Product placement can enhance viewers’ perceptions of a brand and is appreciated by viewers for credibly enhancing television content, according to research carried out by BDRC Continental and Channel 4.
Since Ofcom first allowed product placement in UK TV programmes on 28 February 2011 Channel 4 has allowed a number of brands to take advantage of its wide range of TV shows.
Last year L’Oreal and Nokia Lumia took advantage of the young and engaged Hollyoaks audience and since then Yeo Valley and Uncle Ben’s have partnered with Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, PG Tips with Deal or No Deal, Kenwood with Sunday Brunch, and most recently Sainsbury’s with new daytime format What's Cooking?.
Research on the Hollyoaks product placement deal found that viewers saw Nokia Lumia handsets as being best for social networking, photo sharing and apps. Eight in 10 Hollyoaks viewers (78 per cent) agreed that the product placement fitted in well with the show, and seven in 10 viewers (73 per cent) claimed the product placement made the soap more realistic.
Of those surveyed a strong subconscious link between the brand and the programme was revealed. Using gamification methodology an engaging quiz - where pictures of the product placement from programme scenes was blanked out and viewers were asked to identify the brand - was used to reveal unprompted and prompted responses amongst viewers. Of the Hollyoaks viewers Nokia Lumia presented 47 per cent unprompted vs. 39 per cent prompted results.
Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation at Channel 4, commented: “This consumer research is incredibly valuable in demonstrating the effectiveness of Product Placement as an advertising solution.”
The Yeo Valley product placement in Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals was found to have a positive impact on the brand with brand equity statements from pre view to post viewing stages showing a five per cent increase in brand trust (from 18 per cent to 23 per cent) brand worth and value for money perception also increased four per cent amongst viewers after watching (17 per cent to 21 per cent).
The research also revealed that product placement has the ability to capitalise on para-social relationships with 87 per cent of viewers trusting the products used by Jamie Oliver in 15 minute meals, with a further 78 per cent keen to try the products used.
Uncle Ben’s products used in Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals also enjoyed the same type of subconscious links as Nokia Lumia and Hollyoaks viewers. The research showed 62 per cent of participants attributed Uncle Ben’s to a blanked out image of Jamie using the product, with the norm being 38 per cent. 86 per cent also recalled the product placement when prompted with a blanked out image.
Spontaneous awareness of Uncle Ben’s rose to 62 per cent from 55 per cent at the post viewing stage.
Max Willey from BDRC Continental said: “Now that we have evaluated enough campaigns to create reliable normative data it’s fascinating to see the strengths of Product Placement compared to other advertising media. Results consistently show that placed brands feel more familiar and ‘every day’ to viewers; on some less established brands this impact has been phenomenal.”