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Product Placement on Television

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1 Product Placement on Television
Film “Behind the Screens” focuses on product placement in movies; So this presentation will focus on product placement in television. In either case, why are we concerned about this? What’s the issue? Same as in buzz (stealth) marketing: if we’re being marketed to, we should be aware of that fact Similar in nature to issue with subliminal marketing (which we don’t cover in this class, but could) Many don’t think it works Still, it’s been outlawed

2 Commercial Alert’s Request to the FTC and FCC for Guidelines to Require Disclosure of TV Product Placement Specifically, we’ll look at…

3 “…keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy.” Commercial Alert is a non-profit organizations whose mission is to:

4 “Put simply, TV networks and stations are shifting advertising from commercial breaks to programming itself. They are inserting branded products directly into programs, in exchange for substantial fees or other consideration.” September, 2003 filed petitions with both FTC and FCC for regulation Of product placement. Claim is that…

5 Remote controls and TiVo enable viewers to avoid ads
A substantial majority of viewers are fed up with advertising generally and on television in particular Looking for ways to avoid ads Advertisers find embedded ads effective because viewers are caught off guard Why? According to the CA petition… #3 but most importantly… Use American Dreams example here? Kraft cheese slices oreos

6 Some programs so packed with placements they resemble infomercials
But lack disclosure requirements of infomercials Particularly problematic where children are involved Children more vulnerable to this influence Are they “program length commercials”? So, what’s the problem? #1: For example, American Idol (referred to as “the highest-rated infomercial in television history”)

7 Product integration “a presence woven into the plotline—often across multiple episodes—accompanied at the very least by a supporting medial buy and, at best, by an integrated marketing and public relations campaign replete with a sweepstakes overlay and other consumer touchpoints” CA’s petition identified several different types of placement. The most common is what’s referred to as:

8 Examples CBS: Survivor Fox: American Idol
GM, Reebok, Target Fox: American Idol Ford, Coca Cola ABC: Who Wants to be a Millionaire AT&T Examples from CA’s petition, not necessarily the most recent: Survivor 2005—Pringles (with trivia from previous shows on the chips)! American Idol —Coca Cola Red Room; Fords are built into some of the spots Millionaire —”Let’s go to our friends at AT&T” for the “call a friend” lifeline

9 Extreme Makeover Home Edition The Apprentice Oprah Winfrey
CSI Miami Extreme Makeover Home Edition The Apprentice Oprah Winfrey More recent examples: GM donated Hummers for CSI Miami Sears paid $1 million for commercials plus verbal and visual references Apprentice: Entire episodes revolve around a single product Oprah’s give-away in 2004 of 276 cars (every person in audience) cost GM $8 million but you can’t fast forward through that!

10 Product placement is growing
Nielsen Media Research and Advertising age track placements Approaching $1 billion in revenue Survey by Association of National Advertisers indicated 63% took part in “branded entertainment” Networks planning shows that eliminate traditional commercials altogether According to CA’s petition: Spike TV planning reality show called “invasion Iowa” in which guy wanders around an Iowa town trying to get people interested in products whose corporate owners have paid to be included.

11 Product placement works
Reece’s Pieces/ET 65% RayBan/Risky Business Tripled in one month “Successful product placements are more effective than ads at generating recall, promoting brand awareness and ultimately, increasing sales at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.” #1: The granddaddy of product placement: #3: One agency’s website says:

12 “When somebody is jumping up and down because they have a beer as a reward, and they make it seem like it’s the greatest liquid they ever drank in their lives and they’re real people—that probably is more effective than having some model saying ‘Hey, drink Budweiser.’ It can be very effective.” Les Moonves, CBS President, talking about Survivor: Jumping up and down for Pringles is a bit less believable

13 Smoking-related health problems gambling
Evidence suggests product placement may be implicated in epidemic of marketing-related diseases in children Obesity Type-2 diabetes Alcoholism Smoking-related health problems gambling There is, however, a darker side to all this, according to CA’s petition: Note the concept of “marketing-related diseases” We saw this earlier talking about advertising to children What are they, according to CA?

14 “Is it totally coincidental that the products associated with the epidemic of marketing-related diseases are the very ones that the marketing industry has been pushing through stealth ads—junk food, soda pop, beer, alcohol, and gambling?” The petition asks:

15 Examples Soda Fast Food Coke in American Idol and Young Americans
Pepsi in Pepsi Smash and The Runner Fast Food McDonald’s in Beg, Borrow and Deal, Nashville Star, Big Brother and Baywatch These are the examples from the petition; you can add lots more current examples: You can add Oreos in American Dreams

16 Beer Tobacco Gambling Anheuser-Busch in Survivor I and II
Rolling Rock, Labatt Blue and Dos Equis in The Best Damn Sports Show Period Tobacco Gambling Casinos in Fear Factor and Las Vegas 20% of adolescents have gambling problem As we saw in an earlier class, beer is often placed in shows popular with teens: We’ll look at tobacco next class Gambling is becoming a serious problem for adolescents:

17 CA’s request to the FTC “Investigate current TV advertising practices regarding product placement and other embedded ads, and take the steps necessary to restore some honesty and fair dealing to the presentation of these ads, by requiring concurrent disclosure that the ads are, in fact, ads.” So, what did CA ask the FTC to do? Didn’t define “concurrent disclosure” in the FTC petition, but did so in the FCC petition

18 CA’s request to the FCC “Product placements should be identified when they occur. This should be in addition to disclosure at the outset of a program. Disclosure should be large enough, and kept on the screen long enough, so that it can be read and understood.” More specific than the FTC petition:

19 Concurrent disclosure should read ‘Advertisement’ when the product placement is on the TV screen
Disclosure at the outset of the program should be in plain English, such as ‘This program contains paid advertising for…’

20 Freedom to Advertise Coalition
Interrupting television programs with ‘pop up’ disclosures is ‘impractical and border on the ludicrous’ Pose a threat to artistic freedom Noted that FTC rejected similar proposal in 1992 from Center for the Study of Commercialism regarding placement in movies How do you suppose the industry responded? Objections range from practical to legal to philosophical:

21 FTC’s response Principal reason for identifying an advertisement is that consumers give more credence to objective claims from third parties than from advertiser itself Cited case involving infomercial for BluBlocker sunglasses represented as investigative report implied reporting objective product data FTC responded on February 10, 2005 Still no word from the FCC

22 CA’s complaint does not suggest product placement results in consumers giving more credence to objective claims about product attributes In product placement few objective claims appear to be made about performance or attributes Thus no rationale for requiring disclosure that advertiser paid for placement #2: in fact….

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