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Product Placements

  • By: Michelle R. Nelson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Product placement, or brand placement, is a form of marketing communication intended to heighten brand visibility or drive sales by inserting branded material into entertainment, educational, or informational content. The definition has evolved to reflect the changing practice. Early definitions, coined in the 1980s, referred to paid inclusion of products within a specific medium, usually film. Ironically, the oft-cited example of Reese's Pieces candy in the 1982 film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial presents a case where the company used bartering, not payment, for the placement. In exchange for six minutes of film featuring its candy, Hershey's paid one million dollars for advertising the candy and film. Sales of the candy increased by 65 percent (Lehu 2007). Contemporary definitions are less restrictive, recognizing that the method of ...

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