When Agent 007 made top-secret calls on an Ericsson phone in the 1977 James Bond thriller, the Ericsson trademark got a real boost in visibility and market share (Zieme, 1998). There are many examples of how a product’s appearance in a movie resulted in a growth in brand performance.
For instance, in the movie ‘I robot’, Will Smith promotes the use of Converse All Star.
What began as a practice for authenticating scenes in movies has emerged as a practical substitute for product promotion.
Product placement gives marketers an alternative means for gaining product exposure through media context where targeted audiences may be particularly receptive. Several experimental studies substantiate the long-term benefits of product placement. Steortz (1987) used telephone interviews to assess ‘day-after’ recall of feature films and found that, on average, 40% of the respondents correctly recalled brands shown in the films.
In addition, an experiment done by Gibson and Maurer (2000) showed that when individuals were exposed to a movie where the lead character smoked, they reported more favorable attitudes about smoking compared to when they viewed a movie where the character did not smoke. Thus, we can see that the effects of product placement on the consumer can influence brand recognition, recall, and attitudes (Morton & Friedman, 2002).
Gibson, B., & Maurer, J. (2000). Cigarette smoking in the movies: the influence of product placement on attitudes toward smoking and smokers. Journal of applied social psychology, 30, 1457-1473.
Morton, C. R., & Friedman, M. (2002). I saw this in the movies: exploring the link between product placement beliefs and reported usage behavior. Journal of current issues and research in advertising, 24, 33-39.
Steortz, E. M. (1987). ‘The cost efficiency and communication effect associated with brand name exposure within motion pictures’, unpublished master’s thesis, West Virginia University, Morgantown.