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Product placement-on-movies

  1. 1. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 1VIEWERS· Attitude toward the Economic, Ethicaland Creative Implications of Product Placement on Movies
  2. 2. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 2 ABSTRACT It has been established by a plethora of studies that movies are powerfulvehicles in shaping and reshaping culture across the globe. Fortunately orunfortunately, the marketers around the world are all aware of such power attributedto movies. This is exactly one of the reasons marketers and advertisers are nowexerting much effort to place their clients· products on movies in order to find asolution to the problem posed by the digital video recording that allows viewers tozap more than they ever do.This study started with a comprehensive review of literature about product placement then concluded with findings from a qualitative research conducted using one-shotsurvey and four sets of online focus group discussions (FGDs). Qualitative design was used in order to generate new thoughts from the participants who watch filmsthrough cinemas, VCDs, or DVDs. The results suggest that the participants, who thinkproduct placement makes movies more realistic, find nothing unethical about product placement but they suggested that movies for kids and other films which are about war, politics, nature, environment, and social awareness should not contain any branded products.
  3. 3. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page numbersABSTRACTINTRODUCTION 1LITERATURE REVIEW 3Product Placement: What Started it All 3 Types of Product Placement 10 Movies with Product Placement 11 The Economic Impact of Product Placement: Is it Worth its Worth? 15 Behind the Scenes: Why Advertisers and Marketers Favor Product Placement 19 Product Placement¶s Impact on the Creative Aspect of Movie Making 20 The Ethical Implication of Product Placement 22THE METHODOLOGY 26 The Online Focus Groups 26RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 27 The Profile of the Respondents 27 Did the Respondents Notice Product Placement? 30
  4. 4. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 4 Branded Product Recall 31 Attitudes Toward the Economic Implication of Product Placement on Movies 34 Attitudes Toward the Creative Implication of Product Placement on Movies 37 Attitudes Toward the Ethical Implication of Product Placement on Movies 41CONCLUSION 49RECOMMENDATIONS 51REFERENCESAPPENDICES Questionnaire
  5. 5. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 5 LIST OF TABLESTable 1:Advantages of Product Placement 4Table 2: Disadvantages of Product Placement 9Table 3:Examples of Branded Products Featuredin Famous Films during the µ90s and the µ80s 12Table 4:Featured Brands on Movies Released in 2008 13 ± 15
  6. 6. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 6 LIST OF FIGURESAge Distribution of Respondents 27Gender Distribution of Respondents 28Frequency of Film Viewing 28 Theater 28 VCD 29 DVD 30³Did you notice product placementin movies you¶ve watched?´ 31Branded Product Recall 32Attitudes Toward the Economic Implicationof Product Placement on Movies 34, 35, 36Attitudes Toward the Creative Implicationof Product Placement on Movies 36, 39, 40Attitudes Toward the Ethical Implicationof Product Placement on Movies 41, 43
  7. 7. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 7 VIEWERSd ATTITUDES TOWARD THE ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN MOVIESINTRODUCTION The history of television and films is a witness to the fast changes and developmentthat happened to an advertising strategy which at first, was ³just another advertising technique´but later became controversial. Product placement is ³nothing new´ (Belch & Belch 413). Inessence, product placement or brand placement is a paid exposure of products on televisionshows, films or video games (McPherson) which aim to influence audience members withoutnecessarily identifying the sponsors (qtd. in Balasubramanian, Karrh & Patwardhan) for thepurpose of increasing brand awareness and demand on the product (McPherson). Aside fromawareness and increase in demand, product placement also aims to create a favorable atmosphereor ³positive associations toward the placed brand, resulting in a positive shift in brand attitude´(Cowley & Barron). Studying product placement and its huge ability to create brand awareness is almostno longer optional but a must for marketers who wish to make a brand be known to a largenumber of audience coming from around the globe. For example, the manufacturers of BMWand Omega are very much aware that product placement can do more than what the traditionalmethods of advertising do. Product placement can actually build up a particular brand (Stewart-Allen). For the giants in the film industry, particularly the Hollywood, and for the productowners who save much through product placement, nothing is actually wrong with the practice.
  8. 8. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 8However, for some groups which claim concern for the youth, the children and for all who arecaught ³unaware´ of this practice, product placement is simply stealth advertising or ³embeddedadvertising´ (La Ferle & Edwards) that has ethical, economic and creative implications that needto be addressed before the consumers become desensitized of this controversial practice in theworld of marketing, advertising and media. As product placements continue to become next-to-traditional media in terms ofadvertising, it is of paramount importance for marketers to study the situation in order for themto make sound decisions on the implications in the marketing arena of the booming practice ofproduct placement, particularly in movies. Some viewers find product placement acceptable although with the exemption ofethically-charged products (Hudson, Hudson & Peloza 299; Gould, Gupta & Grabner-Krauter43). Some viewers think that product placement is ³cheating´ and therefore should be totallybanned (qtd. in Gould, Gupta & Grabner-Krauter 43). This paper attempts to derive sound conclusions from the comprehensive review of theplethora of studies and literature that discusses the ethical, economic and creative implications ofproduct placement particularly in movies.Using a qualitative study, particularly through online focus-group discussions (FGDs), and one-shot survey, the researcher intends to do introspection on the viewers¶ attitudes toward theethical, economic and creative implications of product placement in movies.
  9. 9. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 9 LITERATURE REVIEWProduct Placement: What Started it All The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines product placement as ³a form ofpromotion in which advertisers insert branded products into programming in exchange for feesor other consideration´ (qtd. in Hoffman). Product placement has been practiced since the 1930s. In the 1950s, soap operas featuredproduct placement. However, the history of television and film considers the success of Reese¶sPieces in ET: The Extra Terrestrial in 1982 as the turning point in product placement fortelevision and film (Welsh 14; Balasubramanian, Karrh, & Patwardhan 118; Mc Pherson). The early forms and methods of product placement were no big deal then. However, theskyrocketing number of manufacturers and producing who resort to product placement hascaused an alarm among certain societal groups (Belch & Belch 433). From 2003 to 2004, therewas an increase of 46.4 percent on the use of product placement (432). It was reported in Belch& Belch¶s Advertising and Promotion book that by the second quarter of 2005, the ten mostfrequently exposed brands on TV did their appearance 6,077 times, not to mention that the topten shows contained 11,579 placements (433). Indeed, placements have become too obviousthat it is quite impossible not to notice them.Although it is already widely practiced, according to Ellen Neuborn, product placement ³remainsuncharted territory´ because unlike other forms of advertising, product placement does notinvolve standard rate cards. This implies that the practice itself is open either to criticism or tostandardization.
  10. 10. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 10 Despite the controversy surrounding product placement on movies, Belch & Belch citedseveral advantages of product placement. Advantages of Product Placement 1. Exposure 2. Frequency 3. Support for other media 4. Source association 5. Cost 6. Recall 7. Bypassing regulation 8. Acceptance 9. Targeting Belch, G. & Belch, M. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. [7th ed] US: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 2007. Figure 1 ADVANTAGES OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT First of all, with product placement, the product can reach a large number of people overa long period of time. An average film which is estimated to have a life span of three and a halfyears would actually yield 75 million exposures (Belch & Belch 434). This exposure isstrengthened by the fact that moviegoers are captive audience members (qtd. in De Lorme &Raid). As such, they went to the movie house with the anticipation that they are expected toexert effort in decoding messages they see on screen. Making it more interesting is the fact thatthe movie houses or theaters are designed to make the viewers focused ± the dark environment,
  11. 11. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 11the almost-deafening sound and the way the chairs are arranged ± all contribute to theatmosphere allowing the viewers to pay special attention to the movie. Even when viewerswatch the film in DVDs, they are still considered as captive audience who pays attention to themovie, considering that they bought or rented the film for deliberate viewing. All these factorsmake product placement favorable to the manufacturers. The second factor is frequency, referring to the number of times a particular viewerwatches a film. Normally, some viewers expose themselves to a film more than once (Belch &Belch 434). This gives the product more exposure to one viewer. This number of times a viewersees the product is even multiplied by the number of times a product appears in the movie. Third, product placement, at times, is supported by other media. The tie-ins between theproducer and the product manufacturer include promoting the product and the movie in differentmedia venues. Again, this allows more chances for the product to reach the target market (Belch& Belch 434). Another important advantage of product placement is source association. This happenswhen a particular brand is seen used by a celebrity. For some reasons, there are viewers who getaffected by the personality of the celebrity using or even just holding the product (Belch & Belch436). . For example, kids may easily associate Domino¶s Pizza with the Teenage Mutant NinjaTurtles. In the movie, the star turtles openly order pizza when they¶re hungry. With the ninjaturtles as the stars in the film, the viewers might readily accept that Domino¶s Pizza is the star inthe pizza-delivery business.
  12. 12. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 12 If the volume of exposure will be considered, then, product placement promises lowCPM or cost per thousand (Belch & Belch 436). For marketers and manufacturers, the lower theCPM, the better it is in business. Product placements, due to wide coverage and multiple exposures per person, promisebetter recall, as opposed with products which are advertised on television. With theadvertisement clutter on TV, the movie product placement seems to be more promising (Belch &Belch 436). Another advantage cited by Belch & Belch is the fact that product placements, in a way,are capable of ³bypassing´ some laws which apply to traditional advertising. For example,liquor and cigarettes have opportunities to be promoted to the viewers without the manufacturersgetting penalized. If done on primetime television, this is a clear violation of FCC rules (436). Finally, Belch & Belch mentioned that with product placements, the choice of movie canalready guarantee effective reach potential because definitely, the marketers would only placeads on movies targeting the potential customers of the product (436). Added to the list by Belch & Belch are more reasons cited by Cowley and Barron.According to them, unlike television advertisements that make zapping possible, productplacement provides a scenario which the viewers won¶t be able to avoid exposure to. To miss ascene that promotes a particular product means that the viewers will also miss a certain part ofthe story and they would not want that to happen. Therefore, the inevitability of productplacement is one of its strengths.
  13. 13. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 13 Media technology like DVDs, or any other digital video recorders like TiVo allow theviewers to avoid commercials more than they ever do (Belch & Belch, 413; ³The HiddenPersuader´). Advertisers are aware of this so they have to find another niche where they couldactually communicate the message to the target consumers without the fear of being ignored oravoided. The film industry matched with product placement is the best solution (413) thatmarketers, producers and manufacturers see. Moreover, producers, according to Belch &Belch, believe that using existing products in movies can actually add to ³a sense of realism´ tothe movie (413). This is because real people, after all, use real products so a more real setting iscreated with the use of real and existing products in the movie (qtd in Lorme & Reid).However, this claim is refuted, in an interview, by Mark Crispin Miller, a professor from NewYork University. According to Miller, product placement is a form of commercialism that³distorts the whole filmmaking process´ (5). Miller said that ³there is a big difference between aworld of products that looks like the world we live in and the world of products that¶s based onplacement´ (8). Miller contradicted the idea of adding sense of realism to the movie. In fact,Miller finds product placement very unrealistic because it makes the product look ³glamorousand heavenly´ (8).
  14. 14. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 14The example Miller gave was the love scene in the movie Armageddon showing Liv Tyler andBen Affleck in a romantic mood but the camera pans to the branded animalcracker which was being held by the actor in the scene (8). It also showed thebox of the branded animal cracker strategically placed beside the pair ofshoes of the actor. AJ (Ben Affleck): You know what I·m thinking right now? Grace (Liv Tyler): What? AJ : I really dont think that the animal cracker qualifies as a cracker Grace: Why ? AJ: Well cause its sweet which to me suggests cookie... and you know I think putting cheese on something is sort of a defining characteristic Of what makes a cracker a cracker I dont know why I thought of that I just... Grace : Baby... you have such sweet pillow talk. AJ : If you had like little animal cracker Discovery Channel thing Watch the gazelle as he grazes through the open plains And now look... as the cheetah... approaches. Watch as he stalks his prey Now the gazelle has looked spooked and he could head north... to the mountainous peeks above. He could go south... The gazelle now faces mans most perilous question north... or... South Way down. Tune in next week« Grace : Baby do you think its possible that anyone else in the world is doing this very same thing at this very same moment? AJ : I hope so Otherwise what the hell are we trying to save?
  15. 15. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 15The advantages cited give the advertising industry more opportunities to set its eyes on themovie industry as the most responsive and most viable method of reaching the target marketwithout the hassle of zapping, zipping and clutter and unavoidable negative perception of theviewers on the traditional methods of advertising. However, the concept of product placementdoes not offer perfections. This means that it also has several disadvantages which are listed onthe given table. Disadvantages of Product Placement 1. High absolute cost 2. Time of exposure 3. Limited appeal 4. Lack of control 5. Public reaction 6. Competition 7. Negative placements 8. Clutter Belch, G. & Belch, M. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. [7th ed] US: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 2007. Table 2 DISADVANTAGES OF USING PRODUCT PLACEMENTFirst, Belch & Belch cited that despite the low CPM for product placement, the absolute cost isactually high due to the involved cross-promotions (436). Second, there is a possibility that the viewers won¶t even notice the product, unless thecamera zooms in on the brand name or perhaps unless the main character plugs the products.
  16. 16. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 16 Third, the movie does not allow detailed advertising like informing the target market ofthe features of the product. It cannot accommodate a marketing pitch that talks about the productbenefits. Fourth, the expectation of the manufacturer in the placements of the product in the moviemay not materialize due to some limitations that manufacturers have no control over (438). Forinstance, Belch & Belch cited what happened to Brut when it placed its brand on a certain movie.Brut cologne was placed in a movie which was expected to be out by December but was delayedto February (438). Another disadvantage is that product placement creates public reaction, and many ofthese are not favorable to the movie industry. Many groups are apprehensive of the idea ofembedding an ad in a film (Belch & Belch 438). The producer and the brand owner must beready to answer the opposing and challenging societal concerns arising from the productplacement which is becoming more apparent in today¶s films. With the skyrocketing number of movies injecting brands in their content, competitionmay make it tough or tougher for marketers to penetrate the movie that they select to carry theirproduct. Competition, just like in traditional media, becomes tighter and more challenging(438). Belch & Belch also cited negative placement as a possibility that may be seen as adisadvantage. The example given by Belch & Belch was also cited Susan Douglas of theUniversity of Michigan in an interview with the Media Education Foundation in 2000.According to them, negative placement happens in the movie Missing, which was produced byColumbia Pictures, which is also owned by Coca-cola. In the movie, which is about a murdercase, the logo of Pepsi was noticeably used as background in the scene that showed ³the bad
  17. 17. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 17guys.´ On the other hand, Coca-cola was strategically placed on scenes that showed theAmericans, the so-called ³good guys´ in the film (7). This negative placement can have muchimpact on how the viewers perceive both cola: Coke and Pepsi. Lastly, tie-ins between the movie industry and the for-profit sectors could create clutter(438), which can soon make product a sore in the eyes of the viewers.Types of Product PlacementHudson, Hudson & Pelosa divided placement into two general types: Implicit and explicit(291). Implicit placement is generally not intrusive. For example, in the movie Spider-man,Spider-man was seen fighting with the antagonist on top of a Carlsberg truck. It subtly promotesthe brand Carlsberg but it doesn¶t have anything to do with the story in the movie. This is not anew formula in a superhero-starred movie. In the 1980s, the movie Superman II showed thesuperhero himself and the antagonist in a fight scene taking place in the Marlboro truck. Explicit placement, on the other hand, allows ³marriage´ between the script and the brand.Hudson, Hudson & Pelosa gave the movie I Am Sam as an example of movie containing explicitplacement (291). In the movie, the main actor works at Starbucks. In this case, the brand ofcoffee shop does not just serve as backdrop but as a major part of the story where someimportant scenes developed (³The Persuader´).
  18. 18. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 18Movies with Product PlacementThe list of movies which include product placement, which may be implicit or explicit, seems tobe endless because this concept is being practiced for decades now. The Media EducationFoundation analyzed movies which implicitly or explicitly used brands in movies, particularlyduring the 1980s, the 1990s and early 21st century. Also, has a detailed list ofmovies during the 21st century, from 2001 to the present year showing the featured brands on themovies. In its list, it is apparent that most movies released feature several brands. MOVIES PRODUCTS/BRANDS Source ET- The Extra Terrestrial Reese·s Pieces; Coca-Cola American Marketing (1982) Association (AMA) 3 Men and a Baby (1987) Pampers Media Education Foundation (MEF) Baby Boom (1987) Huggies MEF Tequila Sunrise (1988) Cuervo Gold MEF Days of Thunder (1990) Exxon MEF License to Kill (1989) Larks Cigarette MEF Demolition Man (1993) Taco Bell MEF For Love of the Game (1999) V-8 Juice MEF Back to the Future (1985) Pepsi MEF Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Domino·s Pizza, Pepsi MEF (1990) Ghostbusters (1984) Miller , Coca-Cola MEF Good Will Hunting (1997) Dunkin· Donuts MEF Summer of Sam (1999) Pepsi MEF The Thomas Crown Affair Pepsi MEF (1999) Wild at Heart (1990) Marlboro MEF Armageddon (1998) Animals Cracker MEF Bowfinger (1988) FedEx MEF At First Sight (1999) Coca-Cola MEF Happy Gilmore (1996) Subway MEF You·ve Got Mail (1998) Starbucks, AOL, NY Times MEF; AMA Figure 3 EXAMPLES OF BRANDED PRODUCTS FEATURED IN FAMOUS FILMS DURING THE ¶80s AND THE ¶90s
  19. 19. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 19 FEATURED BRANDS ON MOVIES RELEASED IN 2008 MOVIES FEATURED BRANDSThe Dark Knight Bang & Olufsen, Belstaff, Bentley, Dodge, Ford, Harris Bank, Lamborghini, Magnum Products, Mercedes, MV Agusta, Nokia, Powerball, Scottrade, Volkswagen BeetleHellboy II: The Golden Army Ford, Iams, Regal Entertainment Group, TecateHancock BMW, Cadillac, Capitol Records, Chevrolet, Christian Dior, Coca-Cola, Dasani, Datascope, Dodge, Dunkin Donuts, Everest, FedEx, Fitovers, Ford, Greenpeace, Headline News, Jiffy Pop, Kenworth, Korean Air, Macalester College, McDonalds, Mercedes, Motorola, Nike, Polar Air Cargo, Ray- Ban, Sony, Sony VAIO, Spalding, Sprite, State Farm, Swatch, Wells Fargo, Wish-Bone, YouTube, ZagnutWALL-E Apple, NASA, Playmate, Rubiks Cube, ZippoGet Smart Apple, BMW, Cadillac, Chanel, Dell, Disney, Ernst & Young, Ferrari, Ford, Freightliner, GMC Yukon, Land Rover, LG, Lincoln, LOreal, Lumber Liquidators, Magnum (gun), Mercedes, Nike, Post-It Notes, Rimowa, Sierra Mist, SIG Sauer, Sky Mall, Subway, Sunbeam (car), Verizon, Vespa, Victorinox Swiss Army, Visa, Volkswagen Beetle, WaltherThe Incredible Hulk Amstel, Apollo Theater, BlackBerry, Budweiser, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Dell, Ford, Harvard University, Hummer, Iron Man, Jeep, Norton, Ortobom, Panasonic, Pingo Doce, Polar, Pringles, Ray-Ban, Sharp, Symantec, VolkswagenKung Fu Panda NONESex and the City Adidas, American Airlines, Apple, Bag Borrow or Steal, Bang & Olufsen, BlackBerry, Bluefly, Botox, Buddakan, Burberry, Carolina Herrara, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Christian Louboutin, Christies, Clean & Clear, Crayola, Cuisinart, Cup Noodles, Dell, Desert Pepper Trading Co., Diane von Furstenberg, Dove, Duane Reade, e.p.t., Entertainment Weekly, Escada, Ford, Four Seasons, Garnier Fructis, Gucci, Harvard University, Heinz, Hello Kitty, Henri Bendel, Hermès, Hersheys, HSBC, IWC, Jergens, Juniors, KeyFood, Kit Kat, Lanvin, Lincoln, LOreal, Louis Vuitton, Lumi, M&Ms, Manhattan Mini Storage, Manolo Blahnik, Marie Claire, Mercedes, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, Montegrappa, Motorola, Netflix, New York Magazine, New York Post, New York Public Library, Nike, Nivea, Oscar de la Renta, Page Six, Pantene, Piazza Sempione, Post-It Notes, Prada, Pret a Manger, Princeton University, Roger Vivier, S. Pellegrino, Salvatore Ferragamo, Scoop, Skyy, Smartwater, Sony, Sprint, Starbucks, Swarovski, Tiffany & Co., TV Guide, U-Haul, Uniden, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vera Wang, Versace, VitaminWater, Vivienne Westwood, Vogue, Wall Street Journal (Source:
  20. 20. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 20 FEATURED BRANDS ON MOVIES RELEASED IN 2008 MOVIES FEATURED BRANDSIndiana Jones and the Kingdom Chrysler, Clorox, Ford, Good Humor Ice Cream, Harley-of the Crystal Skull Davidson, New Britain Transportation, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Pan American Airways, SpamThe Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Daily ExpressCaspianIron Man Apple, Audi, Blüthner, Brown University, Bulgari, Burger King, Cadillac, Cadillac Escalade, Caesars Palace, Chevrolet, Cisco, CNBC, Dell, Dolce & Gabbana, Esquire, Forbes, Ford, Goodyear, LG, M.I.T., Maxim, MySpace, Newsweek, Nissan, Operation, Perrier, Persol, Ray-Ban, Rolling Stone, Rolls Royce, Saleen, Segway, Shelby, Tesla, Texaco, The Apogee Foundation, U.S. Air Force, University of California, Berkeley, Vanity Fair, Verizon, Voss, WiredBaby Mama 7-Eleven, American Idol, Apple, Audi, Blimpie, Boo Boo Busters, Budweiser, Clif Bar, Coca-Cola, Deer Park, Doctors Without Borders, Dogswell, Dr. Pepper, Exxon, Forbes, Infiniti, Jamba Juice, Marriott, Maytag, Mazda, Motorola, Pam, Penn State University, Perrier, Persol, Philadelphia Eagles, Pringles, Red Bull, Red Vines, Rolling Rock, S. Pellegrino, Sega, Sharp, Silk, Sony, Suzuki, Tastykake, Terra Chips, USA Today, White Castle, YamahaThe Forbidden Kingdom American Express, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, Enyce, MasterCard, Tennessee Titans, XboxProm Night Brown University, Ford, GMC, Jones Soda, Klonopin, Life & Style Weekly, Midol, Samsung21 Ballys Hotel and Casino, Beefeater Gin, Bombay Sapphire, Budweiser, Caesars Palace, Casino Royale and Hotel, Cathay Corner, Chrysler, Circus Circus Casino, Dunkin Donuts, Everlast, Freitag, GMC, Grey Poupon, Gucci, Hard Rock Cafe, Harvard University, Jansport, Lincoln, Louis Vuitton, M.I.T., Mandalay Bay Casino, MGM Grand, Mirage Casino, Monte Carlo Casino, Palms Hotel and Casino, Pepsi, Planet Hollywood, Pony, Red Rock Casino, Reebok, Republic, Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, Samuel Adams, Sony PlayStation, Sunplus Technology, The Boston Language Institute, The Riviera Hotel and Casino, Treasure Island Casino, Twinkies, VitaminWater, VolkswagenHorton Hears a Who! NONE10,000 BC NONE (Source:
  21. 21. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 21 MOVIES FEATURED BRANDSSemi-Pro adidas, Budweiser, Busch, Cadillac, Converse, Denver Nuggets, Hitachi, Indiana Pacers, NBA, New Jersey Nets, Penthouse, PUMA, San Antonio Spurs, Shasta, Sports IllustratedVantage Point Chevrolet, Dasani, Mercedes, Perrier, Peugeot, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Sony VAIO, Volkswagen BeetleJumper Alitalia, Apple, Aquafina, Armani, Budweiser, Carhartt, Delta, DODA, Dodge Magnum, Emigrant Savings Bank, Epson, Ford, Houlihans, Jeep, Marvel, McDonalds, Mercedes, Meridian, MetLife, NBA, Nokia, NY1, Oprah Winfrey, Quiksilver, Samsung, Sierra Mist, Tanqueray, The North Face, University of Michigan, USA Today, Verbatim, VisaFool·s Gold Apple, Arbys, Budweiser, Bushnell, Chris Craft, Dive Rite, Eves Addiction, Frito Lay, Howard Johnson, Kalik, Mapquest, Mares, National Enquirer, OK! Magazine, Piaggio, Rip Curl, Sony PlayStation, Tabasco, T-MobileHannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: adidas, Aéropostale, Alesis, Apple, Baldwin, BMW, Coca-Best of Both Worlds Concert Cola, Converse, Nike, Range Rover, Sabian, YamahaTourMeet the Spartans American Idol, Apple, Barbie, Black & Decker, Boost Mobile, Botox, Cadillac Escalade, Chanel, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Dentyne, Dummies, Gatorade, Grey Goose, Hooters, JDate, Krispy Kreme, MySpace, Neutrogena, Nintendo, Palms Hotel and Casino, Pedigree, Red Bull, Subway, UPS, YouTubeCloverfield Aquafina, Belvedere, Budweiser, Campari, CNN, Ford, Frito Lay, Jolly Rancher, Lacoste, Mercedes, Mountain Dew, Nationwide, Nike, Nokia, NY1, Panasonic, Philips, SephoraThe Bucker List Apple, Bell, Cadillac, Chock Full O·Nuts, Chrysler, Cisco, Ford, Ford Mustang, Hill-Rom, HP, Lacoste, Listerine, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mercedes, Motorola, Pepsi, Philips, Pontiac, Pyrotect, Rolls Royce, San Francisco Giants, Sharp, The North Face, The Riviera Hotel and Casino, Timberland, Toyota, United States Parachute AssociationNational Treasure: Book of Apple, Aquafina, BlackBerry, Borders, Cadillac, Cisco,Secrets Converse, Ferrari, Ford, Fullers London Pride, HP, Land Rover, Mayflower, Mercedes, Motorola, MSN, Red Bull, Rolex, Seattles Best Coffee, Tracker Boats, Volvo, ZTV (Source: Figure 4 FEATURED BRANDS ON MOVIES RELEASED IN 2008
  22. 22. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 22 THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT: IS IT WORTH ITS WORTH? It is no accident that brands are placed on movies, of course. Brand integration on TV and movies, according to Stewart-Allen, does not ³actually involve money changing hands´ (8). It involves, in fact, a ³mutually beneficial business´ that promotes the brand while offering a realistic atmosphere. However, many sources are openly disclosing the dollars involved in product placement. For example, inan interview by the Media Education Foundation, the director of Armageddon, Michael Bay,admitted having ³saved´ $75,000 for using Tag Heuer clock and TAG logo in the film (³Behindthe Screens´ 6).Susan Douglas, a professor from the University of Michigan, said that in the past, film producersrely on investors for a kick-off of any production. This time, on the other hand, producers nolonger set their eyes exclusively on investors, but also on advertisers. For example, she citedPampers paying $50,000 in 1987 for its appearance on 3 Men & a Baby; Huggies paid $100,000to Baby Boom for featuring the product; Cuervo Gold gave $150,000 for appearance on TequilaSunrise; Exxon paid $300,000 for Days of Thunder; and Larks Cigarette paid $350,000 forappearing on License to Kill (³Behind the Screens´ 6 ).Miller supported this claim by saying that since it that advertisers like himis very expensive to produce and promote a movie, producers are endlessly looking for ways onhow to cut the budget short without sacrificing the show itself (³Behind the Screens´ 6). In avideo report, Rushkoff said that ³advertisers are losing faith on the traditional 30-second ad´
  23. 23. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 23 (³The Persuader´). In fact, giant advertiser American Express chief marketing officer John Hayes said during an interview ³are payingmore to reach less´ (³The Persuader´). Hayes continued by saying, ³The definition of insanity is to continue doing the samething over and over and expect different results´ (³The Persuader´). This is the reasonadvertisers and marketers set eyes on films as the newest venue for selling. Precisely, productplacement is selling.In an article authored by Neuborn What¶s Your Worth? It was revealed that manufacturers pay agreat deal, though not as great as the 30-second airtime in terms of reach, just to penetrate TVshows and movies. Here¶s what Neuborn disclosed:Product: M&MsShow: ERPlacement: In a quiet moment, one doctor buys another a package of M&Ms from ahospital vending machine. Value: $430,618Explanation: "In this scene, the candy is part of a romantic conversation between thetwo characters. The product is mentioned by name and is the focus of one charactersact of kindness toward another. The presence of verbal and visual elements heightensthe value of this placement."
  24. 24. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 24Product:Coca-ColaShow: American IdolPlacement: Two red Coca-Cola glasses sit on the table as the three judges reviewAmerican Idol hopefuls.Value: $1.8 millionExplanation: "It would cost any marketer $350,000 for a 30-second commercial on thisshow. Coca-Cola gets almost nine minutes of screen time in this placement. Theglasses, logos visible, are present throughout the extended segment. At one point,one judge raises his glass and takes a drink." ExpressShow: Everybody Loves RaymondPlacement: Ray is spying on his wife at the supermarket. When it looks like she mightspot him, he quickly ducks behind an end-cap display of Ragu Express boxes.Value: $83,125Explanation: "There are two clear shots of the product. In both, the shows star, RayRomano, has his hands on the product. The brand name is clearly visible. The secondshot is a close-up." there is one particular brand that is ³brand-conscious,´ it¶s the Bond. Chu said that The BondFranchise is one of the pioneers in product placement (129). David Wilson, EON¶s vicepresident of global business strategy reiterated that ³Bond has always been a brand-awarecharacter´(Chu 129). While it is well-publicized that many producers get the best deals in terms of dollars and otherperks through product placement, there are also instances when the producers of a program
  25. 25. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 25featured a brand on the movie but did not demand for any dollar-based tie-ins (Stanley). Forexample, Disney/Pixar¶s Finding Nemo, which according to Hudson, Hudson & Peloza, based ontheir research on had three featured brands, disclosed that the company hadnine marketing partners, yet no paid product placement (Stanley). Universal Pictures vicechairman, Marc Shmuger, says, ³If we go to a brand and basically tell [the marketer] were onlyinterested in their media dollars, then thats not valuing the relationship´ (Stanley).Behind the Scenes: Why Advertisers and Marketers Favor Product Placement Welsh calls the economic scenario as a ³win-win´ situation for both advertisers andproducers: Consider this, studios typically spend $30 - $50 million to promote a new feature release. Once a product has been attached to a film, it can leverage equity from that film across multiple communication channels. The 2004 release of the film Garfield is a good example. Lisa Licht of the 20th Century Fox said the studio got the idea for placing Pepperidge Farms¶ Goldfish crackers in the Garfield movie. The win for Pepperidge Farms is the exposure and brand awareness that a major film release is able to lend to Goldfish crackers among a highly desirable target audience. In exchange for a guaranteed placement, of Garfield eating Goldfish crackers in the film, Pepperidge Farms agreed to promote the film on millions of packages of Goldfish crackers, while at the same time conducting a Garfield contest and including film mention in national FSIs and national advertising (68). No marketer, no advertiser, and no movie mogul would deny the truth that productplacement promises good business deals. Manufacturers are investing millions of dollars not fornothing, but for more and more dollars. If it doesn¶t work, it won¶t prosper. If it does prosper,
  26. 26. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 26then, it means it offers excellent return on investment. The most remarkable increase in saleswhich is attributed to product placement, so far, is the tie-in between Reese¶s Pieces and ET ±The Extra Terrestrial which was reported to have its sales increased by 60 to 65 % (Welsh 70). In 2001, BMW Motors created what Douglas Rushkoff called the ³perfect hybrid of adand movie´ (³The Persuader´). The movie titled The Hire was not just sponsored by BMWMotors but they are also the producer. The Editor in chief of Advertising Age, Scott Donation,called this venture an ³advertising as a piece of entertainment in and of itself that people not onlywill tolerate but will actually go in search of´ (³The Persuader´). Donation also said that BMWsales increased dramatically years following the airing of this film (³The Persuader´).PRODUCT PLACEMENT¶S IMPACT ON THE CREATIVE ASPECT OF MOVIEMAKING Could the Castaway plot and setting be the same if there were no Fed Ex and WilsonSports placement? In the movie, the main actor, Tom Hanks, played the role of an executivefrom Fed Ex who was stranded in an island by himself --- with only ³Wilson´ to talk to.³Wilson´ is the name of the volleyball which is also the brand name of the makers of thevolleyball itself.
  27. 27. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 27 Fed Ex seemed to enjoy a full-length-film exposure to the audience knowing that themain character could not be detached from the company where he supposedly works for. The film did not only heighten brand awareness but also increased the reputation orimage of the featured brand since it was associated with the drama and realization that transpiredin the movie. Definitely, the real executives from Fed Ex knew exactly where the film wouldlead them. As Mitch Kanner of the Integrated Entertainment Partners said, ³At the end of thefilm, not only did we deliver the packages, but we found romance. How much better could youfeel about the brand?´ (³The Persuader´). Another movie that became controversial because of strategic product placement wasMissing which was produced by Columbia Pictures Entertainment which was purchased byCoca-Cola. Missing, a film released in 1982, is about an American student who was killed bymembers of Pinochet regime (³Behind the Screens´). In the film it was obvious that there is a³featured divide´ between the ³good´ or ³Coke´ and the ³bad´ or ³Pepsi.´ Douglas analyzed thescenes and said that it was apparent that the violent scenes with the Pinochet regime are shotwith Pepsi logo on the background while the ³good guys´ in the film, supposedly the Americans,are seen enjoying their glasses of Coke (³Behind the Screens´). Definitely, there is nocoincidence to the Pepsi logo and Coke scenarios in the movie. They were, as Douglas pointedout, strategically placed to relay an ³unspoken´ message to the viewers. Of course, the director
  28. 28. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 28and writers should have been aware of the background of the owners of Columbia Pictures andthe so-called ³cola wars.´ Needless to say, it seems apparent that Douglas Rushkoff has a reason to say that ³theboundaries between content and advertising are blurring in nearly every popular medium´ (³ThePersuader´). Eisenberg and Bradford of TIME call this phenomenon the ³blurring of the linesbetween content and commerce´ which is very popular in Hollywood (38). Writers and directors start doing their jobs thinking of answers to the questions like Whois the producer? What other brands does it own? Who are sponsoring the show? How can thebrand be strategically placed in the movie? How long should the brand be exposed? Considering the answers to all these questions leads to only one thing: Control andmanipulation on the creativity and storyline -- no matter how much the producers deny it. A former executive at J. Walter Thompson, Eugene Secunda supports this claim saying,³There are agencies, for instance, in Hollywood who go through every script before it isproduced and find specific opportunities for automobiles, for beer, for virtually any product thatyou might want to name´ (³The Persuader´). This is clearly the economic sides of productplacement unveiled.THE ETHICAL IMPLICATION OF PRODUCT PLACEMENTS ON MOVIES Hudson, Hudson & Peloza are concerned about advertising, particularly productplacement on movies for children. In their research article titled Meet the Parents: A Parents¶Perspective on Product Placement in Children¶s Films, they mentioned that it seems like noexisting body is concerned about regulating product placement on movies, considering that
  29. 29. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 29children are still not capable of distinguishing between content and advertising (289). Noregulating body is concerned primarily because the people still believe that the children are theresponsibilities of the parents.Hudson, Hudson & Peloza surveyed among parents in the UK and Canada about their ethicalevaluations of product placement. They found out that ³explicit placements of ethically chargedproducts were perceived as the most unethical type of placement´ (298). Ethically chargedproducts, in Hudson, Hudson & Peloza¶s research, include tobacco, alcohol, fast food and soda(296). In Australia, a congress of world consumer rights advocates wants soft drink marketing tochildren under 16 be banned (³Call to Ban´). According to report, the congress wants companiesof soft drinks to "cease the marketing of all sugar-laden beverages to children under 16,including print and broadcast advertising, product placement, the internet, mobile phones,athletic sponsorship, signage, packaging promotions, merchandising and other means" (³Call toBan´). The reason for this action is that the soft drink advertisements contribute to the rate ofchildhood obesity.It¶s also interesting to note that parents don¶t actually talk about advertising or productplacement with their children and that almost one-third of their respondents are not even awareof brand integration in movies (299). This result needs serious attention because it could implythat there is actually a need for a regulating body who is more informed about the hidden agendaof one-way form of advertising in movies.According to Hoffman, a group called Commercial Alert, which is a small group against productplacement supported by a certain Ralph Nader, wants movie producers to inform viewers that acertain company paid the producer in order for the product to be featured in the film (34).
  30. 30. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 30However, Hoffman contradicted this by claiming that this is not necessary because productappearance on films does not include a litany of the benefits, attributes or effectiveness of theproduct. He even posed a question asking, ³Where is the harm to viewers?¶ (35). The ³harm toviewers´ is embedded in the fact that the viewers readily accept what they see on films thinkingthat every angle or every scene is a product of the creativity and thedemands of the story,´ and not based on the deals closed between producers and marketers(Schejter 23). Moreover, the controversial ³harm to the viewers´ is best explained by researchers whopursued tobacco product placement in the movie industry. In 2006, Le Gresley, Muggli, andHurt reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages taken from the British American TobaccoCompany from March 2003 to May 2005. They found out that despite public denial of tobaccocompanies regarding placing advertisements on movies, documents proved otherwise (505). According to Le Gresley, Muggli and Hurt, promotion of smoking had its debut in theHollywood when tobacco companies secretly paid producers so that their products would make itto the scenes in the movies (505). The issue here is that another research found out that smokinginstances in movies for teenagers are as prevalent as those in movies targeting the adults (qtd. inLe Gresley, Muggli, and Hurt 505; Sargent, et. al 30).
  31. 31. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 31 Sargent, et. al. mentioned that when a cigarette brand appears in a film, it gives the branda favorable distinction by being associated with the characters and the tone of the film (29). In their studies, they content analysed contemporary films taken from a ten-year period.They actually watched and analysed the contents of the top 25 US box-office films for each yearfrom 1988 to 1997 then they compared the prevalence of brand appearances for movies whichwere released before the voluntary ban on paid product placements and after the said ban tookeffect (30). The result of their study alarms critics. Sargent, et. al. found out that 85 % of thefilms from their samples contain tobacco use, where the tobacco brands appear in 70 films. Themore alarming result suggests that tobacco use is apparent even in films targeting children (30).
  32. 32. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 32THE METHODOLOGY The focus of this research aside from the comprehensive literature review on productplacement is to find out what the viewers¶ attitudes are toward the ethical, economic and creativeimplication of product placement on movies. The questionnaire has three parts: part 1 asked about the profile; part 2 aims tomeasure the brand recall of the respondents; part 3 aims to find out the respondents¶ attitudestoward the ethical, economic and creative implications of product placement. The questionnaireswere distributed online using snowball sampling to 100 respondents. After the result of the survey was tallied, four (4) online focus group discussions(through Yahoo messenger conference) were scheduled inviting 8 members from each of the agegroups. The FGDs revealed remarkable and interesting ideas which contributed to the research.THE ONLINE FOCUS GROUPSA focus group discussion or FGD is a qualitative method of data gathering that aims to discoverunique opinion and thoughts of each discussant in the group (International Dev¶t ResearchCentre). With the help of a facilitator, the group is expected to openly and spontaneously relatetheir thoughts and even their inhibitions regarding the selected topic.Four online focus groups were made possible through Instant Messaging (IM) software. Theeight participants from each age group spent over an hour reading messages in the IM windowand typing their thoughts so that the other members would be able to decode them. FGD 1included 8 respondents whose ages range from 40 to 49. FGD 2 included 8 respondents from 30to 39 age bracket; then FGD 3 included 8 from 20 to 29 years old and finally, FGD 4 includedparticipants who are 19 years old and younger.
  33. 33. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 33 The FGD started by sending the participants video clips showing product placement,particularly of those which was asked in the questionnaire. Without asking any question, thediscussion started with the participants¶ comments on what they saw in the video clips.To guarantee confidentiality, each of the participants was given a code. For example, membersof FGD 1 were coded as FGD1-A, FGD1-B, and so on. FGD 2 members were given codes likeFGD 2-A, FGD, 2-B, etc. The same pattern was followed in coding FGD 3 and FGD 4.RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONProfile of the respondents1. AGE DISTRIBUTION below 20 13% 40-49 13% 30-39 17% 20-29 57%
  34. 34. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 342. GENDER Male 38% Female 62% Over half of the respondents are female and their ages range from 20 to 29 years old. How often, on the average, do you watch movies?Theater 30 32 28 25 22 20 15 10 6 7 5 5 0 1-3 times a more than 4 1-3 times a more than 4 1-3 times a more than 4 week times a week month times a year times a year month Many of the respondents prefer to watch movies on cinema. During the online FGDs, itwas revealed that all of the participants have preference on theatre over other media althoughall of them have DVD players and original DVDs at home. FGD4-B mentioned that sheloves watching films in theatre because she gets to spend time with her close friends. FGD3-F also emphasized that the choice of movie to watch is not actually big deal, but the fact
  35. 35. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 35she is with her friends is whatµs important. However, this is opposite of what FGD 1-B whoadmitted that she would not go to theatre unless the movie is ³to die for.´Berman conducted a study on brand recall and one of the information found out was that theyounger generation prefers watching in theaters although they have other media in theirhomes. This is also true with the respondents in this research.VCD 45 42 40 35 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 2 0 0 0 1-2 times a more than 4 1-2 times more than 4 1-2 times a more than 4 week times a week month times a month year times a year
  36. 36. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 36 DVD 29 30 25 21 20 14 13 15 12 11 10 5 0 1-2 times a week more than 4 1-2 times a more than 4 1-2 times a year more than 4 times a week month times a month times a yearResults on the frequency on viewing reveals that all of the respondents watch movies in theatresand using DVDs but only 79 % do watch films with their VCDs. About 39% of the respondentswatch theater for 1 -3 times a month and 42% watch for more than 4 times a month using VCDs.This implies that those respondents with VCDs still prefer to watch using them compared withDVDs or with theater. Most of the respondents who watch in theaters are those between 20 and29 years old. The older respondents prefer DVDs in watching movies.
  37. 37. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 37Did you notice product placement in the movies you¶ve watched? No, 14 Yes , 86 In the survey, there are 14 respondents who didn¶t notice any product featured whenthey watched movies. On the online FGDs conducted, only one participant, FGD 1-C did notnotice any product placement. According to him, he misunderstood the question. Hethought that the question was pertaining to the list of films given. If the answer is based onthe movies in the list which he had viewed, then, he¶s sure he did not remember any productdisplayed or featured in the movies. However, he cited American Idol as the show thatobviously ³capitalizes on products so much.´ FGD 1-C said plugging on the American Idolis too much and no longer tolerable. It was taken note of but then, the research focuses onproduct placement on movies so the American-Idol plugging was not explored despite theother members of the online FGDs agreeing to how FGD 1-C feels about it.
  38. 38. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 38 BRANDED PRODUCT RECALL 25 21 20 20 14 15 Male 9 10 8 8 Female 6 6 4 4 5 1 00 0 00 00 00 0 0-10% 11-20% 21-30% 31-40% 41-50% 51-60% 61-70% 71-80% 8190% 91- 100% The study revealed that only 4 female respondents have a brand recall which is between61 and 70%. None of the male respondents had reached 50% of brand recall. This result impliesthat viewers don¶t really remember which brand appeared on which movie. Although most ofthem are aware that branded products appeared on the movies they¶ve watched. The participants were asking why they needed to recall the products when most of themovies were released years ago. FGD 2-C said, ³You don¶t expect me to remember the brand.First, I didn¶t watch to look for any brand. I was not even aware of it.´ FGD 3-F remarked, ³Ican tell you the details of the movies I¶ve watched but not the product involved.´ On the otherhand, FGD 3-A remembers clearly that AOL and Starbucks are among the stars in You¶ve GotMail. ³I just remember them because my first time to try coffee at Starbucks was after watchingYou¶ve Got Mail with my boyfriend then.´
  39. 39. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 39 Then the conversation went on: Researcher: So you admitthat featuring Starbucks in You¶ve Got Mail would make a viewer go to thenearest Starbucks to have some coffee? FGD 3-A: It happened to me and my boyfriend. FGD 3-C: Interesting huh« FGD 3-A: But back then, I didn¶t consider that advertising. I think it¶s normal thing for people to consume branded products. It¶s normal. Besides I prefer to see the products being used by a character. FGD 3-G: Same here. If I see the actor or actress use the product, I feel more confident that the product won¶t go wrong. For example, Samantha in Sex and the City will not use any item that looks absurd or weird. In general, according to the participants, if they were already aware of the term productplacement when they have seen the movies, they might be able to identify most of the products.
  40. 40. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 40FGD 1-C directly said that she didn¶t really make any effort in remembering the brands inmovies because she said the products were not important part of the movies so ³nobody woulddeliberately remember them!´ FGD 1-F answered by saying, ³It¶s no big deal anyway.´ATTITUDES TOWARD THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATION OF PRODUCTPLACEMENT ON MOVIES Featuring brands on movies in order to reach more viewers is not acceptable because it 13% distracts the viewers from concentrating on the movie. 87% If featuring brands on movies can reach more viewers at less cost, then it should be acceptable because it gives more consumers the freedom to choose without the brand intruding our space. The result suggests that most of the respondents do not really mind seeing featuredproducts in the movies. For most of them, product placement gives consumers the freedom tochoose without the brand intruding their spaces ± unlike what traditional advertising does. FGD1-E and FGD 2-B both agreed on separate FGDs that any advertisement that does not ³talk to us´directly, just like the telemarketer and the face-to-face sales clerk, is acceptable for them. This
  41. 41. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 41means that if the advertisement does not intrude their privacy, then there is no problem.However, almost all participants said that if product placement is too much and too manipulativeand all become movie-turned-ad, then, no one will like it. FGD 2-G commented, ³I¶m sure ifthere¶s too much placement of brands on movies, the Hollywood would run out of excellentdirectors. For sure, directors like Steven Spielberg and even respectable actors like Mel Gibsonwould not want to become ³mouthpiece´ of commercialism.´ I favor product placement 42 over the traditional 30- second commercial because of the lower 58 advertising cost. The lower advertising cost on product placement can not yield favorable results for the featured brands because the viewers don·t really notice their brands. Over half of the respondents believe that the lower advertising cost on productplacement cannot yield favorable results for the featured brands. FGD 4-E started talking aboutthis part saying, ³I hate commercials ´ FGD 4-E continued, ³Imagine, when I watched Sex and the City with my friends, wewere bombarded with so many many commercials. I already finished my Pringles and thecommercials were still running! ´
  42. 42. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 42 She said product placement is better because she thinks a 30-second advertisement is a waste of money for advertisers because ³nobody watches commercials.´Only the producers gainfrom product placement,not the viewers. 88 12 The viewers are empowered by the featured brands because they give them the right to choose without the brands intruding their space. Almost all of the respondents agree that only the producers gain from product placement. FGD 2-A remarked, ³I don¶t really care if they gain from that product placement thing. That¶s the whole point of making movies, to gain so good for them.´ FGD 4-C said she thought product placement can empower viewers by not having any pitch or ³sales talk´ for them to purchase the product. This remark implies that hard sell doesn¶t work for FGD 4-C but soft sell, like product placements, do. This preference on advertising strategy is the same with the preference of French consumers, who as found out by Taylor, Holy and Haley, prefer soft sell over hard sell (qtd. in Gould, Gupta & Grabner-Krauter 46). In their study however, Gould, et. al. considered product placement as ³intrusive´ and ³a hard sell.´ In this study, it appears that products placed on movies are considered as soft sell primarily because of the lack of pitch on consumer benefit,
  43. 43. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 43product performance, etc. This concept of product placement being a form of soft sell ad isconsistent with how Hoffman perceives product placement to be (34).ATTITUDES TOWARD THE CREATIVE IMPLICATION OF PRODUCTPLACEMENT ON MOVIES Featuring brands on movies can make the story more realistic. 89 11 Featuring brands on movies can make the story look artificial and actually more unrealistic. This result shows that most of the respondents believe that product placement canactually make the story more realistic. Very few respondents think that featured brands make thestory look artificial and more unrealistic. According to most of the participants, the brand names make the story ³come alive.´ Ifthere are no branded products, the participants think that the movie is just like ³fairy tale´ whereevery character or every item is ³nameless´ or imaginary. FGD 1-H said that ³in real life,everything we use has names. The same thing applies to movie characters.´ FGD 1-G explainedthat in real life, ³We actually don¶t want to buy products which we never heard of before.´Besides, FGD 3-A believes that for Castaway, Fed Ex was used primarily because Fed Ex is ³the
  44. 44. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 44famous delivery service.´ FGD-3-A believes that if Fed Ex were not famous, it won¶t be used bythe director in the movie. This respondent has no idea on how deals are done for product placement- relatedmatter. FGD 3-A actually thinks that the choice of the director is dictated by ³whoever isfamous´ although in reality, manufacturers set their eyes on product placement ³to make theirproducts famous.´ There are many instances when manufacturers deliberately set relatively huge amount tobe used for marketing, particularly for product placement. For example, in an article by Madden published at Advertising Age in April of thisyear, she reported about the plan of Unilever to provide big-time sponsorship to the Chineseversion of ³Ugly Betty´ in China. Unilever, according to Madden, is promoting three brands:Dove shower cream, Clear anti-dandruff shampoo, and Lipton tea milk-in (12). This impliesthat the main actress is expected to use Dove and to show she¶s using Lipton tea in the officeduring tea breaks. The media director for Greater China, Patrick Zhou, said, ³The `Prettiest UglyGirl¶ will take `a relatively large proportion¶ of the total media budget for the three brands´(Madden 12).
  45. 45. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 45Product placement can hinderthe creativity of the writersand director. 26% 74% Product placement has no influence on the creativity of the writers and director. Almost a quarter of the respondents agree that product placement does not at all influence the creativity of the writers and the director. There are participants who think that creativity is affected. For example, instead of making the writer think of brand name for a necessary item in the movie, it would be much easier to just choose one brand that already exists in the market. By doing this, the creativity of the writer and the director is not maximized. A good example of this point is the movie Shrek the Third which did not use any brand in the movie. According to, the writers of Shrek the Third just invented some brands, which didn¶t exist in reality. The idea of creating original and unrealistic brands like The Far Far Away kingdom creates a more imaginative and creative atmosphere. However, in this study, more participants think that featuring any brand has nothing to do with the creativity of the writer and director.
  46. 46. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 46 Product placement can cause the storyline to change. 39 61 Product placement does not influence the storyline. Over half of the respondents agree that product placement does not influence thestoryline. However, reports would reveal that even before the concept or storyline is finished, thesponsor already has in mind how the product will be placed strategically in the movie, so as toguarantee brand awareness and positive association. Madden cited in her article that Bausch & Lomb is sponsoring a show in China and assuch, the lead female character in the show will transform from being a person with glasses tosomeone who displays contact lenses manufactured by Bausch & Lomb. Aside from this, theshow¶s supposedly stylish characters will be wearing contact lenses in the show (12). In that cited show, the switch from eye glasses to contact lenses is already anunsolicited part of the storyline. If the show did not have any partnership with the brandedlenses, perhaps the writers won¶t even think of such a brand being used by the famous ³Betty LaFea´ of Mexico. Marketers and manufacturers won¶t be as sponsor without being placed strategically inthe movies or in any show. If they allot a huge amount of budget for a movie, they, for sure,expect a huge amount of return on investment. This is the economic aspect that most of theviewers are not even aware of.
  47. 47. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 47 In a recent article titled Product Placement Becomes Part of the Plot published online at theInternational Herald Tribune, Clifford mentioned that, ³These days consumer brands not onlyappear on shows, but are also elaborately woven into the plot, with advertisers calling a lot of theshots. Their agencies approve television scripts, suggest plots that hinge on the product, attendand critique the episode shoots, and review the rough cuts of episodes´ (Clifford).ATTITUDES TOWARD THE ETHICAL IMPLICATION OF PRODUCT PLACEMENTON MOVIES Featuring brands on movies has Featuring brands on 97% ethical implication. movies has no ethical implications. 3%
  48. 48. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 48 This result shows that only 3 out of 100 respondents think that product placement hasethical implication. The four sets of FGDs devoted a lot of time in discussing this part. FGD 3-A said she doesn¶t find anything unethical in movies carrying branded names.She specifically cited Sex and the City as a product-placement-rich movie but she said sheactually liked the placing and the mention of different brands in the movie and said, ³It¶s a movieabout culture and fashion, I think, so I watch it also to get more ideas about what brand is inright now.´ On the other hand, FGD3-C, one of the participants who believe that productplacement has ethical implication, said that placing a brand on the movie is advertising that doesnot tell the viewer that it is advertising. FGD 3-C calls it ³selling without warning.´ Heexplained that product placement is worse than any 30-second commercial on TV because unlikeTV commercials, viewers can choose not to expose themselves to the product by simply usingthe remote control to change channel. However, FGD 3-C explained that with the productinjected on the movie, the viewers are left with no choice but to be exposed to the product.In another group, FGD 1-B gave a different point of view. He said that in this issue or topic, the³most affected´ are the competitors of the branded products.Here¶s the transcript of the discussion: FGD 1-B : When we say ³ethical´ we refer to values or morality, right? Researcher: Yes. FGD 1-D: Yep. FGD 1-B: I think product placement is not about values or morality. What¶s wrong with that? They don¶t even lie, unlike in television ads. Some lotion ads tell us we¶ll have smooth
  49. 49. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 49 and attractive tan complexion in just a single drop spread on our skin but of course that¶s a lie. That¶s unethical. FGD 1-D: There are many ads that lie. They make promises. They make burgers look mouth-watering but when it looks different in reality! FGD 1-D: As a viewer, it¶s all right for me to see Samantha using Prada or Tom Hanks of You¶ve Got Mail hanging out with Meg Ryan at Starbucks. But the main people who will be affected are the competitors like Caribou Coffee as competitor of Starbucks. Well, we know movie-making is profit-oriented and the movies won¶t be able to accommodate all existing brands plus not all business establishments are rich enough to penetrate Sex and the City or James Bond films. Product placement should be banned on some movies. 14%Some brands should notbe allowed to befeatured on movies. 45% 39% All kinds of brands may be featured on movies. Branded products should 2% be totally banned on movies.
  50. 50. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 50 This result shows that the respondents have various views on product placement onmovies. Many of the respondents agree that some brands should be banned from being featuredon movies. Only 2 respondents believe on total ban on product placement. Almost half of the respondents agree that some brands should not be allowed to be placedon any movie. During FGDs, the participants mentioned several brands that they think should notland on the movies. These include cigarette, fast food, soft drinks, liquor. Almost all of theparticipants said that cigarette and liquor should be out of the picture. In fact, three of theparticipants even said that it¶s not the kind of cigarette that is the problem in product placement,but the scene in the movie. They said that no movie should show any character smoking.Promoting smoking through characters that look tough or strong is, according to FGD 1-D, iswhat makes a movie unethical. She explained, ³To promote smoking, regardless of the brand, isto make people believe that smoking is acceptable.´ While FGD 1-D is concerned about showing smoking scenes on movies, Dr. Stanton A.Glantz, a professor of Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, is specificallyconcerned about smoking in movies targeting children. In an interview on NYC podcast titledOn the Media, Professor Glantz mentioned that there is high correlation between exposure ofkids to movies with smoking and the likelihood that they will actually smoke. This means that³kids who see a lot of smoking in the movies are about three times more likely to actually startsmoking than kids who don¶t see a lot of smoking on movies´ ( ³Smoke Gets in Their Eyes´).Professor Glantz actively advocates smoking ban on movies, especially those for kids.
  51. 51. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 51 In his web site titled Smoke Free Movies, there is a list of movies from 1990 to 2005which they content analyzed in terms of the number of instances smoking appeared. The resultshowed that Time Warner, Sony and Disney are the top three producers of films with tobaccobrand displays (³Brand Identification´). The more alarming result is that ³more than fortypercent of tobacco brand appearances since 1990 have been in movies rated G, PG, and PG-13´(³Brand Identification´). People like Professor Glantz and FGD 1-D are the types of persons that Philip Morris,which owns 50% of US cigarette market and 37% of world cigarette market (³BrandIdentification´) would like to get rid of. The transcript of the speech delivered by HamishMaxwell during their Marketing meeting in 1983 revealed that large tobacco companies arewilling to resort to every possible means to ensure that their products would land on the hands oftheir no-age-limit target market. A significant part of the speech said: Recently, anti-smoking groups have also had some early successes at eroding the social acceptability of smoking. Smoking is being positioned as unfashionable, as well as unhealthy, custom. We must use every creative means at our disposal to reverse this destructive trend. I do feel heartened at the increasing number of occasions when I go to a movie and see a pack of cigarettes in the hands of the leading lady. This is in sharp contrast to the state of affairs just a few years ago when cigarettes rarely showed up on camera. We must continue to exploit new opportunities to get cigarettes on screen and into the hands of smokers (³Big Tobacco¶s Secret´ 10). Indeed, the tobacco companies would not hesitate to do every means to promote theirproduct. Le Gresley, Muggli & Hurt found out in their research in 2005 that in order to ensuresales without being controversial on paying huge amount to producers, the British AmericanTobacco (BAT), the maker of Lucky Strike, company attempted to produce a movie of their own
  52. 52. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 52where they could promote their brands outright (2). This is aside from the fact that they³discreetly´ promote their brands in movies through engaging in various deals. Professor Glantz is currently lobbying forthe solutions to the problem of smoking, especiallyof branded cigarettes, in movies. Glantz, with thehelp of support groups, wrote a letter to six mediagiants to discourage them from striking deals withtobacco companies in exchange for smoking scenesin the movies. The letter was addressed to Disney, General Electric, News Corporation, Sony,Time Warner and Viacom. In the letter, Glantz was proposing a four-part policy that will,according to Glantz, will ³avert tobacco addiction, disease and death on a massive scale´ (³TheSolution´). The four-part policy was clearly outlined in the letter and reached the offices of the mediagiants through the New York State Department of Health with Richard F. Daines ascommissioner. In the letter, it says, first, for the film producers to ³rate new smoking movies ³R´.Exempted in this proposal are the programs that clearly show the negative effects of smoking toone¶s health. Second, for the film producers to ³certify no pay-offs.´ This means that the filmindustry has to declare nobody in the industry receives anything, in cash or in kind, in exchangefor exposure of cigarettes on films. Third, for films to run anti-smoking advertisements prior toshowing of any film targeting adults. Fourth, for the media giants to simply ³stop identifyingtobacco brands´ in their movies.
  53. 53. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 53 The respondents/participants also have their own solution or suggestion about productplacement as a growing issue among marketers and film producers. First, some of them believe that some products should not be placed on movies. Amongthese products which the participants see as ³ethically charged´ include cigarette, fast food,condoms, beer and soft drinks. FGD 4-D believes that ³showing the people that a particularbrand of condoms works better is to fool the audience. Besides, sometimes, we can¶t avoid veryyoung kids watching movies with adults. When they see the condoms brand they ask `What isthat?¶ and it¶s not always easy to answer on-the-spot´ FGD2-A, on the other hand, does not want to tolerate main characters ordering at fastfood because she thinks it has big influence on the viewer, especially if ³the viewer is hungry´when he watches the movie. This remark was contradicted by FGD 2-E who said that ³If youdon¶t see any character ordering at any fast food, it means the movie is not realistic. Everybodyorders at fast food these days.´ More participants are eager to offer other suggestions. Instead of banning some productson movies, they suggest making some movie genres brand-free. Among these types of moviesare war movies, political film, environment-awareness movies, and children¶s films. Most of the participants agree that children¶s films should be totally brand-free.However, one participant, FGD 1-C said, ³If you take away brands from movies for kids, it¶skinda boring. I can¶t imagine Toy Story without Mattel or Barbie.´ This remark leaves a question worth pondering upon. Can a movie become a hit withouta mention of any brand in the market?
  54. 54. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 54 A web site monitoring brands in the movie industry,, has acompilation of movies released since 2000. In their list, they included information which is noteasily accessible to all the viewers. To answer the question, ³Can a movie be a hit without a mention of any brand in themarket?´ an analysis of the list of movies in 2007 was conducted. In 2007, the web site listed down 40 movies released. Out of the 40 movies, only 7 hasno featured brands. Among these are 300, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Pirates of theCaribbean, Saw IV, Beowulf, and The Golden Compass. A quick analysis of the list reveals thatthe number of featured brands does not guarantee gross of films. For example, the Pirates of theCaribbean was successful but it did not have product placement. Shrek the Third also was a hitthough the brands in the films were all ³made-up´ by the writers. In this new version of TeenageMutant Ninja Turtles, the web site ( commented that if in the past,TMNT used branded products for pizza and soda, this time it used some make-believe brandscalled Checco¶s Pizzeria and Turbo soda. At first, it might appear that TMNT is no longer attached to any marketing strategy, withthe fact that it ended its ³business relationship´ with Domino¶s Pizza and Pepsi. However, acloser look at the official web site of TMNT reveals that it does not stop its marketing. In fact, italready carries its own name ± the movie title and the name of its stars ± in various brands fromtoys to bubble gum to pizza! http://www.x-
  55. 55. VIEWERS¶ ATTITUDES TOWARD ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND CREATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT ON MOVIES 55CONCLUSION Product placement is nothing new in the advertising, marketing and media industry. Foryears, movies have been featuring brands either in exchange for dollars, or some just to build arelationship with the manufacturers. All these deals happen ³behind the scenes.´ The viewersare not aware that there is money or relationship-building involved in movie making if the actorsor actresses are using branded products. Even if the viewers have knowledge on these deals,they don¶t really care much about the deals because they think that only the producers gainsomething from the deals. For most of the viewers, at least as of this time, product placement isactually no big deal. However, there are some groups which actively monitor product placement both intelevision and films. Commercial Alert, Brandhype, and Smoke Free Movies are just few of theactive organizations that advocate sound product placement. They don¶t necessarily wantproduct placement to be totally banned but they remind the industry that too much clutter createsmore problems, not only to the society but also to the advertising and marketing industry. Product placement in movies, as seen by viewers, is not really a bad idea. However,these days, most marketers eye on the potential of product placement on movies as the answer tothe current problem of ³more people zapping than ever´. Indeed, marketers and advertisers are brilliant and brave. They could ³cross theborderline´ just to make their clients happy. They are more than willing to penetrate all possiblemeans just to bring the dollars from the consumers¶ pockets to the manufacturer¶s treasure. Afterall, that is what marketing and advertising are all about. Although this is true, they have to