Branded Entertainment: A New Advertising Technique or Product Placement in Disguise?
In the last few decades product placement has matured and become more sophisticated. Branded products are no longer just 'placed'; they are woven into entertainment content making a stronger emotional connection with the consumer. The outcome is a concept the advertising industry is calling branded entertainment, a convergence of advertising and entertainment. This article considers whether or not branded entertainment is a new technique, or just another form of product placement. By tracking the evolution of product placement and from an analysis of the two concepts, it is suggested that branded entertainment is a new term to describe a more contemporary, sophisticated use of product placement. A conceptual framework for understanding the various forms of product placement is presented, and this highlights the key influences on the effectiveness of this fast-growing marketing phenomenon. The important management issues related to product placement are considered; issues related to measurement, control, and ethics. The article then concludes with recommendations for further research.
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