How to use Product Placement to stay on top of your Consumer




Have you ever watched a movie scene where an actor casually sips a recognisable beverage or uses a well-known product? It's not by chance or oversight that you recognise that brand. Art directors and producers often go to great lengths to avoid featuring specific brands or products in their scenes to steer clear of potential legal complications.

When these products do make an appearance, it's a result of a deliberate decision and usually involves financial arrangements between the marketing team of a product or brand and the creators of the content.

In today's advertising-saturated world, staying at the forefront of consumers' minds is an increasingly challenging task for brands. Traditional advertising methods have begun to lose their effectiveness as consumers become more adept at tuning out intrusive ads. In response, product placement advertising has emerged as a potent strategy for capturing consumer attention and making a lasting impression.

In this blog, we will embark on a journey to explore the nuances of product placement.


Product placement is the process of discerning where new products stand in consumers' minds. It involves looking at the market and the positions of rivals, figuring out where a new product fits in with the others, and getting the word out about a brand's product image.

It's becoming clear that advertising is moving into a new age in which the key to success is strategic product placement and great creativity. Whether it's news, entertainment, or marketing, there is almost too much information.

In this over-communicated world, a product must make a clear impression in the consumer's mind to reach a large portion of its target audience. Because of this, "product placement" has become the word on everyone's lips in the marketing world, and it's needed to get that much-desired mindshare.


Product placement is effective because it showcases products or services in settings other than commercials. People know that traditional paid advertising occurs during a commercial break during a TV show or when a banner ad appears at the top of a website.

However, when people read a strategically placed paid promotion, they may need to know they are being advertised. It doesn't matter if the viewers know it; the product placement is designed to get them interested in purchasing it. Some examples of product placement in advertising are as follows:

• TV and Movie Placement:

In entertainment media, product placement advertising is a prevalent strategy. It involves subtly showcasing a brand's product or service in movies and television shows. This technique seamlessly integrates products into the storyline, ensuring they are visible to the audience without overtly disrupting the viewing experience.

• Video Game Placement:

While product placement advertising in video games is not as widespread in India as it is in some Western markets, it is an emerging trend. For instance, in popular games like PUBG, we have seen Mountain Dew vending machines. Video game developers and marketers are actively exploring opportunities to feature brands and products within games.

• Social Media Placement:

In the age of digital marketing, social media has become a prime platform for product placement advertising. Brands collaborate with influential social media personalities to showcase their products. These influencers create engaging content, such as videos and posts, where they authentically incorporate the product into their lifestyle.

• Verbal Placement:

Verbal product placement is a subtle form of influencer marketing in India. Renowned figures, whether celebrities or influencers, may discuss a product or service during interviews or public appearances. This tactic relies on the influencer's persuasive ability to naturally weave the brand's message into their conversations, thereby indirectly promoting the product.

• Retail Floor Placement:

As you step into a retail store, your attention is immediately drawn to certain products near the entrance. These products can range from new launches to well-known items or special offers. They are strategically positioned to capture your attention right away. Companies frequently engage in negotiations with retailers to secure prime shelf space for their products.


Product placement advertising offers several advantages for brands looking to stay on top of their consumers' minds:

1. Subtlety:

Product placement is less intrusive than traditional advertising as it seamlessly blends into the content, avoiding the annoyance associated with pop-up ads or interruptive commercials.

2. Credibility:

When a product is featured in a trusted and beloved TV show or movie, it gains credibility by association. Consumers are more likely to trust and consider a product that their favourite character uses.

3. Targeted Audience:

Brands can select specific content that aligns with their target audience. For example, a sports equipment brand may choose to place its products in a sports-themed video game, ensuring they reach the right demographic.

4. Longevity:

Unlike a short-lived commercial spot, product placement can provide long-term exposure. Movies and TV shows are often replayed, giving the brand ongoing visibility, which can continue to influence viewers over time.

5. Enhanced Brand Recall:

Consumers tend to remember products placed in their favourite content better than traditional advertisements. This improved brand recall can result in higher engagement and purchase consideration.

To illustrate, consider the popular Indian film "3 Idiots," where in the climax scene when Chatur (Omi Vaidya) calls Phunsukh Wangdu (Aamir Khan), we hear AR Rahman's superhit Airtel theme song, ultimately leading to increased brand recall among Indian viewers.


1. High Cost:

Advertising through product placement, especially in popular TV shows or movies starring popular actors or directed by renowned filmmakers, can be exceedingly expensive, making it financially challenging for many brands.

2. Limited Efficiency Monitoring:

Evaluating the effectiveness of product placement can be complex. Since it primarily aims to enhance brand awareness and loyalty, determining the immediate impact on sales can be challenging due to the influence of numerous other factors.

3. Lack of a Direct Call to Action:

Product placement is a form of native advertising meant to appear natural within the content. Consequently, it cannot include a direct call to action, such as urging viewers to purchase the product, which limits its immediate impact on sales.

4. Association with Actors:

If a particular actor prominently features a brand's product and subsequently faces negative publicity or reputation issues, it can negatively affect the brand's image. People may associate the brand with the actor, and any controversy surrounding the actor may reflect poorly on the product or service.


Product placement advertising has become an integral part of modern marketing strategies, both globally and in India. This technique allows brands to subtly integrate their products or services into various forms of media content, effectively reaching their target audience in a non-intrusive manner. The process of executing a successful product placement campaign involves several crucial steps, from selecting suitable content to monitoring its impact. In this section, we'll delve into the intricacies of the product placement advertising process, with a focus on its relevance to Indian readers.

• Identify Suitable Content:

In India, it is very important to find content that resonates with a diverse and culturally rich audience. Brands must carefully choose films, TV shows, video games, and other forms of media that appeal to their target audience and fit with their brand image.
For instance, an Indian clothing brand may opt to feature its products in a Bollywood movie known for its fashion-forward themes.

• Contact Content Creators:

Establishing contact with content creators, such as filmmakers, producers, or game developers, is the next step. In India's vibrant entertainment industry, building relationships with key players can lead to fruitful product placement opportunities.

• Negotiate Placement:

Negotiation is a critical phase where terms and conditions are discussed. This includes determining the duration and visibility of the product placement as well as the compensation for the brand's participation. Successful negotiations ensure that both the brand and the content creators benefit from the collaboration.

• Legal Agreements:

To formalise the product placement arrangement and protect the interests of both parties, drafting and signing legal agreements are essential. These agreements clarify the expectations, rights, and obligations of the brand and the content creators.
This legal framework is essential in India's media landscape, which is subject to several laws and industry standards.

• Integration:

Seamless integration is the heart of product placement. Brands work closely with content creators to organically incorporate their products or services into the content during the scripting or production process. This integration should feel natural and unobtrusive, ensuring that it enhances, rather than disrupts, the viewer's experience.

• Monitor and Measure:

Finally, brands must continuously monitor the performance of their product placement campaigns. In India, where the media landscape is constantly evolving, it's crucial to adapt and refine strategies as needed.
Measuring the impact on brand awareness and sales allows brands to assess the effectiveness of their product placement efforts and make data-driven decisions.


While product placement can benefit a wide range of brands, some industries and products are particularly well-suited to this advertising strategy:

1. Consumer Electronics:

Brands selling smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets can benefit from visual placement in movies and TV shows, as it allows them to position their cutting-edge technology as an integral part of the modern lifestyle.

2. Beverage and Food Brands:

Products like soft drinks, snacks, and alcoholic beverages can be prominently featured in various forms of media content, serving as tempting refreshments or complementary elements to enhance the overall viewing or gaming experience.

3. Automobile Manufacturers:

Car manufacturers often use product placement to showcase their vehicles in action, highlighting their performance, design, and features while creating a dynamic and immersive experience for the audience.

4. Fashion and Apparel:

Clothing brands can have their products worn by characters in popular TV series or movies, effectively becoming fashion trendsetters and influencing viewers' style choices.

5. Luxury Brands:

High-end brands can create an aura of exclusivity by featuring their products in prestigious or celebrity-endorsed content, solidifying their status as symbols of opulence and sophistication in the eyes of the audience.


1. James Bond and Aston Martin:

The enduring partnership between James Bond and Aston Martin in the world of cinema remains iconic. While various brands like Omega and Heineken make appearances in Bond films, it's Aston Martin that is most synonymous with the series.

2. Youthful Innovation with Maruti:

Yash Raj Films (YRF) elevated product placement advertising with "Mere Dad Ki Maruti." Maruti Ertiga takes the spotlight in this YRF feature film, showcasing how youth-focused movies can excel in advertiser-funded placements.

3. Domino's Delight in "Phir Hera Pheri":

In the memorable "Phir Hera Pheri" scene, Baburao (Paresh Rawal) entertains with a box of Domino's pizza. He cleverly shares his victory in tricking the Domino's delivery guy into a free pizza, a promotional gem of its time.

4. Forrest Gump's Nike Moment:

Tom Hanks' character, Forrest Gump, dons Nike Cortez running shoes in an iconic movie scene. The camera zooms in as Forrest laces up his Nike trainers, making it a standout product placement moment.

5. Bournvita's Strength in Koi Mil Gaya:

Bournvita makes its mark in Bollywood through "Koi Mil Gaya" and "Krrish." Hrithik Roshan's character credits Bournvita for his strength, with the product featuring prominently in various scenes.


In summary, product placement advertising is a subtle yet potent strategy for brands seeking a lasting impact. It offers credibility, targeted reach, and improved brand recall. Despite challenges, when executed well, it helps products carve a distinct space in consumers' minds in an era of information overload.

To effectively use product placement and remain at the forefront of consumers' minds, it's crucial to seamlessly integrate your brand or product into relevant content. Start by identifying popular movies, TV shows, or online platforms that align with your target audience.

Then, collaborate with content creators and producers to organically incorporate your product into the storyline or scene. Ensure that the placement feels natural and not forced, enhancing the viewer's experience rather than interrupting it. Consistency is key, so consider long-term partnerships to maintain a consistent presence.

Lastly, leverage social media and digital marketing to amplify the impact of your placements, encouraging engagement and conversations around your brand. By following these strategies, product placement can become a powerful tool to keep your brand top of mind for consumers.