Yes, Heineken paid $45 million to have their beer replace 007’s venerable (and venerated) vodka martini — shaken, not stirred. The money also paid for a scene in which the dashing duo implies the beverage is the best pale lager on the planet.[…]Gail Tom, a professor of marketing at California State University, told LiveScience, “John Wanamaker’s assessment of the effectiveness of advertisement offered in the 1900s — ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half’ — rings true regarding the effectiveness of product placement,” said Tom, author of “Consumer Behavior: A Primer”.
The effectiveness of product-placement advertising also depends on the product and its audience. For example, no matter how many Heinekens or Big Macs James Bond consumes on-screen, Mormons and Muslims won’t buy beer, and vegetarians and Hindus won’t buy hamburgers.
Why is it so hard to know whether product placement works? Statisticians and scientists caution that correlation does not imply causation: Just because sales of a product featured in a film increase does not conclusively prove anything.
“To state that the advertisement(s) caused the change in sales,” Tom said, “you have to prove that the increase in sales is not due to countless other factors like seasonal variation, competitors’ activities, the general economy, other concomitant promotional events, changes in social value, current pop culture, and so on. To nullify these other competing explanations [can be] very difficult or impossible.”
It’s a bit annoying to see so many blatant product placements. Sometimes they work and sometimes not. But it is interesting that they don’t know IF they actually work. Could it be that one famous person has gotten their urge to buy from an ad and then THEY were influential in promoting it? Could it be even no reason or coincidence? I’m amazed at the money spent on advertising. In some cases, ridiculous products really do get purchased and popular for no good reason (I’m thinking those dumb power balance bands). So, the influence does work. Sometimes at least.