Most of the people who have watched the alien film Extra-terrestrial (E. T. ) believe that the candy used to lure the shy little alien is called “Reese’s Pieces”. Naturally, Reese’s Pieces (Hershey foods) does not appeal to the average consumer but the singular act of the little ugly alien consuming the product turned on a successful advertising impact. The Time Magazine stated in an article entitled, “How Sweet It is” on July 26. 1982 that “ the folks at Hershey Foods Corp. are feeling very happy these days. ” Reese’s Pieces, a steady but unspectacular-selling brand of candy, has blossomed into an unexpected summer hit.
Sales of the peanut butter-flavored candy shot up 65% in June after the release of E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial. ” Before the appearance of E. T, free advertising was the order of the day in every movie that appeared in the theatre. M&M candy was initially chosen as the candy of choice but unfortunately, the company rejected the offer. Universal Studios approached Hershey to use their Reese’s pieces. After the big success of Hershey Foods Corp. in E. T, Product Placement (PPL) became a new advertising method. Many companies tried to put their products in the movie after the huge success recorded by the Reese’s pieces breakthrough.
Before 1970’s, Hollywood moviemakers had a hectic time looking for sponsors. Most of company rejected the offer but in the 1990’s Hollywood becomes the heaven of Product Placement. In recent times, product placement has become the usual advertising tool. Whenever we are watching TV, movies or even when we are playing games, there are always indirect advertisements. “Sex in the city” is one of the famous dramas in the world. There was a lot of product placement in the movie. The clothes, handbags as well as home furnishings and accessories in “Sex in the city” are all indirect advertisements.
Does Product placement really affect the customers? How is it effective? USA today, on its website stated in an article entitled, “GM hopes movie roles transform cars into sellable stars” by Julie Hinds on July 2007 that “The Transformers movie will give four General Motors vehicles one of the biggest product-placement opportunities ever for an automotive company. If the flick is as huge as some people are predicting, it could help transform perceptions of GM in ways that may play out for years to come”. What makes the Transformers partnership important?
For one thing, the movie has all the accouterments of a blockbuster — toy and video game tie-ins, and more. Moreover, the cars get as much screen time as many of the actors and actresses, a prominent part of the movie is reserved for the new Chevrolet Camaro that would be released in 2009. ” When I got out of the theater after watching the movie, “Transformer”, I looked at the cars parked outside, the same cars I have just seen in the movie. As the same cars in the movie passed me by, I felt like they were going to transform. I was not the only one that had this feeling; all other people around me had the same feeling.
They were watching out if those cars too would transform Product Placement (PPL) has a spectacular effect. It stimulates the customer indirectly, creating a more realistic effect, more potent that advertisement seen on televisions or magazines. More importantly, the PPL in movies benefit the advertiser a lot. As the people watch the movie in the theater, they cannot change the channels. Sometimes overtly obvious product placements in the movie have a negative effect. I interviewed Stephanie Kwon, a student at University of California Berkeley majoring in Economics.
She frowned at the situation whereby the PPL is so obvious in movies. She attested to the fact that this situation turns her off from the movie, making her think of watching a commercial instead. In order to determine the effect of exposure to Product Placement on the decision of consumers to buy particular products, I did the survey at the theater to check the effect on the product. Purpose – To prove that Product Placement affects the intention to buy or not, and whether more interesting of the movie has more effect on PPL or not. Assumptions 1.
That there is a greater possibility that consumers would buy the product after seeing it being advertised on the movie. 2. That there is a direct connection between the likeness of a movie and the product advertisements that appear on it. Target The target includes the people who watched the movie, “Iron Man”. A Total 27 people watched this particular movie on the day I carried out the survey. 12 males, constituting 45% of the sample population and 15 females, making up the remaining 55%. Method -I picked five products that appeared on the movie. (Burger King hamburger, LG phone, Audi car, Dell computer, and Bvlgari watch)
-Before the people watched the movie, I estimated brand recognition of the five products that I picked and intention to buy these products -After watching the movie, the people described what products appeared on the movie and whether the movie was interesting or not. I also inquired about their intention to purchase the five products that appeared on the movie. Result -The people displayed a good recognition of the products that were advertised in the movie because they were popular brands – Burger King, LG, Audi and Dell, except for Bvlgari which was a relatively new brand.
-The people demonstrated a good memory of the products being advertised in the move but not the brand name was. They remembered that there was a skilled phone, but not many people remembered that it was LG phone. This shows that it is not easy to make the people perceive the brand itself. -Interestingly 78% of the people who participated in the survey remembered Audi super car and only 7% of the people who participated in the survey remembered the Bvlgari watch. It shows that a well known brand has bigger advertising impact than a relatively new one.
-Those people who found the movie interesting were favorably disposed to more of the advertised products than those people who did not find the move interesting. And the people’s intention to buy the products became more pronounced after watching the movie. This shows that Product Placement significantly affects the intention to buy the product. With my above findings, I want to make these conclusions: Firstly, the advertiser needs to ensure that their brand name is very prominent rather than focusing on the product this is because the advertiser needs to make a strong association between the brand and the brand name.
Secondly, the interest of the consumers in the movie goes a long way in determining if the advertised products would be accepted by the. If the movie is interesting, the advertisement would be successful but if not, the opposite is the effect. Thus, the film with audience appeal has more power in advertising. Product placement is an attractive marketing communication tool. It can be of immense benefit to both the manufacturers and the consumers.
Marketing managers in charge of Product Placement need research out effective ways of publicising their goods. Furthermore, a strategic approach is needed in getting across to consumers. Product placement has a strong indirect advertising effect. It has the potential of posting bountiful returns on investment to manufacturers. In view of this, I am proposing that there should be a regulatory system to check the activity of companies who place advertisement in movies, to restrict their access to these movies so that they don’t mislead consumers.