Canadians get placement

When Jeff Probst stands in the middle of a remote island and whips out a Visa card as an unlikely component of a luxury reward competition, most Canadians see that for what it is.

When Jeff Probst stands in the middle of a remote island and whips out a Visa card as an unlikely component of a luxury reward competition, most Canadians see that for what it is.

According to the latest strategy/Decima Poll, 69% of Canadians answered affirmatively when asked ‘are you aware that some advertisers pay broadcasters to have their product written into TV show scripts?’ (See chart 1.) Twenty-nine per cent responded that they were unaware (2% didn’t know or refused to answer).

Consumers 55-plus were less likely to have clued into the trend (59% said yes), however that is likely because product placement tends to occur in programming geared at youth.

A second query asked, ‘If you saw a product on a TV show, how would it impact your

decision to buy it?’ (See chart 2.) The majority, 77%, said it wouldn’t matter. While 11% said they’d be more likely to buy the product, 10% said they would be less likely to.

Jacques Labelle, managing partner, creative, for Ricochet Branded Content, a division of Cossette Communication Group in Montreal, isn’t fazed by these results and says consumers have always been reluctant to admit they’ve been affected by marketing.

Interestingly though, those most inclined to say they were less likely to buy the product were 18-to-24s at 14%, followed by the 55-plus demo at 13% and 45-to-54s at 9%.

This could be due to a big brand backlash among younger consumers, concedes Labelle. ‘Most of the brands embedded in scripts are broad appeal – the Cokes and the General Motors.’

And, he notes, consumers of all stripes are turned off if they feel manipulated. LD

For full results, call Decima Research at 416-962-2013.