Emphasis on product placement as a variable in the marketing communication strategy of organisations seems to be a relatively new focus. However, evidence exists that as early as the 1940s product placement was used in feature films to brand products and services. The initial use of product placements in feature films received new opportunities through the introduction of new electronic media, such as video, DVD, mobile messaging, electronic billboards, Internet clips and websites. Product placement is not confined to cinema feature films. New electronic media offer unique opportunities for product placement, which necessitated the renewed focus on product placement as a vehicle of deliberate product exposure within the broader integrated marketing communication (IMC) context.
The use of product placement has increased rapidly over the last few years. Product names are increasingly being featured in films and television programmes. Companies are increasingly seeking to broaden their marketing campaigns to include product placement in broadcast media to confirm the product's brand identity or to reach different audiences effectively.
This article aims to describe the context in which product placement is categorised. It also explains the relevance of product placement as a vehicle of communication in the integrated marketing communication strategy.
In order to reach the set objectives of this article, a literature review of existing information was conducted. The article does not claim to be a comprehensive work on product placement in general - it rather attempts to provide a theoretical framework in which product placement could be studied.