Sears, Chevy Tops In Nielsen's New Placement Ratings

With the product-placement universe continuing its growth, the Nielsen Co. says it has devised a way to deepen its ratings of how viewers react to seeing brands embedded in their favorite TV shows. Now, in addition to measuring how many people recognized and remembered a brand's placement on TV shows, it is also measuring how positively they felt about the product, and whether they are more likely to buy the brand as a result.

For June, the first month using the new ratings system, Sears and Chevrolet's Camaro cleaned up. The Sears placement on ABC's "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" had the top product placement score on broadcast network television, based on brand recognition and positive feeling, with 58.1% of the audience able to recognize the presence of the retailer's brand, as well as having a warm-and-fuzzy feeling about it.

"This is a show that really tugs at people's heart strings, and it's got a very loyal following," says Annie Touliatos, director of product development and marketing for The Nielsen Co. "There's a lot going on with the program that creates a good feeling in people."



NBC's "Deal or No Deal" came in second, with 48.8% recognition and positive feeling for the Miami Heat basketball team.

In cable, TLC's "Rides" was June's big winner, with a 63.0% audience recognition and positive feeling score for the Chevrolet Camaro brand. MTV's "Pimp My Ride" scored second, with a 58.2% recognition score for Honda.

The rating service, Place*Views, also combines the product placement reaction with audience ratings, to estimate both size and quality of the placement.

Touliatos says Nielsen began research over a year ago to tease out what elements make for most powerful placements, building a database of more than 10,000 responses, so that it can predict winning placement combos. Among the year's most effective placements so far, she says, are The Home Depot's placement on an episode of "The New Adventures of Old Christine," and Coca-Cola's placement on "American Idol."

From January to June, Nielsen's Place*Views measured more than 285,000 product placements.

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