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Everyone knows that Simon Cowles drinks a Coke during the judging on American Idol. The camera is on the cup in front of him almost as much as on his face. And Coca-Cola pays a lot to make sure of that fact. But is that money well spent?
Probably so, according to the first-ever "Product Placement Valuation Study," from Nielsen Media Research. The study found that 57.5% of viewers recognized a brand when viewing a product placement in combination with a commercial, compared with 46.6% of those viewers exposed only to a commercial for that brand.
A 10%-plus jump in brand recognition clearly demonstrates the value that product placement contributes to traditional television advertising.
Beyond that, an important objective of the study was to look beyond a product placement's physical characteristics (eg position within a scene, duration, character interaction, verbal support, etc) and examine how the context of a placement's execution — including the viewer's loyalty to the program and familiarity with the brand — impacts consumer response. Here are some of Nielsen's conclusions:
"This study of the interaction of product placement and commercial messages demonstrates that product placement can represent a valuable enhancement to a media plan," said David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS Corp. "[But] it also confirms that not all product placements are successful."
For more on new developments in television advertising, read eMarketer's recently published US DVR and VOD Usage: Ad Skippers and Time Shifters report.
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