Monday, August 18, 2008

Product placement through movies soar

Using movies to promote brands has assumed significance in India. In fact, the tag-line of a product is being integrated with the title of a movie being made by established producers. But measuring the success of this strategy is tricky..

MARKETING WHIZ kids are now trying to engage consumers with emotional connections. They are using Bollywood to promote their brands by arranging adequate exposure in films. One can see celebrities using these brands in the film – the camera closes up on the brand name for the benefit of the viewers. Cinema has a lot of influence on young minds. Cinema represents one of the faster growing markets in the world and hence marketers are using this vehicle to push their brand, increase brand recall and convey the brand’s association with celebrities. This helps in offsetting costs - costs have been rising steadily these days; costs associated with film production and marketing have been soaring. Products used by the celebrity-actors become a topic of debate which is what the marketers want sometimes! But it depends on how the product is projected in the film. At what point of time of the film’s on-screen progress it is shown, also matters. If the product matches the celebrity’s characteristics, it can really help in increasing the sale of the product in question. Product placement, regarded just as another marketing tool hitherto, has now emerged as a key strategy in both Hollywood and Bollywood movies.

Recently, Inc announced that it had bagged a one million USD contract for product-placement advertising in three international movies. Sports goods, digital electronic products and cars would be advertised in this manner in three of MyStarU’s films. Companies like Sony Ericsson and the manufacturer of Swatch brand wristwatches have used James Bond 007 movies to promote their brands. Recently, in Bollywood, it was announced that Mountain Dew, from the PepsiCo stable, would be promoted through the upcoming movie, ‘Mission Istanbul - Darr ke aagey Jeet hai’. The movie is being jointly produced by Balaji Motion Pictures Ltd and Suniel Shetty’s Popcorn Motion Pictures Pvt Ltd. According to the arrangement, Mountain Dew’s tag-line will be integrated into the title of the movie. This is the first time that a brand’s philosophy and its tag-line have been integrated with a movie’s title.

Lots of discussions are on to work out the right mechanism to monitor the impact and effectiveness of product placement in movies. One does hear that in US, agencies are trying to work out a method to measure the effectiveness of advertising and product placement either by asking the viewers to fill out surveys on-line after they watch their favourite shows or by measuring the viewer recall generated by product placement. But this is an area which needs more research even as the money being spent on it soars!

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