90210 telling me to buy an iPhone!
There have been countless times when I watch American TV shows and the characters in these shows use branded products. It is especially prominent in the use of mobile phones. I have noticed the show 90210 uses iPhones whereas The Vampire Diaries uses Andriod phones. This is a marketing strategy known as product placement where marketers pay television programmes to use their products as a form of implicit advertising. Findings by La Ferle and Edwards (2006) show people recall products carefully placed in programming more correctly than not. They also found that once people find out the cause of their correct recall, they do not mind so much. This indifference means product placement is the perfect way for brands to get their messages across.
Auty and Lewis (2004) conducted a study using children as participants. Half of these children were subjected to a Home Alone clip where Pepsi is spilled during a meal. The other half were shown the same clip where a drink is spilled but they are not shown the brand of the drink. The children who saw the branded drink made significantly different drink choices later on and were more likely to choose Pepsi. These results show the consequences of implicit memory, in that children chose what drink they wanted without any suggestion or prompting- the effects of product placement.
So the next time I watch The Vampire Diaries or 90210 and I see them using a certain type or brand of product I know exactly what they are doing, but usually it works!
Auty, S. & Lewis, C. (2004). Exploring Children's Choice: The Reminder Effect of Product Placement. Psychology and Marketing, 21, 697-713.
La Ferle, C., & Edwards, S. M. (2006). Product placement: How brands appear on television. Journal of Advertising, 35(4), 65-86.