The dark side of product placements

Topic: The dark side of product placements (Ch 16)

While product placements, advertising efforts designed to reach a company’s target market by strategically placing the product within media, are widely used, there can be drawbacks to this practice. One problem is that marketers have a lack of control over how their products are portrayed in the storyline, scene, event, etc. Products “may end up being misused, ignored, criticized, associated with questionable values, or used unethically (Williams, Petrosky, Hernandez, Page, 2011, p. 16). Secondly, if there are too many products in a scene then product saturation occurs and it can have a negative effect on consumers. Thirdly, a product may be negatively associated with a particular character. If the character falls into ill repute within the media content, then the product or brand suffers as well.

Think about your exposure to product placement (see definition, Ch 16). Come up with examples from past TV series, video games, movies, televised sporting events, etc., that might exemplify one or two of the above drawbacks. As a consumer what was your reaction these advertising situations?

Adapted from: Williams K., Petrosky A., Hernandez, E., and Page, R. (2011), “Product Placement Effectiveness: Revisited and Renewed,” Journal of Management and Marketing Research, Vol. 7, pp. 1-24.

Extra-Credit Criteria:

Read several pages of this article to understand the nature of the topic.

a. Define product placement. Why are advertisers using this medium to promote products and not regular advertising such as TV, print, social media, etc.?

b. Come up with at least three examples from the three categories discussed in the article. Explain how each example clearly illustrates each category.

c. As a consumer, what is your reaction to these advertising situations?

‘A’ quality work receives 100% of the scores; ‘B’ quality work receives 80% of the grade; ‘C’ quality work receives 70% of the grade, etc.


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