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Class Task – Product Placement
By Zainal Azrul Bin Zainal Akhiruddin (1692707)
Module: Marketing Communications (B7MK102)
Lecturer: Brenda Muldowney
Origin of Product Placement
Product placement is a promotional method in which a brand name gets integrated inside
TV shows, films or other non-traditional media outlets. Ever since its practice in
Hollywood film industry for the last 90 years which then became officially stimulated
starting 1920s and proliferated by 1980s, PP campaign has gradually demonstrated itself
as a long-lasting marketing tactic that encourages purchase intention and higher recall
score in comparison to its traditional counterpart even though the budget would likely be
As suggested by marketing veteran Samuel Turcott, president of Zukor Marketing in
1995; product placement have a longer lifespan which would last for as long as the media
exist, is being re-televise. Intentional exposure theory imply the higher effect in brand
memorability via cognitive processing of viewers who voluntarily watches films, TV
broadcasts containing advertised product in contrast to consuming conventional
One of the many benefit in administering PP is that this innovative marketing mix
provides high exposure that significantly boost the essence and cost metrics of a
promoted brand, product towards its target market.
PP is coined as one of the most cost-advantage component of marketing mix. Despite
substantial budget requirement, it is highly value for budget with the great financial
reaping being exchanged; one-cent vs a dollar cost per mille. With media fragmentation
consisting of films, TVs, online web, video games, music videos, magazines, books and
comics, it further asserted itself as a highly viable mix for us marketers today with 30%
increase of adoption since past annum.
Integration of Product Placement
According to Amanda Lotz, Professor of Communication Studies and Screen Arts and
Cultures at the University of Michigan, product placement methods comprise of three
entities, denoted into two categories; one that reduces the overall production costs by
studios through sponsorship means and one in compensation to screen time being
proposed by the executive producers, directors.
The basic type of product placement would be visual placement of Blackberry mobile
handhelds used by officials in Netflix’s American political drama/ thriller, ‘House of
Cards’ led by Kevin Spacey. This 2013 TV series became an acclaimed success amongst
the palate of professionals from generation X & Y. The implicit brand integration by
Blackberry Limited could be regarded as effectual as it serves positive narrative
congruence that goes well alongside the weighty theme of the series, which centers
around bureaucratic conflicts and administrative security around the White House
Where-else, verbal placement is an advanced type of PP whereby characters within TV
shows and films draw attention to promoted brand or product, be it in subtle or blatant
mentions. Verbal placement can be found in ‘Casino Royale’ when Daniel Craig as
Agent 007 requests a hotel car valet to escort his ‘Aston Martin DBS Vanquish’ to the
parking lot. The plug although transparent, is a congruent fit to the scene as the luxurious
vehicle by Aston Martin blends in compatibly with the alluring setting of high street
PP also functions as an intermediating surface for characters and audience to develop
mutual sense of connection such as one product placement segment from Steven
Spielberg’s ‘The Terminal’ campaigned by Burger King. The film’s main star, Tom
Hanks is noted for helping himself out to Whopper burger for his lunches upon foraging
coins of unattended airport trolleys.
The Whopper Meal by the Florida-based franchise’s can be easily identified as favorite
amongst many of its patrons, especially those who admit themselves to lounging at the
American fast food chain whilst in wait for flight departure at terminals. This captive
representation not only promoted the brand and the meal in standalone fashion, it
portrayed a habitual culture indulged by many airport passengers today.
Our new healthy soft drink could be integrated as a tie-in product cross-promoted in
delivery of a similar scene where characters are enjoying a fast-food burger over
conversation during office lunch. It is a complimented mix and would be excellently
received by our targeted demography.
Ethical Issue & Legal Apathy
Product placement remains a controversial tactic to both marketers and the public’s
perception when assigned obtrusively. In additional, the practice threatens the creative
control and value of cinema as artistic medium. It is argued by many that it could
possibly be the very destruction of cinema art as it often coincides with scripts and plot
Evident to this specific were the core dialogue in Peter Weir’s ‘The Truman Show’ which
starred Jim Carrey in that his character gets bewildered and eventually suffocated by
manipulative attempts of his townspeople whom are only interested in promoting bundles
of product whenever they superficially engage with his character rather than appearing
genuinely interested in the personal well being.
It embarks moral examination of how much is too much when consumerism enters the
lives of our society? Does intrusive invasion of product placement distaste audience?
How can we as marketers moderate a graceful practice of product placement across
In effort to tackle these dilemmas, enactment of strict legislation maintained by UKspecific regulations takes impact. Tight reinforcements are evident since on demand TV
providers such as Sky, Netflix, Hulu and many other provider have now ensure
commercial alert of PP disclaimer at every beginning of TV episodes, films containing its
arrangements as disclosure measure towards audience which ranges from many group of
ages including minors and children.
Regulatory barrier however, should not be a great challenge for our firm granted that our
PP implement conforms to involved standards & guideline, is editorially justified and in
proper accordance to funneling process that reaches the right members of audience.