continued from part 7>>>>>>>>>
Partnership is an unholy alliance as perceived by the TG, between the advertiser and the broadcaster. In effect it is the cumulative effect of too much of importance to products placed in programmes, too many products moving in and out of scenes and frames, and products engaging in sales talk amidst the programme. Partnership leads to what the TG thinks as surreptitious advertising, which is “the representation in words or pictures of goods, services, the name, the trademark or the activities of a producers of goods or a provider of services”. Cinema researchers have found this to be compromising the artistic integrity of movies accusing them of being ‘just long advertisements’ . Based on the level of Integration and the level of explicitness product placement on the silver screen can be split into three--Implicit, non integrated explicit and integrated explicit . The more explicit it is, the more will be the partnership visible and in television, unlike cinema, it is visible promptly.
The audience intolerance threshold appears when the TG can clearly foretaste a partnership where the thin line between obvious advertising and subtle product placement vanishes and both become one and the same. Here the TG can glimpse that it is done to serve advertising, the broadcaster intends it, and it is capable of misleading the public.
Programme sponsorship is the least disliked of today’s funding mechanisms, and even
Advertising is reluctantly accepted. While TG has differing opinion as per the different secondary data available, one thing is understood- the audience intolerance will be more severe in its after effects in case of excessive product placements in TV. This study leaves enough scope for further research in that aspect. To conclude the observations of this paper, let me suggest some solutions to avoid the TG entering the Intolerance Threshold.
Avoid relating to children
Keeping children from the influence of advertising and parents from the influence of advertising on children. Remember that Children have limited capability to make a distinction between advertising and editorial content.
Avoid surrogate acts
Viewers accept product placements generally and if it is sublime. But when products, which cannot be advertised, otherwise (Alcohol, Cigarettes etc) appear as product placements – underplayed or out in the open, it will be counter productive. Researchers have found this to be true .
Stay away from news / current affairs, religion and children’s content
They are serious involvement programmes and it is better not to be very significantly present in such programmes to avoid the risk of audience intolerance. Asianet news time on prime time used the idea mobile jingle on air when the final wrap up of news occurs at the end of the half an hour programme.
Stay in Game shows and sports film, entertainment and drama
These genres are generally of less involvement type and of commercialized nature and the TG generally accepts product placements. Parading and prominence are tolerated but patter and partnership will be despised. Programmes that look like, they have been conceived to sell the sponsors products will be a flop. The example of the Hindi film ‘Yadein’ with its outrageous product placement done for ‘Pass Pass’ is a much-discussed one.
Use it to enhance realism
Product placement is generally well received when it enhances the realism of a programme, and when it is relevant to the script in what can be called as ‘Editorially justifiable’ and is not too prominent. Advertisers having too much editorial control will not be accepted by learned societies.
Use it in the background
Background product placement is considered as the best. Products that you do not actually notice may work better than the ones you do.
This is a wonderful tool of subtly communicating to the TG, virtues of products and brands without putting them into displeasure is used optimally. But before the golden goose is slaughtered, the Indian advertising industry should evolve some code of conduct for the advertisers, media houses and the programme producers to make sure that the fate of spot advertising and sponsorships doesn’t repeat here too.
They are: -
A)-The genres of programming in which product placement should be permitted should be decided and a consensus should be arrived.
B)-The challenge the four p’s of audience intolerance threshold poses to the whole idea of product placements in TV programmes should be taken head on.
C)-The measures needed to ensure viewer transparency and their trust in editorial integrity should be listed out and regular check has to be maintained
D)-The role of the Advertising Standards Council of India in the whole self regulation frame work should be decided and a mechanism for complaints if any should be activated
E)- Measuring of effectiveness of product placements would be made more beleivable and authentic, for all the parties to effectively use them without dispute and desperation.
the final say :-
Product placements in TV is defenitely growing ,on par with if not over and above cinema.TV programmes have more advantages like low shelf space as compared to cinema , which all the parties- practitioners of product/brand placement, including clients, ad agencies ,PR firms,production firms, and independent agents -all of them will have to listen. Product integration should be the aim, not merely product placements. If this formula is kept in mind, the production costs can be shared, more captive audiences could be reached, and with more impact than spot advertising or sponsorship, demonstrate brand usage in natural settings, make the programme more realistic and authentic, be cost efficient and yet remain liked and not hated.
‘together,the advertising world should remain committed to save this golden goose and not succumb to the vampire - named greed’.
THE END !!!