Product placement – media that serve as vehicles

As the last post on this topic mentioned, product placement in Bollywood movies has increased over the last few years.

Product placement in Hollywood movies is nothing new either. Recently, there has also been an influx of product placement on TV shows as well. This has gained momentum in many ways due to the popularity of reality shows like ‘The Apprentice’, in which products aren’t just shown, but additional features and applications are also highlighted through the tasks. ‘The Apprentice’ has several challenges around new product launches, highlighting product features or reviving ad campaigns such as designing sales brochures for Pontiac, painting ad murals for Sony PlayStation, etc.

Another area that has seen product placement pick up is within video games, where advertisers can accurately focus on niche interests. The car-racing game ‘Need For Speed: Most Wanted’ gives gamers the chance to drive the hottest cars from manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, Porsche — and then kit them out with aftermarket parts from 5Zigen, GReddy, Momo and many, many others.

Returning to Bollywood, the oldest example of product placement that comes to mind is of Rajdhoot motorcycle in the trend-setting film ‘Bobby’. Since then, not only has the incidence of product placement in films increased, there are multiple products being placed in a single film.

Cars, electronics, watches and sodas are the most commonly placed products in films. Of course, with time, more niche market products like luxury designer labels, services, as well as tourism destinations have found their place in films. Think of Christian Dior in ‘Aisha’, Tanishq in ‘Paheli’ and ‘Jodha Akbar’or Tag Heuer in ‘Don’; Bharat Martimony.com & Western Union Money Transfer in ‘Namastey London’, FrankFinn training institute in ‘Welcome’, or Amitabh Bachchan working for ICICI Bank in ‘Baghban’; New Zealand in ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’, Singapore in ‘Krrish’, all examples of product placement.

Quite a few brands use movies as launch pads of their products – Stroh’s Beer in ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, Maruti Swift cars in ‘Bunty Aur Bubli’. Tupperware which originally sold only through word-of-mouth marketing has now changed tracks and opted for product placement in ‘We Are Family’ as well as co-branding advertisements on television.

Similar phenomenon is being observed in Indian TV shows, like the clearly visible Videocon icon on the computers used on ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, or the Samsumg Galaxy Tablet in ‘Koffee with Karan-Season 3’, in which not only does Karan Johar point it out in every episode when he uses the tablet for his popular rapid-fire round, but also emphasizes that they are a part of his infamous coffee hamper as well.

But are these tactics really effective? For that, you’ll have to return in a few days and read our next post.

By,

Roshni Jhaveri

2011-06-06T03:19:11+00:00

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