UK consumers prefer product placement in TV and film rather than traditional TV advertising

An affinity for product placement in TV and film over traditional commercials was identified because of the authenticity it adds to the viewing experience, creating an opportunity for brands to increase awareness in an era of ad-free streaming.

Entertainment AI company BENlabs has found that UK consumers are more inclined to purchase a product they saw in a TV programme or film rather than in traditional ads.

The survey of over 500 individuals found that over one third (34%) of UK consumers have purchased a product seen on TV or from the same brand as a result of product placement.

Product placement also leads to better conversion. 60% of consumers said they have searched online for a product they saw on TV and more than half (51%) of those who searched went on to make a purchase, above the average conversion rates from traditional advertising.

Interestingly, not only were consumers found to respond better to product placement in terms of purchasing habits, but the majority (59%) also prefer seeing product placement within TV programmes and film as opposed to ad breaks.

Almost nine in ten (88%) consumers reported experiencing positive emotions after seeing products or brands within media content outside of traditional ads, indicating that product placement is unlikely to have a harmful impact on a product or brand’s reputation.

Boosting awareness and opinion

In fact, the data indicates that product placement is far more likely to boost both awareness of a brand and its opinion among consumers. Almost half (47%) of survey respondents said they become aware of products for the first time via integration in TV and film content and two in every five consumers said product placement improves their opinion of a product or brand.

This positive influence is perhaps attributed to the fact consumers reported believing that product placement makes TV programmes and films more authentic, enhancing their viewing experience.

With the proliferation of ad-free TV streaming services and a growing trend among consumers to engage with content via multiple screens and channels, traditional TV advertising is facing an uphill battle to reach audiences.

An alternative to traditional commercials

As indicated in BENlabs data, with product placement driving both awareness and effectiveness it may be a viable alternative to traditional ads.

Erin Schmidt, Chief Product Placement Officer at BENlabs, said: “In the UK, product placement is a relatively nascent marketing channel and this new research provides brands and agencies with valuable insights into its effectiveness at driving awareness, consideration, and sales.

“Product placement also offers benefits to content producers as it makes TV programmes and films more authentic by echoing consumers’ real-life experiences. This is a key factor in driving consumers to research and purchase products they see on TV and in films more often than those they see advertised on TV.”