Since Ofcom’s decision to allow product placement, perceptions of this marketing method on UK TV have changed. A YouGov poll, taken at the end of February 2011 shortly after the decision was made, found that over one third of respondents had no idea what product placement was. However another poll, taken in July 2011, found that nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) knew what product placement was, with nearly half (46%) stating that real brands placed in TV programmes can make them seem more realistic.
Since February 2011, there have been less than 20 examples of product placement advertising in UK TV programmes. However, despite a slow start, the product placement market in the UK is estimated to be worth up to £120m in the next five years. Adele Gritten, head of media consulting at YouGov, said: “There appears to be a gradual acceptance taking place as people see product placement more and more. We’re all consumers of brands, and as long as placements aren’t too overt, it’s very realistic for us to experience the same household brands in the programmes we watch.”
Big Names Come To UK Living Rooms
Nescafe’s £100,000 deal to feature a Dolce Gusto coffee machine in ITV’s This Morning was the first example of product placement advertising on UK TV in February 2011. Research from Otherlines.tv claims that 40% of viewers said their interest in buying the product increased after the placement was shown.
Not long after, in April 2011, Microsoft’s Kinect Sports featured prominently in the title sequence of Sky One’s sports panel show A League of Their Own. In June 2011, UKTV signed a deal for a factual series with FindMyPast.co.uk, featuring members of the public using the website to find out about their family history – the first factual TV show in the UK to feature product placement advertising.
Product Placement Doesn’t Spoil Viewing, Claims the Public
Of those surveyed by YouGov in July 2011, 59% said they did not have a negative experience of product placement and claimed that it made no difference to their viewing experience. 33% of those polled disagreed that product placement advertising negatively impacts the integrity of a TV programme.
The poll also showed that young audiences, aged 18 to 34, were the most likely to form a positive impression of product placement, with 25% of those aged 18 to 24 stating their brand perception would become more positive if seen in a UK TV Programme.
So despite it being early days for product placement on UK TV, these positive reactions show it could prove very lucrative for brand advertisers.