Saturday, December 11, 2010

Product Placement

I've been thinking a lot about product placement because we seem to get asked a lot of questions about it during the research sessions for our marketing research requirement.  I began to wonder how openly and honestly people could actually answer questions like, "when you see product placements in TV shows or movies do you ignore them?"  I do not think I noticed product placements nearly as much as I do after taking Marketing 360.  They are so prevalent in TV and they often times seem so natural that it is hard to even notice them at all.

I decided to watch an episode of Weeds to see how many product placements there are in one episode.  There were several very obvious placements for the Toyota Prius (it was mentioned by name several times), Diet coke which the main character and her family drink regularly and Apple computers which are in every episode several times.  However, when I watched this randomly chosen episode from season 3, and actually looked for placements I found many more than I expect.  In one scene in the main character's garage, for example, there was an Old Navy bag, a case of Corona Light and several FedEx boxes.  In another scene at a drug dealer's house there were many boxes for LG TVs, a kitchen aid box and a case of Heineken.
When I asked my fiance whether or not he noticed a lot of product placements in the show, he said that there were some that he noticed.  Prius was the most noticeable for him, followed by diet coke.  Then after thinking for a while longer he could also recall seeing Apple computers.  I was surprised that it took him so long to remember Apple computers because every character uses one, I would say they are pictured between 2 and 5 times per episode.  That's a lot considering that they episodes are only 25 minutes.  When I showed him scenes at the drug dealers house, he was shocked by how many product placements there are that we both never noticed when we watched the episode for the first time.  I was very surprised as well.

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