UK views change on product placement

12 August 2011

LONDON: Consumers in the UK are growing more knowledgeable about product placement, and many think this marketing activity can enhance the content they watch on TV.

YouGov, the research firm, interviewed 2,064 people in the country, and found 72% believed they knew what product placement was, a figure reaching 79% among men and 65% for women.

Similar analysis conducted by YouGov in February 2011, when product placement was first legalised, revealed 36% of contributors had "no idea" about what it involved.

"The last five months demonstrate a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of product placement in the UK," said Adele Gritten, YouGov's head of media consulting.

Another 59% of consumers thought this activity "makes no difference" to the viewing experience given brands already feature heavily in films and TV shows made in countries like the US.

Moreover, 46% of participants believed having actual goods and services in TV programmes could heighten the degree of realism.

Exactly 33% of the sample disagreed with the notion that product placement has a negative impact on the "integrity" of content they watch, and 33% held a "neutral" opinion here.

An additional 28% of respondents refuted the suggestion paid-for placements would generally be "forced and awkward".

For 25% of 18-24 year olds, their perception of a brand was likely to improve if they saw it in a TV show, standing at 17% for 25-34 year olds, the highest totals in this area.

When asked which goods would be most appropriate for product placement, 51% of the panel chose cereal and 49% cited household appliances.

A further 48% pointed to milk, biscuits and kitchen products both scored 47%, and hot drinks, cars and sauces were tied on 46%.

Data sourced from YouGov; additional content by Warc staff