Young consumers receptive to movie product placement

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Younger consumers respond better to product placement in movies and are more likely to consider trying a product based on seeing it in a film, according to a global study.

WPP Group's Mediaedge:CIA released its first comprehensive global survey of consumer response to product placement. The results emerged from 11,300 interviews conducted in 20 countries spanning North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. Another finding was that some regions-particularly Asia Pacific-are more receptive than others to product placement in films.

In all countries, 16-to-24-year-olds were more likely to notice product placement (57% vs. 49% for 35-to-44-year-olds and 43% for 45-to-54-year-olds) and to consider trying the products they see in films (41% vs. 28% for 35-to-44-year-olds and 22% for 45-to-54-year-olds). "This generation is fascinated by film and celebrity lifestyles and has grown up with different types of communications. They see it as part of everyday life," said Stephen Bruneau, managing partner of Mediaedge in the U.K. and head of MediaLab EMEA..

Nokia's tie-in with the original "Matrix" film in 1999, according to the study, was successful. It worked so well that when Samsung stepped in as the wireless telephone brand partner for last year's "Matrix Reloaded," 31% still believed Nokia was present whereas only 21% linked Samsung to the movie.

`long-term effect'

"It shows that if it's done well, product placement has a long-term effect," said Mr. Bruneau. "But people will shut down after a while if there's too much of it-`Minority Report' used so many different brands that no one knew what was where."

Mexico (53%) topped the list of countries where consumers would consider trying brands advertised through product placement, followed by Singapore (49%), India (35%) and Hong Kong (33%).

"In Asia there is a younger audience which welcomes the opportunity to get closer to the Western world," according to Mr. Bruneau. "This explains why there is more acceptance of product placement in the region."

The U.S. fell in close to the middle of the pack with 26%. "As long as it doesn't take over a film, Americans accept product placement as part of life. But they don't necessarily see it as more powerful than TV or outdoor advertising, " Mr. Bruneau said.

Overall, on a global basis, the study found 61% of film fans said they noticed brands embedded in movies, compared with 62% of those who noticed traditional TV commercials.

France (8%), the Netherlands (9%), Finland and Denmark (both 14%) objected most to product placement, believing it interfered with the filmmaking process, although they accept its importance in funding a movie.

Fast Facts

Percent of consumers who said they would try a product if they saw it in a film

Mexico: 53%

Singapore: 49%

India: 35%

Hong Kong: 33%

USA: 26%

Finland: 14%

Denmark: 14%

Netherlands: 9%

France: 8%

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