Presented at the Advertising Research Foundation's and ESOMAR's recent Week of Audience Measurement (WAM) conference in Montreal last month, the study compared two product placement clips that varied in quality. The study was designed to measure the relationship between a high quality/low quality product placement and the ability of people to recognize the brand when prompted. The study found a significant correlation that demonstrated that the high quality product placement resulted in much higher brand awareness. A secondary finding was that even non-users of a brand were influenced positively to purchase the brand if the product placement integration was seamless and non-intrusive.
The study suggests that there is a powerful impact on both brand recognition and potential purchase when product placements are well done and integrated into a show. As other studies at the WAM Conference showed, one of the most important things in terms of product placement quality is that it is seamless and unobtrusive, both with the program and in integrating with the brand's character.
As branded entertainment grows in usage around the world, it will be essential to continue its study, particularly the effects among different cultures. As we learned at WAM, there are tremendous differences in how product placement is conceived and actually done around the world: from 'product intrusion' in India to highly restrictive laws in the UK.