie. One goal of product placement is to achieve prominent audience exposure, visibility, attention, and interest. Another goal of product placement is to bring a change in the audiences’ purchase behaviors and intent.
5. Based on the information provided to you about the target markets for the Western Marketing Program,
A. I think all target markets would be effectively reached by product placement because all of the target markets watch TV or movies and they will notice that product doesn’t belong there.
B. I think the most effective type of message is persuading because the company wants you to buy that product, so they can make money.
C. You ask them to watch “Happy Gilmore” you tell them to watch out for the Subway sandwich or logo.
6. I was surprised that product placement can interfere with the plot of the movie.
7. I think the biggest misconception about product placement is that any product placement in in TV and feature film is paid for.

Works Cited

Gaille, Brandon. 8 Pros and Cons of Product Placement. 23 July 2015. Document . 22 February 2017.


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