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Salience of Product Placement

As I have noted, the seamlessness of the product placement has been recognized by practitioners as an important element of the practice, suggesting that the less the viewers think of the placement as a plug for the product, the more successful the placement will be. Thus, the issue of salience of the placement is an important area of potential research that may help researchers understand the impact that product placement may have on consumers’ evaluation of the product. Salience of placements as a promotional effort can occur in different ways.

The seamlessness of a product placement is the degree to which the placement fits in the context of the story or is visually appropriate in a scene of the movie.Other information can confirm to viewers that a product they see is a placement. For example, warnings displayed either before a movie or at the time a placement appears in a movie have been proposed by some consumer groups (Bennett, Pecotich, & Putrevu 1999), and these would explicitly alert viewers to the paid promotional nature of the appearance of the brand in the movie.

Advertising and other promotional efforts can alert viewers that a product is a paid placement. The potential research questions of interest relate to how the salience of a product placement as a paid promotional effort bears on the way viewers process the placement and the outcomes of the placement (i.e., memory, evaluation of the placed product).

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