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A Project on

“Brand Placement as Media

Vehicle: A Study of Mainstream

(Roll No. 27)

Part of Curriculum for Completion of Post Graduate
Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations

Indian Institute of Mass Communication,
Aruna Asif Ali Marg
New Delhi
This is to certify that Ms. Mohua Mandal, Roll No. 27, Department of Advertising
and Public Relations Batch 2006-07, of the Indian Institute of Mass
Communication, New Delhi has successfully completed her project “Brand
Placement as Media Vehicle: A Study Of Mainstream Films” under my guidance
and supervision as fulfillment of her course curriculum.

The assistance and help received during the research has been fully

Date:………… Mr. Ramesh Tahiliani

Place: New Delhi (Research Guide)
Indian Institute of Mass Communication
New Delhi
A research cannot be said to be work of an individual. A research is a
combination of views and ideas, suggestions and contributions of many people.
I take this opportunity to thank all the people whose cooperation and
encouragement made the completion of this research project a possibility.
First of all I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my Research Guide
Mr. Ramesh Tahiliani under whose guidance the Research was undertaken.
Without his supervision at each stage of research, the task would not have been
I would also like to express my sincere thanks towards our course
coordinator Dr. Jaishri Jethwaney for all her support throughout the project
Last but not the least I wish to thank all the respondents who gave me
some of their valuable time to fill up the questionnaires, without which the
Research wouldn’t have been a success.

Place: New Delhi Mohua Mandal
ii. Certificate
iii. Acknowledgement

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction and Background

• The Concept of Product Placement
• Product Placement in Movies
• Types of Product Placement
• Brand Placement is Different from Celebrity Endorsement
• The Opportunity of Brand placement, Consumer Information
processing and Issue of Brand Congruity

3. Prominent Examples of Successful Placements in Some

Mainstream Films and Some Failures.
• Success
• Failures

4. Research Procedure
• Consumer Survey
 Objectives of Study
 Methodology
 Experimentation Procedure
 Case Studies
 Findings/Results
• Industry Insights
 Objectives of Study
 Methodology
 Experimentation Procedure
 Findings/Results

5. Future Research
6. Conclusion
7. References
8. Annexure

Churning out nearly 1,000 films a year, the Indian film industry is the largest in the
world. Now, aided by technological advancements, the industry is set to take a further
leap - across production, exhibition and marketing. In such a scenario, product placement
in mainstream films deserves a renewed focus because as a marketing communication
tool, it is fast emerging as the medium with maximum potential to capture and covert
audiences to potential consumers. This is especially relevant in a world where traditional
media vehicles are increasingly failing to reach the consumers for various reasons.

Brand/product placement is a promotional tactic used by marketers in which a

real commercial product is used in fictional media, and the presence of the product is the
result of an economic exchange, it is an advertising technique in which the companies
pay a fee or provide service in exchange for a prominent display of their product. Product
placement occurs in plays, films, television series, music videos, video-games and books.
The objective of such brand communication is to expose the audience to a brand,
whereby the effect can be maximized in terms of increased awareness and higher recall,
so that the customer will buy the brand which has maximum recall; and to satisfy the
customer to optimum level.

This research paper looks at the rationality of brand placement, the possible
congruity that can be built in the story, as indicators of success of effective brand
placement in films and if so, as variables in bringing desired change in consumer’s
attitude. The paper highlights the basic reasons for placing products and brands in
Mainstream Hindi films and the effectiveness of these placements as a tool for enhancing
the recall value of brands in long run brands in the films. This paper also gives insight as
to how audiences react to product placement, do they think it as an effective alternative
media, if it has any impact on them and if they find it ethical.

The research incorporated case studies of four mainstream Hindi films, selected
on basis of their box office fate and the amount of brand placement. These films are then
anaysed in terms of effectiveness of the variety of placements in bringing the desired
recall and recognition values. The four films selected include – Om Shanti Om, Goal,
Chak De! India, and Lage Raho Munna Bhai. The report includes a detailed discussion of
the industry insights gained from fruitful interactions with some eminent figures in the
field. The research concludes with suggestions regarding areas for future research.

Product placement has come as a blessing in disguise for both, the brand and the
filmmaker. Through it, the brand managers get the clutter breaking opportunity to look
beyond the 30 sec TV commercial and the filmmaker gets to earn huge revenues by just
showing the brand being used by protagonist or let it exist in the background. The deal is
just perfect for both of them. But the most important person in the deal is the consumer
who is vigilant and smart enough to notice what’s served to him and has reservations
against in your face placements. Surely he does not want more intrusion in his life.
Hence, product placement has arrived and here to stay. But a word of caution is to be
always kept in mind, by both the brand and the filmmaker- if as communication
purveyors they are looking for better and innovative means of reaching the consumer, the
consumer himself is already bombarded with marketing tactics from all over and in the
three hours of movie, he would want to forget about all these intrusions, including
advertising. Thus overdose of brand placement will only drive away the consumers from
the cinema halls, resulting in a flop film and a failed marketing endeavor.
1. The Concept of Product Placement
2. Product Placement in Movies
3. Types of Product Placement
4. Brand Placement is Different from Celebrity
5. The Opportunity of Brand placement, Consumer
Information processing and Issue of Brand Congruity

A product placement is the inclusion of a product, package, signage, a brand

name or the name of the firm in a movie or in a television programme for
increasing memorability of the brand and instant recognition at the point of
purchase. Placements can be in form of verbal mentions in dialogue, actual use
by character, visual displays such as corporate logo on a vehicle or billboard,
brands used as set decorations, or even snatches of actual radio or television

The objective of this communication strategy is to expose audience to a

brand, whereby the effect can be maximized in terms of increased brand
awareness and higher recall, so that the customer will buy the brand which has
the highest recall; and to satisfy the customer to optimal level. Because of
proliferation of advertisements and the consequent difficulty in getting
commercial messages to reach and influence potential customers, product
placement appears as an interesting alternative to traditional marketing
communication tools.

Basically, there are three ways product placement can occur:

• It simply happens.
• It's arranged, and a certain amount of the product serves as
• It's arranged, and there is financial compensation.

Sometimes product placement just happens. A set dresser, producer,

director, or even an actor might come across something he thinks will enhance
the project. Usually this has to do with boosting the level of credibility or realism
of the story being told. Example can be use of ‘Tata Indigo’ car in movie Aaja
Nachle. The car has been used to as mode of transport for the lead actress both
when she arrives from abroad and when she goes back. Interestingly the vehicle
is widely used as commercial luxury vehicle in many Indian towns. So use of this
car added a touch of realism in the movie. However, when contacted, the
representatives of the car company denied being approached about the use of
their product.

Arranged product placement deals fall into two categories:

• Trade-off of integration or placement for a supply of product
• Financial compensation for placement or integration
The most common type of deal is a simple exchange of the product for the
placement. Example, let's say the production team wants lead actor to display a
quirky affinity for a particular type of beverage. This will come across rather
strongly over the course of the program -- which means the chosen product
could get a lot of air time. It turns out that someone on the crew knows someone
who works for that beverage. The production people approach the beverage
company folks with a proposal and a deal is made; in exchange for the airtime,
the cast and crew are provided with an ample supply of the beverage at work.
Example: the movie Krish where the lead actor drinks a lot of Bournvita.

Sometimes, a gift of the product isn't an appropriate form of

compensation, so money powers the deal. Imagine that the marketing team at
Tag Heuer has heard about this project and feels that, given the star power of the
actor playing lead, this project would be a great vehicle for showcasing its
product. Someone from Tag Heuer approaches the set dresser with a financially
lucrative proposal. Eventually, they come to an agreement and the wristwatch
casually appears in several scenes.

Before product placement really saw a surge in the mid 1990s, it was
pretty much a do it yourself effort. Now there are specific corporate positions
and entire agencies that can handle the job. Some larger corporations will
dedicate personnel to scout out opportunities for product integration or
placement within films, television shows and even games and music. Good
example would be Madison’s specialized division for in-film branding, MATES.

Every frame in a movie has an opportunity for branding. With that intent,
a number of marketers are now using movies to project the core values of their
brands. In-film advertising, in its most effective form, is about a brand being a
part of cinema’s content. Many global brands are now turning to this medium for
the sheer impact that a movie can make on its audiences.

Product placement in movies has gained momentum all over the world.
The practice of using branded products in Hollywood movies started as casual
process since 1940’s. The earliest example would be 1945 movie Mildred Pierce
with film star Joan Crawford drinking Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey. The
current Hollywood movies feature a plethora of products ranging from
telecommunications (Motorola, Nokia), automobile (Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Jeep,
Lada and Mercedes) to other products like FMCG goods, Tobacco etc. Good
examples are James Bond movies.

Indian mainstream Hindi films, popularly known as Bollywood the world

over, caught up with the trend in 1970’s with Rajkapoor using ‘Rajdoot’ in his
movie Bobby. Popularity of movies as medium for product placement grew
because of the increasing difficulty of using television as an effective medium to
target audiences. The film medium provides an excellent message reach and
message life and an effective method of popularizing and immortalizing brands.
One of the key drivers for movies becoming a popular medium for
product placement has been the increasing difficulty of using television as an
effective medium to target audiences. The advent of cable and satellite television
has meant that audiences have become more fragmented and tend to
demonstrate a greater level of ad avoidance. By contrast, the film medium
provides an excellent message reach and message life and an effective method of
popularizing and immortalizing brands. The movie-goers vicariously experience
the brand as they make a connection between the film, the actor, the product and
its consumption, and argue that product placement acts as a perceptual clue
which directs behavior to purchase a product to satisfy a need or reinforce a
social status. Movie product placement is viewed as a cheaper and more effective
alternative to traditional marketing communications, despite its inflexibility, but
as a result of the establishment of specialist placement agencies, and through
increased brand exposure through cable, satellite, video and DVD, a typical
movie with international distribution can reach over one hundred million
consumers from box office to TV.

There seem to be three reasons why marketers consider product

placement in movies as interesting communication strategy. First watching a
movie is high attention and involving activity. The particular exposure context
associated with movies in theatres (lights off, minimal noise and distraction
possibilities, large screen, difficulty in moving around, no zapping) is bound to
lead to a high level of consumer attention as opposed to, say, listening to
television. In addition, movie goers expend some significant effort (choosing a
movie, driving to the theatre, finding a parking space, staying in line, finding a
seat) and money (transportation, parking, tickets) in order to go to a movie and
therefore quite involved during the show.

Second, successful movie attract large audiences. A blockbuster movie like

Om Shanti Om for instance has been seen by millions of people, and this does not
include video purchases and rentals, and eventual television broadcast.
Therefore from a strict cost per viewer point of view, a product placement in a
movie is a real bargain.

Finally product placement represents a natural, non aggressive, non

persuasive way of promoting brand or a firm. Hence it may lead to less counter
arguing and ‘internal’ zapping from consumers.
The most famous instance of
product placement till date is
appearance of Reese's Pieces in
Hollywood movie E.T. The Extra-
Terrestrial. The film, released in 1982,
prominently featured Reese's Pieces
candy. While the brand was available
prior to the film's release, appearance
in the film is credited with stimulating
a 65% sales increase. M&M/Mars had
been approached first about a scene in
which E.T. is coaxed out of hiding by a
trail of candy. In a major blunder
M&M/Mars declined the opportunity.

Such success stories firmly establish the importance of product placement.

The use of feature films as a strategy for introducing new products has
grown increasingly sophisticated. Savvy marketers now build elaborate
marketing communication plans cross-promoting films and brands. For example,
Audi used 2004's Babul, a film by Ravi Chopra, as an integrated element for
introducing a new model, the Audi A6. It was judged the most successful
promotion of 2004.

Subhash Ghai was one of the early filmmakers to do product placement

on a real large scale. Bollywood insiders say Ghai recovered production cost
from Coke and other products even before the release of films like Yaadein and
Taal. In future 40% of a film’s revenue will accrue from streams like TV, online
rights, product placements and digital downloads. Video-on-demand, IPTV and
DTH are already fetching handsome returns. Then, of course, there is the
overseas market, which is expanding fast. In 2007 alone, at least a dozen Hindi
Mainstream films have crossed a US $ 1 million mark in the UK an US.

As successful marketing efforts incorporating motion pictures continue to

mount, the casual use of brands as props will diminish. While current practice
does not require filmmakers to identify brands placed in films, viewers can
reasonably assume that prominently featured brands have offered some
compensation or other consideration in exchange for the appearance.


In films, product placement can be divided into three broad categories:

• Implicit Mode: in this the star appears in a situation and is seen openly
stating that he is using the product/brand. For example, in the movie
Chalte Chalte, Shahrukh Khan is seen asking his worker to fill Castrol in his

• Imperative Mode: In this the star would ask his friend/co-worker/peer to

use the product. For example, in the movie Koi Mil Gaya, Hritik Roshan is
seen recommending Bournvita to Priety Zinta and her mother in the film.

• Co-present Mode: in this, the star appears in some kind of setting with the
product or he or she could be seen consuming or using the product. In the
movie Diljale, love is the ulterior theme, and Sonali Bendre, the lead actress is
shown expressing her love through Archies cards, thus revolving around the
‘social expression’ feel of the Card makers.

The celebrities endorse product and brands with commercial reasons, which
normally come in the breaks in television programmes or in cinema halls. The
phenomenon of zipping and change in television usage behavior due to surfing
during the commercial breaks has reduced effectiveness of television
commercials. Similarly commercials of cinema hall are found to be of low
involvement as audience takes them as blocks between the reasons of visiting the
cinema hall and the time available to them for entertainment. So the brand
communication and the entertainment product are viewed differently from the
audience of both media. Brand placement provides an opportunity where the
involved audience gets exposure to the brands and products during the natural
process of narration of movie or television commercial.

Of late there have been attempts by Indian producers and brand managers
to come together and place the brand in a situation where the audience is captive
and more prone to show high level of retention. Many consumers and
researchers are of the view that this method is excessive commercialization of
media and intrusion in life of viewer.

The viewer does not necessarily go there to see the brands; rather he is
going to the cinema hall to escape from the realities of life. Brand managers are
using different type of placements to make the brand look obvious at the point of
emergence. They are also integrating the brand presence with the plot of the
cinema, so that the audience does not feel the brand to be out of context. The
brand should also be reflective of the class of user of character in the film. If the
plot connection is missing and the brand is not reflective of the character’s class
of usage, then probably the whole brand placement exercise will be futile. The
success of Indian movies is not based on sound fundamentals which is evident
from the number of feature films flopping every year. So if the vehicle in which
the brand is placed does not have the required viewership, then the tariff
charged to bring brand at some point of the story will also go in drain.

Films are selected as context of research for various reasons as explained

below. Compared to television, movie viewing has higher involvement. While
watching a television programme, the viewer can do multifarious work at home
setting, which may affect the attention degree span of the audience and hence,
reduce the overall effectiveness of the medium for enhancing brand retention. In
opposition to this argument, is the movie going behavior where the viewer
makes a voluntary choice for viewing (exposure) a specific film (product) at a
cost (time, financial, opportunity cost) for the purpose of wholesome
entertainment. So he is more receptive to brand communication provided to him
in the movie hall while watching the movie of his choice.

It has been observed from research that brand recall for commercials
shown during the television programmes with higher level of TRPs are very poor
due to the channel switching behavior. High level of media clutter, similarity of
programming across channels, channel switching behavior are the factors
responsible to generate sufficient level of research interest in researchers at the
practice of brand placement in movies.

Brand placements are used to increase the level of brand knowledge

among consumers as in every advertising medium. The uniqueness of the
medium is found in the process of exposure and congruity of brand in the story.
There is no competitive exposure in the same medium at the same time, unlike
television of newspapers. This is significant as it may increase the level of brand
knowledge. Brand knowledge is conceptualized as brand node in memory to
which a variety of associations are linked. So it is important to identify the
properties of the brand node and brand association.

The factors important for product placement include the level of

abstraction and qualitative nature of the brand memory effect and the congruity
among brand associations affects the favorability, strength and uniqueness of the
brand associations.

The factors being:

Brand awareness: It is the strength of brand node or trace in the memory as
reflected by consumer’s ability to identify the brand under different conditions.
Brand image: It is the set of perceptions, held in the consumer’s memory, as
reflected by brand associations. Are the other informational nodes linked to the
brand node in memory and contain the meaning of the brand for the consumers?
Brand Attitudes: they are the overall evaluation of the brand by the consumers.
They often form the basis of consumer’s choice.

Other variables affecting Brand placement are-

Favorability of Brand Associations: Associations differ according to how favorably
they are evaluated. The success of a marketing program largely depends on the
ability of the marketing program in creating the trust among consumers that the
attributes and associations benefits are there in the brand talked about in
The Strength of Brand Association: It depends on how the information enters
consumer’s memory (encoding) and how it is retained as part of brand image
(storage). Strength is a function of both the amount or quality of processing
information received at encoding (how much the person thinks about the
information) and the nature or quality of the information at the encoding end
(the manner in which the person thinks about the information).
Congruence of a Brand: the congruence of the brand with the story of the film and
presentation in the film is another measure. Congruence is defined as the extent
to which the brand association shares the content and meaning with other brand
associations. This explains how easily one existing brand association can be
recalled and how additional associations can be linked to the brand node in
Brand Leverage: Compares the characteristics of the secondary associations with
those of primary brand associations. The secondary associations are derived out
of the usage of the brand by the character in the film. Example in the film Taal,
the hero uses the bottle of Coke as a symbol of exchange of love and this
contextual placement increases the strength of association of the brand.

Earlier researches have shown the importance of a strong link between the
brand and the film. The stronger the link, the greater is the impact between the
brand’s image and the attitude towards the brand sponsor.

Increase in product placements and institutionalization of the industry

indicate that advertisers are using the technique to sway consumer’s brand
attitudes. The type of placements should look natural to the narration, as
consumption symbols are often used to enrich the plot, theme and characters of
popular culture texts.

Some consumers may feel that the use of brand names in popular culture
simply reflects the increased commercial content of a culture or the producer’s
efforts to enhance the realism of their film. However, in case where the brand
takes a major role in the story of the film as in the movie Friends, or where its
presence in the movie might look suspect as in the movie Yaadein, the audience
may realize that it was placed there to affect their judgments and they may
counter argue them just as they do to the traditional advertising messages.
Advertising gurus claim that in-film advertising is a very shaky business
and most marketers have a tendency and temptation to go overboard with the
result that the film would end up becoming a long advertising commercial.
Others say that since marketers always tried to stretch their advertising rupee in
order to obtain the maximum bang for their buck with the result that brand
suffered. However, most advertising professionals vouch for the fact that films,
by virtue of being quite engaging, are one of the cost-effective and effective
mediums for advertising. 'If a consumer watches a particular scene and the
advertisement is well embedded into that, it will remain,' they say. This can be
referred to the fact that the girls beating the boys fighting sequence in 'Chak De'
has been referred to as the McDonald's fight scene merely because it takes place
in one of the outlets. Again, there is no mention of McDonald's in the entire film
as it has been seamlessly embedded.

Mr. Niteen Bhagwat from Interface spoke about the advantages of in-film
advertising. 'I think film content of any kind can be used to build brands. The last
one year has been rather active in terms of in-film placements and branding
through films. However, the placement of brands such as Ultra Tech poses a big
challenge especially considering that there is no obvious benefit in sticking to
stereo-types and force-fitting the Brand in film's theme or storyline,' he said.

Literature survey in the Indian context was more disheartening despite

the fact that brand placement is used more and more in Indian films these days.
There are hardly any evidences of work carried out on brand placement in
Indian Movies. The Indian Hindi film industry id the largest in the world in
terms of number of movie produced. Yet the success rate of the movies in Indian
film industry is very less. If a proper research on brand placement can be done, it
can guide the producers, brand managers and academicians to develop and
effective brand placement strategy in which the risk of the film making and
failure will come down substantially in the Indian market. The producers can
charge a price for the brand placement and cover a production cost; the brand
managers will find a platform to communicate with the audience about their
brands in more effective manner than conventional television advertising.
(In Recent Times)
Bollywood has finally discovered branding. In 2007, according to industry
estimates, brand cameos earned around Rs 200 crore, and as a result, even small-
and medium-budget movies as well as animated films are hoping to cash in on
this new and lucrative revenue stream. Indeed, media analysts and industry
watchers expect that figure to climb to Rs 800 crore by 2010.

Some of the select successful instances of brand placement in recent times are
cited below:

Rang De Basanti: Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti was

probably the most successful Bollywood branding in 2006 with its limited edition
RDB Coca-Cola bottle, and cameos of Airtel, LG, Berger and Provogue in the
film. Coke, in a first of its kind attempt, launched Coca-Cola bottles branded
with the RDB title and Amir’s picture and produced a movie trailer that was a
montage of shots from the film and Coke’s ‘Piyo Sar Uthake’ campaign. Just the
right kind of media partners, the film’s marketing ensured good and effective
publicity and both the brands and the movie generated a lot of mileage from
each other.

Krrish: Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish, now a case study of Indian Institute of

Management, Indore, prominently featured Singapore Tourism Board, Sony,
John Players, Bournvita, Tide, Hero Honda, Boro Plus, Lifebuoy, HP Power,
Acron Rangeela, Hansaplast and Lays chips, followed by merchandising of
Krrish masks, lunch boxes, water bottles. Its merchandising sold like hot cakes
among children. Krrish made 12 crores out of product placement.

Don: Farhan Akhtar’s Don promoted Tag Heuer watches, Motorola, Garnier,
Citibank and, of course, Oakley sunglasses as well as Louis Philippe outfits. The
placement ensured that the viewer noticed don’s phone, his laptop, his watch,
hia sunglasses and the brand names were the focus of the camera work. But it
was still done in a subtle way and did not come across as being imposed on

Dhoom 2: Sanjay Gandavi’s Dhoom 2 promoted Coke, Pennzoil, Pepe, Sony,

Disney channel, Sugar Free, McDonald’s, Speed, and Suzuki Zeus. The movie
was quite an opportunity for Coke, for both the brand ambassadors of Coke were
starring in the movie together for the first time. The cool couple drinking the
always coolest drink, perfect for Coke! The cola company had a special campaign
for Dhoom 2 where Hrithik Roshan encouraged youngsters to take a swig and
“go dhoom”.
Baabul: Ravi Chopra’s Baabul featured brands like
Audi, Kotak Insurance, Eros Jewellery, Nerolac and
Taj Mahal Tea. The spirit of Baabul is celebrated with
‘Kotak Life Insurance’. The high profile in-film ad in
Babul featured the Audi A6. Chivas Regal, Eros
Jewelry and Audi together contributed 40 lakhs in
cash and kind for the music release and fashion show
of Baabul.

Main Hoon Naa: Farah Khan’s first movie Main Hoon Naa featured the following
brands- Reebok, Café coffee day, Frito Lays, Levis, LML. MHN was an example of
optimum utilization of branding in a film. The story of the film revolved around
youth hence it gave us the scope of using lifestyle and youth centric brands. The
brands that were involved were the ones keeping the modern day college goers
in mind, for which using brands is just a way of life. The brands were woven into
the screenplay in a manner where it looked like a modern day college going
youth was using the product – natural yet conspicuous.

Baghban: One of the clear cases of effective placement in recent times was BR
film’s family drama Baghban. The movie creatively integrated five brands in it.
The brands included were ICICI Bank, Tata Tea, Archies, Ford and Tide. Baghban
truly depicted the craft of product placement.
And these are not mere stating of the brands featured!
These placements result in stupendous impact in consumers as delineated
by the sales figures of the featured brands, before and after product placement.
After Bournvita featured in Krrish, it reported a increase in sales by 15% and
intention to use brand by 9%*.

Domios registered greater footfall in its outlets after its placement in Phir Hera
Pheri. Garnier recorded a product recall of 46% after it got featured in the movie
Chup Chup Ke. Lays got an additional endorsement from Priyanka Chopra after
she was shown munching on the snack in Krrish, thus re-establishing Lays as
‘cool snack’. After Reebok featured in key scenes in Viruddh, the brand boasted
of having got verbal endorsement of Amitabh Bacchan, and extensive reach
through multiple showcasing of the film on multiple vehicles. Tanishq recorded
a average minimum revenue of 1.45 crore from its Paheli collection. And as if that
was not all, they recorded a increase in purchase intent by 13% and favorability
of the brand by 10%!!!

That says a lot about the success of brand placements.

There is always the other side of the coin!
Academicians from Universities say that currently, embedded advertising
still needs to grow in India. 'It is like a deranged marriage, the brand most often
does not fit into the film the way in which it should. The reason is that most
filmmakers still do not think of it as a revenue stream,' they say.

So apart from the huge successes, there were some bad failures as well. Few of
them are:

Ta Ra Rum Pum: After you see drivers and cars layered by brands of their
sponsors, Ta Ra Rum Pum a film on racing cars would seem like the perfect
avenue to showcase such similar branding. After all seeing these brands is what
we’ve come to expect, but corporate honchos didn’t seem happy just with ‘being
there’. So they must’ve insisted on special close-ups and zooms for their brands.
As a result we get a good dose of Castrol, Goodyear and Chevrolet periodically
through this film.

Salaam E Ishq: Salaam E Ishq was another product-friendly movie. With

such an extensive star cast and lavish set designs the director must’ve felt the
need for corporations to cover up costs. Of the many placements there was one
that stood there screaming for attention. John Abraham and Vidya Balan play a
couple in love so on the day of their anniversary John decides to gift his lady love
with a diamond set. For those curious about the brand, it was Ira Jewellery and
the makers give more than a glimmer to those who wonder. To make things
worse, the camera decides to zoom more on the brand than the jewels.

Victoria 203: If you’re one of the few people that watched the remake of
Victoria 203, you’d probably be gripped by the urge to buy diamonds, more
specifically Gitanjali Diamonds. That’s because Gitanjali has been constantly
mentioned throughout the first half an hour. The makers go to the extent of
giving the viewers an unwanted history lesson about the Choksi family that
owns the company and their legacy.

Virruddh...Family Comes First: In terms of product placements,

Viruddh went to the extent of shoving their branded products down audiences’
throats. What made this blatant promotion unbearable was that Virruddh was
made as a serious film about a grieving family and their dead son. Obvious
instances were where Sanjay Dutt posed with a can of Elf Oil in his garage and
John Abraham praised how great ‘the services of Western Union money transfer’

Koi Mil Gaya: The product placements in Koi Mil Gaya weren’t as awkward
as Yaadein but they were definitely obvious. You can definitely tell why the
mother (played by Rekha) insists that her overgrown, mentally handicapped son
(played by Hrithik Roshan) drink his glass of Bournvita milk. Not to mention
another scene where the dimwitted son magically transforms into a promoter for
Bournvita when his drink preference is asked. Coffee, tea, Bournvita or me?
Other instances include where Hrithik sips Coke with his classmates and rides
off into the sunset with Preity Zinta on his Hero Honda Bike in the end.

Yaadein: Few films have been universally panned like the way Yaadein has.
Ironically, the film’s message was to shun the materialistic life all the while
promoting brands. Coca Cola had a large presence throughout the entire film. It
even went to the extent of having the Coke logo branded on Jackie Shroff’s key
chain! The blatant praise for Pass Pass the mouth freshener by the film leads also
made audiences groan in their seats. The film sank at the box-office, but since
Subhash Ghai leaned heavily towards placements it’s likely he covered part of
his production costs.

Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this research was to investigate whether the strategies followed
for brand placements within Mainstream films affect the memory for the brands
and the attitude towards those brands. The opinion of advertising and branding
professionals was also taken into account to arrive at a classification for the
purpose of research, and the brand placement was grouped as:

A. Implicit: where brand is shown without verbal reference to brand name

or benefits (no auditory support).

B. Used in Scene: where brand is used in a scene without verbal reference to

name or benefits (no auditory support but with high plot connection due
to character usage shown on screen).

C. Integrated Explicit Brand Placement: Where benefits/attributes of the

brand/product are mentioned by a main star, along with hands-on use
(both auditor and visual mode of presentation with plot connection).

The objective of the study includes consumer’s evaluation of the brand

placement, as a strategy for providing brand communication and the reactions to
the level of ethicality involved in brand placement which talks about
commercialization of entertainment products and intrusion in the life of

Different variables are used in research for establishing the relationship between
the level of information processing through exposure and elements of brand
choice in the selected markets. Any exposure to the brand communication affects
consumer response, which can be measured by analyzing variables like brand
awareness in terms of recall and recognition, favorability, strength and
uniqueness of the brand associations in the consumer memory.

The study evaluates the effectiveness of brand placements within Mainstream

films on basis of recall, recognition and opinion about brand placement. Four
Mainstream films were selected as case studies and hence part of consumer

The films were selected on basis of two criteria:

1. Popular appeal (whether the movie was a super hit, average run or a poor
grosser depending on box office report).
2. The release timings, i.e. two were recent releases (one a blockbuster hit,
other a dud), one around six months old, and the last having been
released almost a year back.
3. The number of brands featured in these movies. All the selected movies
had major associations and substantial number of brands featured in the
4. The variety of placement types (implicit, used in a scene, and integrated
explicit brand placement) (Refer- Appendix)

The films selected: Om Shanti Om (November, 2007); Goal (December, 2007);

Chak de! India (August, 2007); Lage Raho Munnabhai
(September, 2006)

The author viewed these films and listed the number of brands placed in these

Considering that brand awareness is primary goal of advertisers in brand

placement, memory based awareness measures such as recognition or recall is
appropriate. Short term and long term memory as well as consumer’s evaluation
of product placement are tested.
Experimentation Procedure
The respondents were approached randomly and verbal consent was sought
before administering the survey. Once agreed, they were offered a structured
questionnaire (Annexure) and requested to answer it. The interviewer cue was
only provided in the questions where it was mentioned to provide ‘hint’ and the
study objective was not mentioned in advance. A total of 50 responses (30 male
and 20 female) were obtained. The average duration of the survey was 15

Target Segment: The cine goers-

• Teens within the age group of 15-19.
-10 male and 8 female
-all students
• Adults within the age group of 20-35.
-20 male and 12 female
-12 students and 20 working professionals

These are the major target audience for the advertisers and the brands.

Geographical location: Delhi and NCR

Research Instrument: Questionnaire

1.Om Shanti Om

No of Prints: 2000 Budget: 35 Crore

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Box office status: Blockbuster Hit.

Padukone, Shreyas Talpade, Arjun
Rampal, Kiron Kher

Director: Farah Khan Producer: Gauri Khan

Brands featured in the movie: Nokia, Maybelline, Shopper’s Stop, Tag Heuer,

Om Shanti Om was the biggest hit in the year 2007. Trade analysts have even
gone ahead and claimed that it is the biggest grosser in the history of Bollywood.
With its stupendous success, it was one film which enabled the brand mangers of
the brands featured in the film go laughing to the bank. The film featured some
top brands of their category and needless to say, its super success benefited these
brands immensely.
The most visible brand of the movie is Nokia. In the film, the lead
character Om (Shahrukh Khan) not only uses cellular devices by Nokia, but also
mentions them in his dialogues. Further there are significant close-ups of
different Nokia devices in some very important scenes. Another interesting
observation is that the Nokia devices used are all of different segments. While
the character Om, who’s a superstar uses a high end mobile and Bluetooth set,
Dolly, a wannabe actress, uses a middle segment cell phone and Pappu, a one
time junior artist, uses a low end cell. Thus with one shot, Nokia manages to
address its target audience who are spread across these wide segments.

Apart from having their product feature in the film, Nokia also tied up
with the film for its promotion. Nokia offered exclusive videos, behind the
scenes, ringtones and wallpapers of the movie to its customers. They also ran a
contest where if one buys certain specific models like 6300, 5700, 5300, 6233 M,
3000 classic etc, they get a chance to enter a luck draw wherein the winner gets to
meet superstar Shahrukh Khan for an exclusive dinner. They also introduced
Crazy Mobisodes, which were animated versions of the characters of the film in
different formats.

Speaking at occasion, Mr. Bob McDougall

Director sales, Nokia India said, “Bollywood is the most
popular downloads mobile content besides sports and
fashion in India. We are confident that OSO crazy and
the other exclusive OSO content will provide our
consumer an enhanced media rich mobile experience’”

Apart from Nokia other key brands featured were Maybelline, Shopper’s
Stop and Tag Heuer. Debutant Deepika Padukone is the brand ambassador of
the cosmetic giant Maybelline and hence it provided a perfect platform for the
brand to be featured in the film. The brand also boasts of close-ups of its various
products and brand name in vital scenes.
Tag Heuer, SRK’s favorite watch, or as the
watch company claims is the brand
ambassador for the same. So it was not
surprising to see the brand featuring in the
movie. However it’s done very subtly as it
appears as a background billboard in a scene
when the reincarnated Om is in conversation
with Pappu. What’s interesting is that the
billboard is the exact replica of the Tag Heuer
bill boards we see in life. (As seen in the
picture in the left)

Shopper’s Stop majorly had its role in promotion where it launched an

exclusive line of clothes and merchandise styled on the movie. It also displayed
large banners and roof hangers of the film in its exclusive stores.

The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier
mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Om Shanti Om is as
provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Implicit Used in Scene Integrated Explicit
Tag Heuer Maybelline Nokia
Sia Jewelry
Shopper’s Stop
2. Goal
No of Prints: 600 Budget: 16.5 crore

Cast: John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Box office status: Dud.

Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani

Director: Vivek Agnihotri Producer: Ronnie Screwvala

This much talked about movie proved to be a box office dud. Audiences seem
not too impressed by either the story or the chemistry between the lead actors,
John and Bipasha. According to critics, the movie failed to deliver on its promise
of being a high voltage football drama and ended up being a boring discussion of
racial tension in Britain.

However what was interesting in the film was its association with sports
brand Reebok. Apparently Reebok played a master stroke by being associated
with the movie. Since the film is sports based, it provided ample opportunity for
any sporting brand for maximum visibility. And that became true for Reebok.
Since in majority of the film the actors are shown wearing football gear, on field
or off it, Reebok, which provided the merchandise for the entire team boasts of
visibility in almost 70% of the frames. Reebok also is visible in terms of their
stores, their soccer kit being used by the team and their advertisings during the
crucial matches featured in the film.

Apart from their humungous presence in the film, Reebok was also
associated with the film for its promotion. Almost all Reebok Stores, both
exclusive and multi brand, carried Goal inspired merchandise. They had huge
displays of the movie posters in their stores and major malls, featuring Reebok
logo prominently in them. They also used the mode of floor stickers in malls
leading either to Reebok stores of the multiplex where the movie was running.
Apart from Reebok the brands which got associated with the film were Western
Union Money Transfer, Gillette, ESPN Star sports. Western Union has prominent
presence in the movie with not only it having an exclusive shot at its outlet but
also the characters mentioning it in their dialogues as they discusses when they
will be able to earn enough to be able to send money to their families in Asian

Gillette is used by the lead characters for their shaving habits and in one
scene the lead actress is seen shaving off the hero’s beard using a Gillette razor.
But the most prominent placement of Gillette is the presence of its brand name
before the score cards in all the matches features in the movie. Surely Gillette
scored a perfect Goal!

ESPN Star Sports have been used as official broadcasters of the matches shown
in the film. Apart from that, the channel participated in the film’s promotional
activities by having John and Bipasha feature in their channel promoting English
Premier League.

A major brand which indirectly got promoted through the film without
having any tie up with the movie is English Premiership, the Football League of
England. The movie features the sporting, specially the soccer season in England
in its totality, starting from the passion for the game to the ambience, the effort,
the significance, the madness and the big money riding in it. Further John and
Bipasha’s appearance in ESPN strengthened its positioning in India.

Surprisingly, Goal proving a dud in box office did not affect Reebok
adversely as many may think it has. Reebok provided a style statement to the
team and the merchandise sold in Reebok stores attracted people more because
of association with a established style icon like John Abraham and due to their
individual novelty factor. Reebok stores, by record, have registered more footfall
than they had before and after they were offering special Goal collection.

The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier
mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Goal is as provided
in Table 1.

Table 1: Type of Product Placement

Implicit Used in Scene Integrated Explicit
Gillette ESPN Reebok
Western Union Money
3. Chak De! India

No of Prints: 550 Budget: 15 crore

Cast: Shahrukh Khan and others Box office status: Super Hit

Director: Shimit Amin Producer: Aditya Chopra

Brands featured in the movie: Ultra tech cement, Puma, Mac Donalds, Bisleri,
Aaj Tak, Times of India, Sports Brands Rakshak and Vijayanti.

Chak De! India is revered for its role in reviving Hockey in India. An
unprecedented hit, this movie is the story of one man rising against the system to
win back both his and national pride. And he does this through the medium of
hockey. The fact that hockey formed the core of the film, provided ample
opportunity for advertisers to lap it up and go for featuring their brands. The
film provided various avenues wherein brands/products could gain visibility.
The film featured Women’s National Hockey team. The brands could feature in
as official sponsor of the team, as merchandise sponsor, sports equipment
sponsor, hoardings and billboards during the matches, event sponsors, etc.

Ultra tech cement lapped up this unique opportunity and is the most
featured brand shown in the movie. It is the main sponser of the Women’s
Hockey team and features prominently as sponsor logo in the front of the team’s
official uniform. By getting such prominent placement, it has ensured that it is
seen in almost every frame a match is played by the team, thus gaining
maximum and crucial airtime.
What’s unique in this brand placement is that it’s a first time by any cement
brand to be associated in in-film branding, and by doing so Ultra tech cement has
scored a perfect ten. Even though there is no product relevance or synergy, the
in-film placement initiative has been conducted quite uniquely without a single
reference to the brand in the film and without being too obvious or blatant or in-

Ultra Tech Cement Ltd chief marketing officer O P Puranmalka stated, "
Since our brand is virtually seen in almost every frame when the World Cup
matches are played, it has helped us reinforce the brand attributes such as 'global
winner', 'modern & youthful', 'tech-savvy', and yet 'intrinsically Indian' amongst
our core target groups across India."

Another brand which caught a lot of eyeball was sporting brand Puma. Puma
provides merchandise to the team before their final match. It had a perfect
placement as it was associated with the success of the team. Puma won brownie
points when its logo was prominently seen in the team uniform throughout the
final match.
Others brands featuring in the movie
were Mc Donald’s, Bisleri, Aaj Tak,
Times of India. While Mcdonald’s
featured in a scene where the girls bash
up boys for eve teasing one of them,
Bisleri was seen in many scenes as the
team and the players sipping water
from bisleri bottles.

What was very interesting was placement of Aaj Tak and Times of India. Both of
them were shown as the media generating and spreading negative news about
the lead character. Its surprising to think why both the brands agreed to
collaborate in such form when the situation does more bad than good to their
brands. Both are seen as media houses who germinate and support wrong
perceptions about the sportsmanship a player shows when he is on the loosing

The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier
mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Chak de! India is as
provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Type of Product Placement

Implicit Used in Scene Integrated Explicit
Ultra Tech Cement Mc Donalds -
Times of India Aaj Tak
4. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
No of Prints: 550 Budget: 17.3 crore

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Vidya Balan, Arshad Box office status: Super Hit
Varsi, Boman Irani.

Director: Rajkumar Hirani Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Brands featured in the Movie: Worldspace Satellite Radio, IOCL, Go Air, MSN,
Goodday, Kurkure, Bright Outdoor and Reliance Communication.

After the successful prequel, this film came with lot of expectations, and not to
mention the amazing brand placements. And true to its series, Lage Raho Munna
Bhai rocked the box office with its stupendous success. Not only was it a super
hit, it became a phenomenon by claiming the onus of re-launching father of
nation. So it wasn’t surprising to see ‘Gandigiri’ flourish all round.

This was thus an ideal platform for hoards of brands to get their target
audience in a big way. Lage Raho however carried a lot of brands as an extention
of its prequel, Munna Bhai MBBS. These apart, some new brands too got
associated with the movie and rode to success.

In the centre of the plot is the radio programme which ‘Munna Bhai’ never
misses as he is in love with the voice of the Radio Jockey, played by Vidya Balan.
Over the course of the film, Munna Bhai too is invited to host show on the radio
and he goes on to solve people’s problems through the show, and ultimately gets
reunited to his sweetheart via that media itself. Cleary this was a perfect
opportunity for Worldspace Radio for brand placement. Nothing could be better
than the fact that radio was the centre of the story. This was a guarantee for
making the consumers notice its presence and also be ensured of future brand
recalls whenever there is a mention of the movie or a broadcast of it
subsequently in TV or DVD modes.
So Worldspace succeeded in getting
the cherry of the pie. It succeeded in
capturing the audiences’ attention to
the maximum. Other brands too
reaped in a lot through tactical airtime.
MSN even ran its commercials in line
of the film and participated in
promotions as online partner. Reliance
communications rode high on good
network at cheaper rates proposition.

Kurkure re-established it self as a no excuse snack, and Goodday as

premium biscuits.

However, the movie is now almost a year n half old and this time lag has
resulted in a lot of memory loss on behalf of the consumers. Worldspace
however still commands a substantial recall by virtue of it being integrated in the
story itself. A clear example of winning strategy by Worldspace brand managers!
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier
mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Lage Raho Munna
Bhai is as provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Type of Product Placement

Implicit Used in Scene Integrated Explicit
Go Air Kurkure Worldspace Satellite
IOCL Goodday Radio
Bright Outdoor Reliance Communication

Recall scores of Brands placed in the selected case studies:

1. Om Shanti Om

Brands Unaided Recall Score Aided Recall Score

a. Nokia 50 50
b. Maybelline 22 24
c. Shopper’s Stop 13 16
d. TagHeuer 29 21
e. Sia Jewelry 4 3
f. Compaq 2 9

2. Goal

Brands Unaided Recall Score Aided Recall Score

g. Reebok 50 50
h. Western Union money 10 17
i. Gillette 0 5
j. ESPN Star Sports 0 7

3. Chak de! India

Brands Unaided Recall Score Aided Recall Score

a. UltraTech Cement 12 35
b. Puma 16 24
c. MacDonalds 33 17
d. Aaj Tak 9 18
e. Times Of India 0 4
f. Bisleri 0 2
g. Hockey stick brands 0 0
Vijyanti and

4. Lage Raho Munna Bhai

Brands Unaided Recall Score Aided Recall Score

a. Worldspace radio 46 4
b. IOCL 0 0
c. Go Air 0 5
d. MSN
e. Good Day
2 7
f. Kurkure 1 2
g. Bright Outdoor 1 0
h. Reliance 0 0
Communications 3 0


From Product Placement Recall Exercise:

1. Integrated explicit product placement has largest product recall. (Nokia,

Worldspace, Reebok)
2. With film getting older, the recall diminishes. (Lage Raho Munna Bhai)
3. Well known brands are recalled more. (Nokia, Tag Heuer, Reebok). Thus
brands familiar to the consumers life are recalled more.
4. More air time does not necessitate greater recall. (For majority Ultra Tech
couldn’t be recalled first but only after hint)
5. Brand associated with promotion and merchandisings have greater recall.
6. Interestingly, when probed, many consumers tended to associate brands
with a particular movie by virtue of the stars in the movie. Example: many
people when asked to recall brands in OSO came up with Airtel and Pepsi,
because SRK is the brand ambassador for these brands.

Other Issues:

Issue 1- Do you think Brand placement in movies is a good alternative to

traditional advertising?
• Substantial number of ‘yes’ coupled with some grave ‘no’!
• While 70% thought brand placement is a good alternative, others differed
in opinion.
• Those who think its good believe that it is seamless and catches audience’s
interest and attention easily.
• However, those who didn’t like the concept complained that they are
irritating and obtrusive in the movie.
• Some said they didn’t pay money to watch an extended advertising.

Issue 2- Do you think real brands should be used extensively in movies to make
a scene more believable?
• 77.2% people believed that product placements make the movies more
• However, majority of them are of the opinion that it is so only in cases
where the product placement is un-intrusive and not on your face. They
believe that if used intelligently, these product placements help them
relate to the movie better.

Issue 3- Does the way a brand is used in movies affect your feelings about the
• 66% people believed that brand placement does affect their feelings in a
positive way.
• The respondents believe that they relate to the brands better after
watching their brands in movies.
• They feel happy when they see their favorite actors use the brands of their
• However, they feel cheated when brands preferred by them are shown in
negative situations in the movie. As examples they cited instances of Aaj
Tak’s placement in Chak De. The fact that it was the channel which started
the whole non-issue out of Kabir Khan’s sportsmanship in the movie did
not go down well with the audience.

Issue 4- Does product placement in movies affect your buying decisions?

• Surprisingly, 59% of the respondents said that product placement does
not affect their buying decisions.
• They say that they buy something based on their necessity and preference
and not because a certain brand was shown in the film.
• The buying decisions also depend on consumer’s previous personal
experience with the brand or his risk taking habits.
• However, the remaining 41% said that they buy products after seeing
them in films as they feel that it’s more credible source and if their favorite
actor uses it, it has to be good.
• Some also buy the products to look and feel like the actor endorsing it in
the movie.

Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this essay is to know about the industry insights regarding:
• How the brands get associated with a particular film and at what stage
does the involvement begin.
• What are the channels through which brands negotiate their placements in
the movie.
• The importance and role of ad agencies in product placement.
• How product placement is measured?
And many more such issues.


Industry insights could be best obtained from people who are the operating
in there. People like brand managers, media planners, film producers and
directors and actors would be the people who could give the real picture of
this upcoming concept and what they think about it. Different perspectives
are important to understand the concept in holistic fashion.

Experimentation Procedure

Target Segment:
1. People who are directly involved in making of films.
• Film Directors
• Film Producers
• Actors
2. Brand managers of brands which regularly advertise in films
3. Media Planners

The respondents were approached through various means.

Film directors, producers and actors were approached in the premiere of the
latest film Halla Bol. The premier gave opportunity to interface with these people
together. The people interviewed were film director Rajkumar Santoshi, film
producer Abdul Samee Siddique and eminent actor Ajay Devgan. All three
readily agreed to share their views about in-film branding.

Two clients were approached for their opinion: Ms Pushpanjali …..,

Communications Manager, Nokia India. Nokia featured in Om Shanti Om.
Mr. C. K. Pavan, Sr. Marketing Manager, Ultra Tech Cement. This brand featured
in Chak de! India.

Media planners: They are the biggest influencers in the process.

-Mr. Arun Mehra of Spatial Access
-Mr. Atul Phadnis of Media e2e.

Key Findings

1. The Process of Product Placement

According to Mr. Samee, in-film branding today is the biggest source of

revenue after the revenues from film showing. This, together with music and
satellite rights has opened up newer avenues for the industry to cover the
production cost. He said that, any major film today generates Rs. 6-10 crore
worth publicity through promotional tie-ups. Mr. Phadnis, of Media e2e,
adds that each effective tie-up involves hectic negotiations of around 3-6
months. Sometimes the brands approach the production houses, in other
times it’s the production houses which approach the brands for such tie ups.
This system depends upon the demand of the occasion.

Mr. Mehra of Spacial Access opines that there is no fixed formula but
the factors that are taken into consideration during the negotiation stage are:

• Cast and credits

• Size of the project and the producers
• Timing of the release
• Brand impact
• Possibilities of brand associations through contests and promotions.

Actor Ajay Devgan said that “if the product is not clashing with the theme of the
film, I see no harm in having it in the film. It helps in increasing the realism of
the film and help audience connects to the film on a more personal level, as the
film characters seem real, not from any far away land.” Based on the content of
the film and its story line, both, the film maker and the brand managers, can
sketch a profile of viewers who would flock to see the movie. Depending on this,
a 360 degrees plan is formulated for cross promotion during various stages of
film making.
Payments are based on exposure, including the number of times the
product is shown or mentioned, the duration of that exposure, and the degree of
inclusion of the product in the story line. However sometimes product usage is
negotiated rather than paid for, informs Mr. Samee. Mr. Mehra added that some
placements provide productions with below-the-line savings, with products such
as props, clothes and cars being loaned for the production's use, thereby saving
them purchase or rental fees.

2. Role of Advertising Agencies and Their Importance

Recognizing the growing significance of branded entertainment concept in

India, advertising majors are beefing up the operations in their respective
entertainment wings. Major advertising agencies have created special wing to
catch business. They are:

• WPP Group (Broadmind)

• Lowe (Lin Entertainment)
• Percept (P9)
• Leo Burnett (Leo Entertainment)
• Madisoon (MATES)

Apart from these there are some specialized agencies coming up, only dealing
with in-film branding. Media e2e is one such agency.

These agencies fix up the deal between a producer and the brand for
placement. And today almost all movies have product placement in some
amount or other. However some brands go for tie-ups without the help of these
agencies. Nokia had a direct tie-up in Om Shanti Om. On the other hand, Ultra
tech Cement took the assistance of P9 Integrated for its crucial placement in Chak

Talking of trends, Mr. Phadnis talked about the role reversals at in-film
and co-branding options. P9, for example is looking at in making a full length
Hindi commercial film on a life style brand.

3. How is product placement measured?

Mr. Phadnis gave very informative insight on this topic. He informed about the
tool developed by his agency to measure product placement. It is South Asia’s
first Product Placement Evaluation tool in collaboration with iTVX.
The ITVX tool offered by Media e2e is a product placement valuation metric
service for media professionals in the branded entertainment industry. The
system hinges on Q-Ratio. The quantitative metric known as a Q-Ratio reflects
the quality of product placement or branded entertainment exposure. It is based
on the simultaneous calculation of 50 variables. The tool will help advertisers,
media planners, content producers & TV stations with valuation & quality of
product placements & other forms of Branded Entertainment. The summary
output at the end of a product placement is Q Ratio, a single metric that
represents the quality of the product placement. This ratio can be applied in a
number of ways to privy costs the client typically uses for media measurement to
guide prognosis or diagnosis of what clients got for their money.

WHAT IS Q-RATIO? “Q” ratio is a global measure for quality of product

placements. It is measured as a % of a 30 sec ad i.e. –
• Decimal fraction of a 30 sec ad or
• Number of commercials to which it is equivalent.
It creates placement standards & parameters for broadcasters, agencies &
advertisers. It also hedges the risk in product placement deals.


1. A psychological dimension, with 3 parts (and multiple levels) that
simultaneously interact with each other.
• Impact factor- The backbone of per calculations
• Awareness factor- Measures of involvement
• Integration factor - Measures of engagement
2. A perpetual dimension e.g.: signal attributes
• The clarity of audio & video
• This is called a ‘threshold measure’ – below a certain point it
can detract from the message & damage the impact.
Other Issues:

According to Rajkumar Santoshi, film director, in-film branding was

present from a long time but it was caught our fancy in recent times. And it is a
welcome phenomenon. Before year 2000, most of the money coming for funding
of movies was from mafia and other illegal means. And if not them, there were a
handful of financers who controlled the entire movie business. In the year 2000
Bollywood formally got the tag of industry. And this was possible thanks to
increasing number of corporate wanting to have stake our movies either as plain
financers or through in-film advertising of their products, brands, companies.
He added “I find this a big boon to the industry because now with lesser sweat
about acquiring finances, we can actually concentrate and experiment with better
and relevant themes in our movies. It no longer needs to bend to the pressures of
mafia or financer to cut out some parts of the story because it either does not
match the views of mafia or is too heavy on the financer's pocket. The brands
coming in have given fresh air to our creative freedom.”

Mr. Samee said that in-film branding is the latest way of earning revenues,
legally! To this Mr. Devgan added “Of course its the matter of money coming in
via these in-film advertising. With increasingly ambitious budgets, it’s important
to get these endorsements as they pay heavy money for the brands to be feature.
And at the end of the day, money matters.”

Both, Nokia and Ultra Tech cement managers talked about the theme of
the film matching their image. In case of Nokia they identified with the
versatility of SRK, the mood of second part of OSO being projected as both up-
market (SRK as superstar) and humble (Pappu as lower income group
representative), tech savvy, stylish, vibrant, being the in thing. Ultra tech cement
identified with the integrity, the mental toughness, the determination, the zeal,
the trust, being global winner, modern and youthful, tech savvy yet intrinsically
Indian image of the film characters. Ultra tech pulled a coup of a sort by its
placement in the movie Chak de as its unprecedented by any cement company.
And they managed to be seen in virtually every frame the team was playing in
its official gear, as it was the official sponsor.

There is also a fear in many corporate that if they associate with a film and
it flops in box office, it may affect their brand adversely. So investing in in-film
advertising is seen as having a risk factor of 50-50. Many thus refrain from such
activities. Some however have no issues in promotional activities. They can
mostly profitable and does not have that strong an association with the movie to
be affected by its commercial success and failure.
The current research provides a foundation for increased understanding about
the concept of product placement and its effectiveness in Mainstream films. The
paper has highlighted a number of key issues within this research area. It is fairly
evident that Bollywood movies have distinct nature and format which
distinguishes them from western cinema, in particular Hollywood movies, so
there needs to be a research agenda which focuses more extensively upon
understanding specific placement strategies, which would then be able to link
more closely with specific film themes and structures.

Future research could examine the attitude and interests of audience

towards brands and branded goods, to understand individual’s propensity to get
influenced by brand image. It can also identify additional variables to further
segment the market on basis of behavioral intentions in accepting brand

Future studies can also measure relative scores of product categories

(FMCG goods versus consumer goods) and well known versus lesser known
brands. The increasing use of brand placement in other media like television,
books, regional language and art films, and computer games can also be studied.

Product Placement in Mainstream films is emerging as the most reliable and

viable medium from brands today. If there is in-film branding in a movie, the
15,000 audience sitting in the theatre are going to look at it unlike a TV channel
where they can browse through different channels. Hence its here that the
brands catch and can hold on to consumers' undivided attention. The power of
celebrities, many with iconic and idol status, give greater credibility to brands
and reinforce or establish positive associations.

The study indicates that brand placement in Hindi films are effective. The
high recall, recognition and positive attitude scores suggest that brand managers
are seriously looking at product placements in movies as a new vehicle for
reaching to consumers.

However, several issues need to be kept in mind. Relevance of products to

the situation needs to be created- this is possible by incorporating the placement
planning at a script level, as practiced in Hollywood. The brand managers also
need to guard against the clutter in the scenes- other competing products of
product category should not be incorporated. They need to look in the future
where use of comparative brand placement will be a reality. The research
suggests that explicit placement is more successful than implicit placement. The
brand managers however, should pretest the placement to determine the exact
level at which viewer irritation sets in. As success of brand placement is
dependent on the success of the movie and consequently, its reach, it is not
possible to evaluate placements from a sales generation perspective.

As the Indian economy develops a global perspective, Bollywood needs to

follow suit. More importantly, as Indian audiences become fragmented into class
specific segments, marketers are faced with the more difficult task of
communicating their brand messages. Effective and well thought of product
placement appears to be some solution.

• Panda, Tapan K, (2004), “Consumer Response to Brand Placements In
Films”, South Asian Journal of Management, Vol 11, Issue 4.
• Dwyer, R. and Patel, D. (2002), Cinema India: A Visual Culture of Hindi
Films, London, Reaktion Book Ltd.
• Balasubramanian, S. K. (1994), “Beyond Advertising and Publicity: Hybrid
Messages and Public Policy issues”, Journal of Advertising, 23(4), pp 29-47
Business World, May 2006.
• DLR van der Waldt, LS Du Toit and R Redelinghuys, (2007), “Does
Branded Product Placement in Film Enhance Realism and Product
recognition by Consumers?”, African Journal of Business Management, May
2007, pp 19-25.
• Sengupta. R., (1999), “Taalis for the Showmn” 8th July, The Times of India.
• Clark, Nicola (2008), “In the Eye of Storm”, 16th January, Brand Equity,
The Economic Times.
• Kapoor, Jagdeep (2005) “In-film Branding is the In Thing”, 30th June, The
Hindu Business Line.
• Arya, Swati (2007) “Ultra Tech Cement Tastes In-film Branding”, 23rd
August, Media Newsline.
• FICCI and Ernst Young, (2004), “The Indian Entertainment Industry:
Emerging Trends and Opportunities,” FRAMES 2004, Global Convention
on the Business of Entertainment; Federal of Indian Chambers of
Commerce and Industries.


• www.domain-b.com
• www.brandchannel.com
• www.businessofcinema.com
• www.agencyfaqs.com
• www.exchange4media.com
• www.mediae2e.com
• www.madison/mates.com

In-depth Interviews:

• Mr. Raj Kumar Santoshi

Film Director

• Mr. Abdul Sammee Siddique

Film Producer

• Mr. Ajay Devgan


• Ms. Geetanjali Sharma, Nokia

Phone: +91 124 4199000

• Mr. P. V. Raman, Ultra Tech

Cement. Phone: +91 9890455343

• Mr. Arun Mehra, Spacial Media

Phone: +91

• Mr. Atul Phadnis, Mediae2e

Phone: +91 9920897407

Name :___________________________ Age:___________

Sex: M F
Occupation: Working Student

Education: School Pass Monthly Household Income

Under Graduate 10,000-20,000
Post Graduate 20,000-30,000
Post Graduate(Special) 30,000-40,000
Others 40,000+

1. Do you watch movies?

Yes No

2. How often do you watch them?

a. once a month
b. once a week
c. Two to five times a week
d. Daily

3. Which movies have you watched recently?


4. Have you watched Om Shanti Om?

Yes No
If yes,
5. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
Yes No
6. Can you list them?______________________________________________________

a. Nokia
b. Maybelline
c. Shopper’s Stop
d. TagHeuer
e. Sia Jewelry
f. Compaq
7. Have you watched Goal?
Yes No

If yes,
8. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
Yes No
9. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________

k. Reebok
l. Western Union money transfer
m. Gillette
n. ESPN Star Sports

10.Have you watched Chak De?

Yes No
If yes,
11. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
Yes No

12. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________


h. UltraTech Cement
i. Puma
j. MacDonalds
k. Aaj Tak
l. Times Of India
m. Bisleri
n. Hockey stick brands Vijyanti and Rakshak

13.Have you watched Lage Raho Munna Bhai?

Yes No
If yes,
14. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
Yes No

15. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________


i. Worldspace radio
k. Go Air
l. MSN
m. Good Day
n. Kurkure
o. Bright Outdoor
p. Reliance Communications

16. Do you think Brand placement in movies is a good alternative to traditional

Yes No

17. Do you think real brands should be used extensively in movies to make a scene more
Yes No

18. Does the way a brand is used in movies affect your feelings about the brand?
Yes No

19. Does product placement in movies affect your buying decisions?

Yes No

20. Do you think the idea of placing a brand in a movie is unethical because the movie
goers do not want to watch paid advertising?
Yes No


1. Which newspapers do you read/subscribe?


2. Which business dailies do you read/subscribe?


3. Which magazines do you read?


4. Which FM channels do you regularly listen to?


5. Which TV channel do you watch regularly?


6. Which TV program do you watch regularly?

7. Which is your favorite online portal/you visit regularly?

8. Are you member of an online community/ blog? Name them.


9. Do you visit Multiplexes?

Yes No

10. Which Multiplexes do you visit frequently?