Product Placement in a Marketing-Resistant World

In March, London's Culture Secretary blocked product placement in the U.K., citing concerns over the blurring of editorial and advertising content.(1) On the other side of the pond, decreased ad budgets and increased “DVR-ing” have product placements in TV shows, movies and video games looking better than ever to many marketing execs. And while product placement produces high recall,(2) it can also produce a fairly significant level of annoyance among the viewing audience. This week's MONITOR Minute looks at the role of product placement in a marketing-resistant world.


Ad-avoiding activities like skipping commercials and watching shows later than they originally aired are continuing to increase (particularly among the under-50 market), much as overall aggravation with marketing continues to rise. So while ad placement is one way to make sure a product is seen, it also carries the risk of losing consumers' good graces. And it isn't just heavy TV watchers who are feeling irritated. The proportion of consumers who are annoyed by the amount of product placement they see in TV (and movies) is the same for light-television viewers as it is for heavy viewers. This means that a poorly executed placement has the chance to turn off the whole viewing audience equally, not just the power watchers who are likely exposed to more instances of product placement in absolute terms.

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