Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Emory University, Goizueta Business School Emory University, Goizueta Business School

1300 Clifton Road, Atlanta, 30322, GA, US

Synergies between product placements and TV ads

Synergies between product placements and TV ads 2018-07-25
Connect with an Expert
David Schweidel

As television watchers get inundated with commercials, the temptation to flip the channel grows. In the hopes of better connecting with consumers, advertisers are increasing their efforts to get product placements directly into TV shows. In a research study, David Schweidel, Goizueta Term Chair, Caldwell Research Fellow, and associate professor of marketing, and coauthors Natasha Zhang Foutz (U of Virginia) and Robin J. Tanner (U of Wisconsin) took a look at how the synergy between product placements and traditional commercials can keep viewers from flipping past the ad. The trio found that by simply putting a product in a television show and then immediately following it up with a commercial featuring the same product, viewers were more likely to stay tuned to the commercial. “The audience loss during the ad decreases by 5%,” they note. The effect was intensified when differing products from the same brand were shown in a program and then in a commercial immediately following the TV show. They write, “This indicates a positive synergy between the two activities that can reduce audience decline by more than 10%.” When products of different brands were featured in a television program and in a subsequent commercial, audience loss increased.


Synergy or interference? How product placement in tv shows affects the commercial-break audience

Consumers have become highly adept at avoiding television advertisements. We switch channels, divert attention to our tablets and phones, and of course fast-forward through ads on our DVRs. Partly in response to this loss of attention, marketers are increasingly focused on product placement as an alternative way of exposing us to their brands. After all, product placement is innately much harder to skip given its integration into the actual program content.