After reading Hailey Zhang’s blog post Product Placement from her marketing blog “City in Light”, I am really impressed by the intense product placement occurred in everyday life. It seems that we, as consumers, are influenced by those “ads” that doesn’t look like ads or the ads with masks on them. As Hailey points out, product placement is defined by Wikipedia to be “a form of advertisement, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, the story line of television shows, or news programs.”
Iron Man and his Audi R8
A recent example of product placement that appealing to me is Audi R8 in the movie Iron Man, as is shown in the video above. Since Iron Man impulses audience with cool edging technology, placing Audi R8 in this context is certainly a good idea to make audience associate Audi R8 with frontier technologies. Therefore, Audi r8 is linked to “cool”, “elegant”, and “powerful”. The same goes for Chevette Camaro in Transformers, where a nice sports car catches the eyeballs of millions of audiences.
Camaro–the “Bumblebee” in Transformers
Moral and Legal Concerns:
As smart as it may be, product placement–a practice of “stealth advertising”–intrigued critics and pressure for tougher regulation. According to Tom Lowry and Burt Helm, in their article Blasting Away at Product Placement, (source–businessweek, Strategy & Competition, Oct 15, 2009) FCC should protect consumers from stealth advertising without undermine the TV driven economics. They also reported that Wright, a lawyer and policy adviser for Free Press, a nonprofit activist group claims that “Product placements don’t allow us to have the usual veil of skepticism we have when we watch a standard commercial.” True. We are vulnerable to advertisements especially when we are expose to commercials without realizing that we are being persuaded. Moreover, all these TV or movie stars act as trend-setters or positive word-of-mouth for companies and their products. This makes product placement probably more effective than traditional advertisement.
Product placement in movies
So next time when you go to cinema, pay a little bit attention to product placement, and you will find how frequent it occurred in a movie.