The Product placement: Exploring effects of product usage by principal actors.


D. L. R. Van der Waldt*, V. Nunes and J. Stroebel

The use of product placements has evoked interest by marketers for many years. Yet, little research has been done on this medium within the South African context; therefore the purpose of this study is to investigate consumer attitudes towards prominent product placements and the principal actor using the brand in the film or broadcast programme. Product placements are seen as a subtle means of advertising that should be used in conjunction with the traditional mass media. It has been used for many years and can be defined as the compensated inclusion of a branded product or brand identifiers, through audio and/or visual means within mass media programming (films and broadcast programmes) for promotional purposes. The survey method entailed that respondents had to observe a series of scenes from a film clip containing product placements; thereafter they were required to complete a questionnaire. Two hundred respondents, between the ages of 18 to 24 participated in this survey. Results indicated that their ability to recall prominently placed products is greater than their ability to recall subtly placed products. It further indicates that a principal actor using a brand in a film or broadcast programmes does not necessarily influence consumers’ affective behaviour. It is suggested that product placements will become a strategic and viable marketing option in the mobile environment for targeting specific groups. Advertising companies seek more venues for products. From these findings it can be concluded that if marketers and advertisers consider product placements as an integrated marketing communication vehicle, they must request that their brands are placed prominently in a film and broadcast programmes to ensure maximum exposure and greater awareness among consumers. The results also provide useful insight to media planners as to whether product placement is effective when the principal actor uses it.

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