The movie the Truman Show was released in 1998 featuring Jim Carrey as the protagonist. Jim Carrey is Truman, a man who’s life has been filmed since he was born. In the movie, he is the only man every to be legally adopted by a corporation. The corporation structures an entire city around Truman and films his every action starting from birth. Since his life is entirely televised, there is product placement advertising made by the other characters in his life. Frequently throughout the movie, the other characters advertise products by emphasizing the positive characteristics to the viewers and by showing the labels and brands of the products. (Example in video below)
While the product placement in the Truman Show is obviously exaggerated and not as subtle as normal product placement, it shows the importance and relevance of product placement in terms of advertising. Product placement is a tool used in many movies to advertise certain brands or products. Whether a character is drinking a Coca-Cola or holding a Pizza Hut box, it leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. Viewers could be swayed when re-watching their favorite movies and noticing the product placement within it. Additionally, the action on someone on screen drinking a Coca-Cola can unconsciously lead the viewer to crave a diet coke – one of the main goals and accomplishments of advertising.
Product placement goes above and beyond basic print, digital, and radio advertisements – things than many citizens have grown tired of and numb to. Because of this, brands must find another way to grab the population’s attention and bring attention to their brand. Product placement does this by subtly advertising products without blatant advertisement.
So, how effective is product placement? Generally, it seems to entice viewers more than a normal print ad. For instance, take the movie Transformers 3. This movie utilized product placement to it’s fullest and “According to Brand Channel, this movie wins the 2011 award for most searches of “product placement”, with almost 2 million searches in six months. It also managed to cram an amazing 78 brands onto the screen.” (Barrel). This shows the effectiveness of product placement as well as how much movies truly utilize this tool. A movie such as Transformers 3 brings in a large audience of people because of the actors and the popularity of the series. Therefore, product placement is the perfect way to advertise to a large audience without being blatant and obnoxious in terms of advertising. In that way, product placement in movies can play a large part in increasing brand awareness while not overwhelming the viewer.
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