Product placement

Movies – An apt media for product placement?

While watching a recent Bollywood hit last weekend, I noticed a lot of brands using the movie to advertise their products in a subtle manner. The movie I watched was Piku and the brands that I noticed were Indian oil, Kayam Churan, CEAT, Amul, Syska, Jaypee Greens, Snapdeal, Himalayan water and few others which I might have gone unnoticed. These brands were placed so beautifully in the movie that they actually did not disrupt the flow of the story. As if, they were just meant to be there.

Parachute product placement in pikuPiku using parachute hair oil in the movie

While Piku was subtle in placing these brands, a movie that I remember which went over the board in terms of product placement was Krrish 3. There were brands everywhere. In a particular scene I thought the set and the sequence were created to showcase these brands only – forget the sync with the movie. It was really irritating.

Krrish 3 bad product placementThis scene in Krrish 3 looked so weird and just forced into

After the movie, I came back and after looking out for more such examples realized that this is a much known form of advertising/marketing called product placement. Most of the brands try to use it in a hidden/subtle manner but a few succeed.

To define it clearly, Product placement, or embedded marketing, is, according to the European Union “any form of audio-visual commercial communication consisting of the inclusion of or reference to a product, a service or the trade mark thereof so that it is featured within a programme”.

Association with the brands does not only help the brands in grabbing attention but it is also a partnership with the movie which helps in promoting the movie as well. Take example of Piku, each of the brands that I mentioned above communicate and highlight different aspects of the film. While Amul takes up the family space with its sub-brands Amul Milk and Amul Ice-cream, Syska talks about how gadgets help in keep us going in our busy lives via their Bluetooth and Power Bank Range. Himalayan Water, on the other hand, talks about the mantra of living natural in our ever so busy life.

These brands have also extended their partnership into a marketing tie-up on the ATL & BTL mediums. Brands like Amul and Syska have created co-branded TV spots and played it across various music, news, sports and general entertainment channels (GECs).

Himalayan Water supported the film via BTL promotions across their retail chains and also created special Piku Neck Tags for their bottles.

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) managing director R S Sodhisaid, “We are happy to have associated with this fantastic, slice-of-life, family based, fun film. The association of the film with our most popular milk and ice-cream brand will appeal to all audiences across the nation. We have had several appropriate film associations in the past, which helped us connect with the audience in a better manner. We wish the movie all success.”

Amul milk in one the many scenes in PikuAmul Tazaa milk was seen in many scenes

 Product placement stands out as a marketing strategy because it is the most direct attempt to derive commercial benefit from “the context and environment within which the product is displayed or used”. Does these really work for the brands? Actually one should ask the audiences coming out of theatres – how many brands do they remember and as what?

Whatever be the answer, I found the movie really entertaining J

I will leave you with this infographic which talks about a few facts of hidden product placement


One thought on “Movies – An apt media for product placement?”

  1. I wanted to eat Reese’s Pieces because I saw them in E.T. but they didn’t sell them in my country when I was a kid. There’d be other examples of wanting something I’d seen in movies when I was a kid but can’t think of them right now.


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