Synergies between product placements and TV ads

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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.