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The Role of in-Film Advertising in Promoting the Sales of a Brand Essay

ABSTRACT

Introduction:

Cinema gives a powerful environment in which to advertise. The film being shown virtually identifies the target audience and makes it very easy to schedule and buy advertising spots to match brand message to potential consumers. Better still, the audience is completely captive and in a receptive frame of mind as they wait to be entertained. A well organized media plan based closely around the films being shown can be a highly effective way of communicating brand messages to a willing audience. In-film advertising is very much alive and kicking.

Hence we have formulated the following hypothesis:

‘In-film advertising helps in promoting the sales of the brands.’

Methods:

The first method used was a Quantitative Research Survey. The sample size was 100 people aged between 16-45 years. The locations selected for the survey were Andheri, Malad, Bandra, Dadar, Matunga

The second method used was a Qualitative Research Method, wherein, we segregated the people if their responses indicated that In-film advertising didn’t affect their choices of buying brands. The questions asked were in order to determine the reason behind this attitude.

Findings:

Our findings clearly indicate a very high percentage of the success of In-film Advertising. But also, a number of people also responded by saying that In-film advertising was a gimmick and they weren’t affected by it.

Conclusion:

On the basis of these findings, we can safely conclude that our Hypothesis has been proved right, i.e. ‘In-film advertising helps in promoting the sales of the brands.’

INTRODUCTION

Product placements in films help a lot, as long as they are woven into the story intricately and are not just a random appearance in a song sequence. In-film advertising is akin to gambling. If the film becomes a superhit, the brand is saved. But, if the film flops, the brand takes a heavy dent. One bad placement can do more damage than 10 good placements. Artistic integrity is crucial for successful brand placements and the utility of the product has to be woven properly into the script. The placement should be a natural fit and shouldn’t be unnatural. The best way to deliver the message is to catch the customer off-guard, when their rational defenses are down. The best way to do so is to use the emotional gate rather than the rational gate. The rational gate scrutinises the advantages, benefits, features and seeks value for money; the emotional gate is all about trust, love, identification and belief and in India, the films operate at the emotional level of an individual.

In-film advertising heavily depends on the popularity of particular films, the actors starring in them and their credibility. The strategy of placing some selected brands in films, gives them an additional marketing push, even though the stars featuring them may not be directly endorsing these brands.

The respondents of the survey that we conducted, mentioned that the brand has to have a certain character in the film, combined with certain attributes and should not just be a stagnant prop. In the movie Corporate, by Madhur Bhandarkar, the costumes were visibly sponsored by Allen Solly, thus giving the brand certain leverage and creates positive brand awareness among the audience. In-film branding may be one more paying alternative of marketing. Once the brand gets noticed through the films it gets a status quo by itself. In-film advertising is a rather economical medium of advertising, compared to other costlier mediums. Brands have realised that movies are a great way to reach out to an audience which is captive for a few hours. Brand managers today realise that a movie finds traction across different platforms apart from cinema theatres, such as DTH, entertainment channels on TV and home video. So the brand continues to gain exposure even after a movie is released in the theatres.

Thus, the high cost of conventional media, accompanied by the growing clutter, has made advertising an exciting and viable opportunity for advertiser.

LITERATURE

RESEARCH DESIGN

The research design technique used is the hyposthesis-testing research studies.As we wanted to study the relationship between the two variables used in the hypothesis, one being (influence) of in-film advertising and second (its effect) on promotion of sales of the brand.

TITLE

Role of In-film advertising in promoting the sales of the brands.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

RESEARCH PROBLEM

The past four to five years has seen an tremendous increase, in the use of in-film advertising. Movies such as delhi 6, dhoom 1, Don, Aisha , Tees Maar khan etc have visibly made the use of in-film advertising. No matter if the movie belongs to a big banner or a small banner, whether it is a thumbs up or a super flop, companies have vigorously used this technique, to advertise their brands and thus increase their visibility. The question arises as to what makes them invest crores of their funds into this field, is it actually helping them to promote sales? Has it in fact helping to build up a brand image? And also, if ever it is not converting the prospective customers into customers, what is the reason behind it’s failure?

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The objectives of conducting the research are as follows

1. To find out whether people known what in film advertising is?

2. To find out whether the viewers are able to recall the brands being showcased in the movie?

3. To find out whether it is increasing the visibility of the brand?

4. To find out whether it is creating brand awareness?

5. To find out whether it is influencing their buying pattern?

6. To find out whether it is actually helping in promoting the sales of the brand?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH

In – film advertising is not much talked about as when compared to other genres of advertising. This itself gives worth to research to be conducted in this area. Indian companies and marketers are now recognizing the importance, power and relevance of new media like internet and movies. Bollywood has been a part of popular culture and therefore, Hindi film trends, popular dialogues, characters, celebrities have always found place in advertisements. With increase in competition and media clutter, now brands are thinking of in-film placements and marketers are trying to place their brands in films

In film advertising is not a very old phenomenon, it started with the movie TAAL, wherein coca cola was sublimely advertised. It is from then that the trend of showcasing brands in films was born. Research in this sector will help us to have a better understanding ,of , as to how, this technique works well for the brand, why it encourages the companies to advertise their brands with big banners, whether it gives the brands, much needed visibility and lastly if its helping in promoting sales of the brands. Research conducted on this particular notion, will help in forming a concrete belief and also will be an answer to all our research objectives.

METHODOLOGY

We have made use of both qualitative as well as quantitative method to conduct the survey.

QUALITATIVE METHOD

In this method, after conducting the survey we segregated the people wherein in-film advertising didn’t affect their buying pattern.

We verbally asked them few questions to find out the reason behind them not getting influenced. Following are the questions asked to them-

Q1. What according to you is the reason behind in-film advertising not being effective?

Q2. Why do you personally don’t believe in it?

Q3. What stops you from buying the products showcased in the movies?

QUANTITATIVE METHOD

Quantitative Research quantifies the data and generalizes the results from the sample to the population. Since, we wanted to know to what extent in-film advertising helps in promoting the sales of the brand, to what extent it influences the customers to buy the featured products in the movie.

We conducted a face-to-face interview.

Sample Size- We interviewed 100 people.

Demographic Profile:

– Age between 16 to 45

– Both the sexes

– SEC A, SEC B,SEC C

– Educated residents of Metropolitan Cities

– Residential urban areas

– Location –Andheri, Malad, Bandra, Dadar, Matunga

Psychographic Profile:

– Open minded and receptive to new ideas

– Attentive and observant

– Mainly movie-buffs

– Fashionable and trendy, out-going and social in nature.

METHOD (TYPES)

Primarily, we have made use of questionnaire method wherein other methods used are as follows

1. Structured data collection-

We have made use of structured data collection, wherein we have made use of structured disguised.

The reason behind making use of this method is that we did not want to disclose the objective of the survey been conducted because then there was a risk of getting biased opinions.

2. Method of Summated Ratings:
The Likert Scale

An extremely popular means for measuring attitudes. Respondents indicate their own attitudes by checking how strongly they agree or disagree with statements. We have made use of this rating method in our questionnaire where- in, we placed a statement, i.e. ‘In-film advertising influences you to buy the brand promoted in the movie.’

Response alternatives were: “strongly agree”, “agree”, “uncertain”, “disagree”, and “strongly disagree”.

To analyze this scale, each response category was assigned a numerical value. The values that we assigned were, Strongly Agree=1, through Strongly Disagree=5

SAMPLING DESIGN

Non-probability techniques:

A non-probability sampling technique that attempts to obtain a sample of convenient elements. The selection of sampling units is left primarily to the interviewer. Under this, we have made use of convenience sampling.

Convenience Sampling: Under this, we have targeted-

– Students, mall and movie goers, people on the street, Fashionable and trendy, out-going and social in nature.

The reason behind using this method is that it is least expensive and least time consuming of all sampling techniques.

• The sampling units are accessible, easy to measure and co-operative.

HYPOTHESIS-

ALTERNATIVE STATEMENT-

In-film advertising helps in promoting the sales of the brands.

NULL STATEMENT-

In-film advertising does not help in promoting the sales of the brands.

FINDINGS

GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATIONS

FINDINGS & OBSERVATION (ANALYSIS)

The questionnaires that we gave to the sample audience included the above-mentioned questions. After analyzing their responses to all these questions, we have been able to get a gist of their attitudes toward In-film advertising.

Firstly, it was very important for us, as researchers, to gauge only those people who watch movies regularly in order to conduct our research further.

According to our findings, 87% of the respondents watch movies regularly and are movie-buffs and only 13% of the respondents watch movies occasionally.

Secondly, since our hypothesis is based on In-film advertising, it was important for us to know whether the respondents were aware of this phenomenon. Therefore, 66% of the respondents were aware of what In-film advertising is and 34% of the respondents were unaware of this ‘term’.

Further, it was noticed that even though, they were unaware of this term they knew the meaning of it, but were not familiar with the ‘term’ which can be analyzed further in the survey.

In order to know whether the respondents were able to recall any movies using this phenomenon, we asked the following question:

Q. Out of the following movies, which of them do you remember using In-film advertising?

← Koi Mil Gaya

← Fashion

← Don

← Dhoom 1

← Aisha

← Golmaal 3

← Wake Up Sid

← Delhi 6

← Chak De

← Baghban

In this question, we used aided-recall method. We gave the respondents a list of movies where in, In-film advertising is been used.

Dhoom 1 was the highest recalled movie with 90%, followed by Koi Mil Gaya with 82% of the respondents recalling the movie.

74% of the respondents could recall In-film advertising being used in Chak De followed by 56% of the respondents for Baghban, 46% of the respondents for Delhi 6, 45 % respondents for Wake Up Sid, 40% respondents for Fashion, 23% of the respondents for Don and 15% of the respondents for Golmaal 3.

Further, we wanted to know, whether the respondents could recollect the brand being promoted in the movie. Hence, with the help of aided recall method we asked the following question. Wherein, they had to match the brand that was being promoted in the movie.

Q4. Do you remember the brand promoted in the following movies?( Match them accordingly)

← Koi Mil Gaya Reebok

← Fashion Motorola Phone

← Don Facebook

← Dhoom Lo’real

← Aisha Sunsilk

← Golmaal 3 Bournvita

← Wake Up Sid TATA Tea

← Delhi 6 Suzuki Hayabuza

← Chak De Nikon

← Baghban TAG Heur

It was observed that, even the people who couldn’t recollect a particular brand being placed and promoted in a movie, could recollect it with the aided recall method.

Therefore, 97% of the respondents could successfully recollect Suzuki Hayabuza being promoted in the movie. 88% of the respondents could recollect bournvita being promoted in Koi Mil gaya.

Similarly, 79% of the respondents could recollect the same for Baghban followed by 78% of the respondents for the movie Aisha.

75% of the respondents for Fashion, 72% of the respondents for Chak De,69% of the respondents for Delhi 6, 60% of the respondents for Wake Up Sid, 40% of the respondents for Golmaal 3, and lastly 28% of the respondents for Don.

Further, we discovered that 34% of the respondents agree that in-film advertising influences them to buy the brand promoted in the movie.

On the other hand, 30% of the respondents have a neutral response on the same. 16% of the respondents agree that the brand promoted in the movies influences them to buy it. 12 % of the respondents strongly disagree with it and 8% of the respondents plainly disagree with it.

Even though, respondents were able to recall the brands being promoted in the movie, did they actually buy the product? Has the brand recall helped in converting it to action i.e. buying?

Our next objective was to find this.

To this we found out, 64% of the respondents have actually bought a particular brand after it being promoted in a movie. On the other hand, 36% of the respondents haven’t bought it.

Our next objective was to gauge the perception about the respondents on in-film advertising.

To this, 27% of the respondents felt that promotion of the brand is the sole reason behind it being showcased in the movie. 13% of the respondents said, visibility is the criteria behind it and 60% of the respondents felt both promotion and visibility go hand-in-hand and that is the joint reason behind the brands being showcased in the movies.

76% of the respondents agreed that their perception has changed about a brand after it being placed in a particular movie. But, 24% of the respondents said it didn’t affect them.

If an actor uses a particular brand in a movie; it definitely makes an impact on 63% of the respondents and to an extent influences them to buy that brand. But, it definitely doesn’t affect the rest 37% of the respondents.

Q.10 According to you, since when has in-film advertising come into vogue?

We asked few questions to 36% of the respondents who didn’t get influenced to buy the product placed in the movie in order to find out the reason behind it. The response and the analysis for the same is as follows:-

Q1. What according to you is the reason behind In-film advertising not being effective?

Products already have an identity created and communicated to the masses. Endorsing might ensure a few more sachets/packets/bottles moving out of the stacked racks but it isn’t like a beeline or an exodus for the product in question. Inculcating a brand in the backdrop and using it in the script does not necessarily ensure cash registers ringing, it only makes a presence felt and then a surrogate mental association of the brand with the film/scene is involved. It might help, but it is very marginal, and in movies it particularly looks odd. If it is a cell phone or some a similar product then it is still alright.

The movies showing products such as washing powder, bikes which doesn’t make sense. By highlighting such brands or promoting the brands for the audience, surely confuses them as to what it is really meant for?

It is done very well in Hollywood movies, where people will not be able to find out that they have deliberately put up a particular product. But in Indian movies, it deliberately promotes it and it does not augment well, and it is bad for movies also.

A product placement in the movie should be in such a way that it has its own value or importance. Most of the times, the brand does not gain much from it’s promotion or any hike in its revenue generation. And what finally matters to the company is its revenue. So, in-film advertising in this way for few respondents has been ineffective. Q2. Why do you personally don’t believe in it?

&

Q3. What stops you from buying the products showcased in the movies?

Most of the respondents personally don’t believe in it mainly because they are brand-loyalists. It does not matter to them who is endorsing which brand or which brand is being showcased in the movies.

Some of them are not satisfied the way the product is been placed in the movie. Also they feel, 30-60 seconds of brand placement in the movie is not sufficient for them to decide whether they want to buy it or not.

Apart from that, this section of the respondents, do not watch movies that often so it automatically fails in influencing them which in return, doesn’t compel them to believe in it.

Thus, we had a mixed finding. Even though majority of the respondents agree with our hypothesis, they are few section of the respondents who have a different opinion and thus, they don’t agree with our hypothesis.

CONCLUSION

After a detailed study of the responses received from the research survey, our hypothesis proved to be true. A thumping majority of the respondents supported our hypothesis. Hence, In-film advertising does play a major role in promoting the sales of the brand.

With this we can also conclude that in-film advertising is an effective tool to promote brands because it converts into sales and increases the visibility of the brand. In-film advertising is also a major advertising tool because it helps to endorse the brand with a celebrity, which otherwise is a very expensive option to consider. There are other advantages of in-film advertising. One gets stars to represent their brands, at a fraction of the costs. Moreover, films transcend geography, class and culture barriers, giving an opportunity for national and even international level branding. It also facilitates a clutter-free environment. Most importantly, films cannot be surfed, zipped or muted, unlike TV and internet. The advertisement catches people in a receptive mood and can be target specific.

In-film advertising also helps in creating a favorable image about the brand from the consumer’s point of view, as the brand is being showcased in a healthy and entertaining environment. After carefully analyzing the responses received from the respondents, we also conclude that In-film advertising results in greater recall value as well as higher visibility, which helps the consumer to connect with the brand even more. The future of film branding is clearly on innovation.

In this research we also analyzed that advertisements placed in films work well as the ads are placed according to the nature and background of the scene in the film which generate a very healthy background for the advertisement which in turn results into higher acceptability of that brand. while brand communication can be brought in to a film, it should be used in a selective and judicious manner and there should not be an overdose of the brand and its communication; otherwise, it would become boring, moving to a point of ridicule and seem forced. It should be used like a pinch of salt.

For example, the bike- Suzuki Hayabusa used in Dhoom has given the highest visibility for the brand as the brand was actually being used in the film by a well known celebrity like John Abraham thus in a way, promoted. Such advertisements help the audience to connect with the brand along with reality. Brands get colored by the character using them and the context in which they are shown in a movie. For example, if a villain were shown wearing a Swatch watch, the brand would get visibility but perhaps not a positive mindshare.

We also learnt that advertising in films helps the marketers to target their audiences, demographically as well as psychographically. Visibility of the brand in the films becomes like a long TV commercial for the audiences. Depending on the content of the film and its story line, a sketch of the profile of expected viewers of the film can be prepared and then those brands could be approached that could appeal to the targeted viewers. Most advertising professionals vouch for the fact that films, by virtue of being quite engaging, are one of the cost effective and effective mediums for advertising. Apart from monetary benefit to the production of the film from the brand owners, the commercial ads of these products promote the film throughout. One of the best examples is that of the recent film “Fashion” which had six prestigious brand placements – clothing brands Kimaya and Reebok, Lenovo laptop, Sunsilk shampoo, Cellucom and LG Electronics.

The production team earned Rs 8.5 crores from in-film advertisement alone, out of its total investment of 22 crores. Another example is the way Van Huesen advertisements promoted Ghajini, not only benefited the brand but, the personal image of Aamir Khan enhanced the trust for the brand. In the film, Aamir’s character was of a business tycoon, which added to the value of the brand Van Huesen, depicting success. The strategy of placing some selected brands in films, gives them an additional marketing push, even though the stars featuring them may not be directly endorsing these brands. Movies can enable brands to engage with different audiences and let consumers shake hands with the product.

Given that cinema holds its audience captive, it is possible to make a product’s relatability quotient even more relevant and meaningful to the audience. Such a proposition when embedded in a storyline delivers unrivalled relatability. Further, an audience can be almost forced to sit up and take notice of a particular product attribute and see it in a new light. The recently-released, Aisha had a tie-up with Dior — the need being the lead heroine was portrayed as an elite damsel. It was a clever and convincing depiction to etch out the heroine’s character.

In-film branding in fact helps to reduce publicity budgets of films by a minimum of 15 per cent. The low shelf life of movies has cut down theatrical collections; it has opened another window of revenue in the form of brand associations or in-film placements. Brands expect high visibility not only from theatres, but also when the film is shown on TV.

A large majority of the respondents managed to have a high sense of recall to brands being advertised in particular films. In fact, many of the respondents enlightened us about many more examples of In-film Advertising. This shows the high success rate of In-film Advertising. All the objectives of our research, mentioned in the earlier section, have been achieved and thus, it can be called a successful research. All the findings just indicate that our Hypothesis has been proved right and hence, is valid.

Therefore, ‘In-film advertising helps in promoting the sales of the brands.’


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