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The Handbook of International Advertising Research by Hong Cheng

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25

Now Starring Brand X

Product Placement as a Local, Global, and Glocal Branding Communication Tool

Michelle R. Nelson and Alexandra M. Vilela

Introduction

A parrot named Prada. A conversation about Gucci. A honeymoon in Italy. All were featured in a 2010 film, Housefull, which hails from Bollywood, not Hollywood. The indigenous film stars an Indian cast, but offers a shop window of international brands and exotic settings for India’s one + billion consumers. Is this the new localization – to feature international brands in domestic films? In today’s cluttered media environment, brands are seeking ways to bypass traditional advertising methods and insert themselves into people’s lives through entertainment. One of these ways is through product or brand placement, which has been defined as “the purposeful incorporation of brands into an entertainment vehicle” (Russell & Belch, 2005, p. 74), indicating a commercial expectation. Another, broader definition is the use of a product’s name, package, signage, or other trademarks appearing in media (van Reijmersdal, Neijens, & Smit, 2009). Although both definitions allow for brand insertion into multiple forms of media, this chapter will focus on product placement in broadcast media in and across international settings.

Product placements can act as visual and/or auditory reminders of the brand and, thus, serve as important explicit or incidental persuasive devices. They can also be integrated into the story, as satirized by director Morgan ...

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