An affair to remember-Consumer and brands in Movies

As the line between entertainment and marketing gets increasingly blended, the notion of brand placement in an entertainment context receives considerable attention from scholars and practitioners alike. Although there are many definitions of the term, brand or product placement have often been used interchangeably and generally refer to the use of a product’s name, packaging, signage, or other trademarks in media.

Screening thousands of films every year, the film industry is fast emerging as the medium with the maximum potential to capture and convert audiences to potential consumers. Tag Heuer in Don (2006), Coke in Dhoom 2 (2006), Singapore Tourism Board in Krrish (2006), or Pepsi in Pearl Harbour (2001), product placements have a very significant role in India and international movies.

While product placement is riskier than conventional advertising, it is becoming a common practice to place products and brands into mainstream media, including films, which are an extremely popular medium among advertisers.

How does it help?

By doing so, not only does the offering reach a larger audience, but it also gets a much longer life than a 30-second commercial.

However, in the era of expanding global competition, where companies are trying hard to reach out to their customers effectively and efficiently to market their product and services to different national cultures, an important yet lurking question that remains unanswered is:

To what extent have marketers been able to successfully reach their customers?

Individuals look up to successful people in the hierarchy, such as movie stars. And, since passion among the Indian audiences for celebrities is no lesser than idol worshipping, the impact of such emotional attachment is that when an actor performs in a film, the audience wants to emulate their style and image. 

The consumers view the brand to be associated with the celebrity whom they admire. Without further investigation of the brand, they make a connection between the film, the actor, the product and its consumption, and look at product placement as a perceptual clue which directs behaviour to purchase a product to satisfy a need or reinforce a social status.

─Excerpt taken from Consumer Response to Brand Placement in Movies from Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers

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