Product Placement


When you consider your own position in the consumption of a film, which is interrupted at the most exciting point of advertising. It is no surprise that most recipients are annoyed by commercials. During a commercial break, many viewers are mentally absent, leave the room or switch over. This figure underlines the statement that traditional advertising possess a low attractiveness. The decreasing acceptances of commercials require new, entertaining and believable advertising. As a result product placement is such an innovative communication and advertising strategy and is gaining more and more popularity. In a German survey conducted in 2004, 49 percent of the companies said that they are operating product placement.

Under the term product placement I understand “the targeted placement of branded products which companies arrange in the real plot of a movie or television program.”

I am very interested in this issue, because we mentioned product placement in the “Introduction to Journalism” class and I also found an article in Poynter as well as in the New York Times about the discussion about the use of product placement during broadcast news programs. In addition there was a huge discussion about the use of product placement in the European Union, if it is allowed to have it in the television or not. But since April 2010 it is allowed in the German private television. The German TV station “ProSieben” made the beginning and broadcast the first placement as part of the show “Schlag den Raab”.

In the United States, one wonders about the strict regulations in the European Union regarding the product placement. While the European Union countries are obliged to mark the content according product placements, there are no such restrictions in the United States.

With reference to the discussion in the United States about the product placement during broadcast news programs I have to emphasize that I think it is not really appropriated to have cups of McDonald´s coffee on your desk during the news of the morning show. In my opinion this circumstance raise questions about possible conflicts between the arranged promotion and the news content. Because for example think about a negative story about McDonald´s like rotten meat in their burgers, do you think it will be reported about it in the same way, even though the TV station make advertisement for them. I am really not sure what to think about. But I am convinced that if they continue to report about McDonald´s in the future, it will be very difficult to do this truthfully and honestly. However it is great to see that there are still three major network morning shows, ABC´s, CBS`s and NBC´s, which do not accept fees in exchange for product placement.

I have to come to the conclusion that product placement can really increase awareness of the brand and create a positive image, but you always should try to integrate the product very good in your movie and not doing it too obvious because this annoys people as well as a commercial break.


About Anja Goller

I´m from Stuttgart, Germany. I´m attending Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri for one semester, majoring in Mass Communication. I already studied four semester at the University of Hohenheim.

One response »

  1. Product placement is definitely an issue that needs to be considered in the media world! I often find myself watching popular TV shows and seeing a can of Pepsi or the characters using Crest toothpaste..and wonder how much those companies paid for that!

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