What to Know About Advertisements That Follow a Product Placement

Ads and Product PlacementResearch studies conducted and written by marketing academics, such a marketing professors, can often be a challenge for the general marketer to follow. Much of this has to do with the way studies are written which is often in a style that is not easy to read as it is presented within complex sentence structure, mentions research-specific terms and issues, and may contain advanced statistical analysis. Additionally, some research papers are discussed at such an advanced theoretical levels that the untrained has difficulty grasping. Because of these and several other issues, few marketing practitioners bother to read current research published in academic journal.

However, marketing professionals should not be so easy to dismiss such research. There are many outstanding papers written each year that produce compelling results and may even prove quite useful in practice. For example, this story from Forbes presents results of a research study conducted by three business professors (the author of the story is one of the researchers).

The study focuses on the impact product placement within a television program has on advertisements appearing after the placement. Specifically, the researchers investigated how the placement of ads during different parts of a program affected three types of ads: 1) ads for the same product that was also in the product placement; 2) ads for the same brand though different product than what appears in the product placement; and 3) ads for competitors to the product placement. Data was then gathered by analyzing the set-top box viewing habits of nearly 500,000 households. The measurement behavior in this study was to see what percent of the audience tuned away when ads started showing.

There are several results presented with the most interesting being that for ad group #3, product placement was shown to increase viewers’ desire to tune away. The implications of this and the other results are certainly something that even the non-trained research can understand, though these too are discussed in the story.

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