Embedded marketing, or product placement, is a form of advertising that integrates the product in a non-commercial environment such as movies and TV shows. Product placement is not a new trend; it has been in place since early years of the movie industry. However, it began to spread in the 1930s when the company of Owl Cigars invested in the movie “Scarface” an amount of $250,000 to place their product in the movie (Lindstorm, 2008). It has been argued that product placement can benefit the sales of both the movie and the product. However, others disagree saying that its adverse effects outweigh its positive ones, as it may have a negative impact on the content of the movie in which the product has been placed, the sales of the product and on the ethical level.
Product placement has some benefits to the movies because branded products act as sponsors for movies; companies pay money to the movie producer to show their products in specific scenes in the movie, and this enables the director to get better actors and shoot in better settings. Despite the fact that this may be partially true, product placement can do some harm to a movie by interrupting or skewing the movie storyline. As companies pay money for their products to be integrated within a movie, they expect it to be placed advantageously in the film. Therefore, companies pay more money to gain the best appearance for their product on a movie. This causes the movie director to deviate from the storyline in order to accommodate the products placed in it and to make companies willing to invest in the movie. For instance, according to Santos, in the movie “Good Bye, Lenin!” two companies, Coca-Cola and Burger King, refused to place their ...
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Lindstrom, M. (2008). Buyology: Truth and lies about why we buy. New York: Doubleday.
Nunlee, M., Smith, D., Katz, M., A. (2012). Negative Product Placement: An Evolving Theory of Product Disparagement and Unfair Competition. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness. 6(2), 11 – 27. Retrieved from: http://www.na-businesspress.com/JMDC/NunleeM_Web6_2_.pdf
Redondo, I. (2012). The Behavioral Effects of Negative Product Placements in Movies. Psychology & Marketing, 29(8), 622–635. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mar.20548/references
Snyder, S. L. (1992). Movies and product placement: Is Hollywood turning films into commercial speech? University of Illinois Law Review. Retrieved from: http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/unilllr1992&id=311&collection=journals&index=journals/unilllr#311
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