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Sensitizing towards brands by brand placement


I would like to give special thanks to my parents for being there for me with immense patient and providing me with their full support in the times I needed them the most. I also would like to thank my younger brother for being there for my parents and taking the responsibility of supporting them in my absence. The support from my other family members cannot be given any lesser importance as they have also been very patient and supportive all throughout, many thanks to them and especially my grandfather and grandmother for their encouragement, love and blessings.

It would have been very hard for me to stay here without the precious few with whom I met here and never before, who were there for me for this entire year and who shared few the most special moments in my life. I would like to give my hearty thanks to all the friends who I made in London for accepting me the way I am also a very special note of thanks to all the colleagues in the University for sharing cultures, ideas and notes in the classroom, the memories of this time will stand still forever.

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I sincerely appreciate the support and guidance which I got from the faculty of university from the very first day, in addition I would also like to express my gratitude towards all the professors and doctors who were very patient in understanding the problems and who made sure that the concepts taught were clearly understood. Finally I would like to express my immense respect and gratitude towards my Dissertation supervisor, Prof. Eugene McLaughlin who have been there with me as a mentor since the very beginning and guided me throughout with the course with great patience.




This chapter provides with the introduction of the subject of the research and also looks at the background of the topic in brief. This chapter throws light on why I have chosen to work on this topic and what are the aims and objectives of the research made. This chapter takes into account the summary of chapters in the content which are to be followed further down in the dissertation.


Indian Film Industry also popularly known as "Bollywood" is one of the biggest film making industries in the world and is the only other film making industry which can stand against Hollywood. Mishra in his work says "the massive size of Indian cinema is obvious from its statistics; eight hundred films a year shown in more than thirteen thousand predominantly urban cinemas, viewed by an average of eleven million people each day and exported to more than hundred countries." Mishra (2002, pp.1) having considered this data which has grown to even much bigger numbers in year 2009, Indian Films have become one of the biggest instruments of mass communication. The commercial breaks on the satellite television are now avoided by the viewers as the number of channel on television have increased to huge extent which gives liberty to the viewer to flip to a channel which is more interesting and avoid the advertisement, the technology give the viewer the privilege of recording the programs without commercial breaks as well, factors like these has open portals for movies to become a new carrier for brand promotion. Being a mass media of this enormous magnitude, Bollywood has a lot of potential and a significant number of opportunities for In-Film planned brand placement also known as brand entertainment or brand integration (Glaiseter, 2005 ) and these opportunities are being well grabbed by the advertisers and marketers in the Indian market.

In recent years a lot of research is done on Brand/Product placement in Bollywood films by marketers and advertisers so as to understand the concept and strategies of brand placement in movies. Although not many academic researches can be seen in the field of product placement in Bollywood, the practical usage of the practice of Brand Placement has grown significantly. Lehu in his work defines, "The expression 'Product Placement' or, 'Brand Placement' essentially describes the location, or more accurately, the integration of a product or a brand into a film or televised series." Lehu (2007, pp.1) it can be understood from the work of other scholars like Kalish (1988), Gupta and (Gould 1997) Balasubramanian (1994) that brand placement is planned consolidation of brand with the elements of a feature film in return for money, service, barter, or any other kind of consideration. The research also focuses on the strategies of brand placement in Hollywood as no substantial academic can be found on classification of brands in the Indian cinema. The literature looks and analyzes the Tripartite typology of product placement by Russell (1998) , two dimensional approach to classify brand placement by Gupta and Lord (1998), Classification on the basic on Integration and explicitness by d'Austos and Seguin (1999) and finally Shapiro's (1993) classification of brand placement.


The main aim at which the research focuses at is to answer the question, Do the consumers get sensitized towards the brands by the brands placement in bollywood moives? Following are the main objective for this research

  • To know, does the Indian audience get aware of the brands shown in the movie through in-film brand placement
  • Which method of brand placement leads to maximum number of recalls of brands by analyzing the data collected after conducting surveys and unstructured interviews?


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The key reason for research in this field are; not many research is made on this field and it is a very interesting and challenging task and the field has a lot of potential for growth in future and substantial findings might prove to be an insight for marketers and will be useful for the adoption of correct method of brand placement in future projects in Bollywood.


The dissertation is divided into five different chapters; Chapter 1 is introduction which describes in brief the research background, aims and objectives of the research, why I have chosen this research and the structure of the dissertation. Chapter two of the chapter reviews the literature and most of it is drawn from Hollywood. It begins with the definitions of Branding and Brand placement; it also draws the methods in which brand placement can be done and its classification. Chapter three of this dissertation depicts the methods used for the collection of data and also draws out the limitations of this research with other issues in detail. The fourth chapter will portray the research findings from survey and unstructured interviews. Chapter five of this dissertation is the final chapter which begins with consolidates the research objectives with the literature review and concludes the dissertation with recommendation for future researches.




This part of the dissertation focuses on defining the two most important terms for this dissertation which are branding and brand placement. This chapter also reviews the existing literature on brand placement and the strategies for its classification. The chapter is divided as follows; the first section of this chapter defines Branding after understanding of which the section second of the chapter looks at one of the methods of Branding or brand promotion which is Brand placement. Section three of this chapter begins with describing the strategies for brand placement and critically analyzes work from different scholars with their classification techniques in the subsections of section three. Section four and final section of this chapter portrays the instances of successful brand placement in Bollywood. As there is hardly any literature available on Indian film industry and brand placement the theories and literature retrieved for this chapter is majorly captured from American film industry also called as Hollywood.


The word so commonly used, yet not correctly interpreted by a lot of people. For the establishment of brands, companies around the world spend millions of dollars and formulate new strategies and techniques to market their product, this is what the common notion and understanding of brands for a lot of people is. (Levine, 2003) in his work says that the brand is not necessarily associated with a product or an organization or a title but anything that can be identified. One of the most popular Indian actors David Beckham is a brand and so is Mercedes Benz. De Chernatony and McDonald in their work define Brand as "A successful brand is an identifiable product, service, person or place, augmented in such a way that the buyer or user perceives relevant, unique, sustainable added values, which match their need most likely." De Chernatony and McDonald (2003, pp.25) Taking this definition into consideration it can be said that consumers identify a product/services with its distinct feature, an attribute which associates product with some quality which are distinguished from the rest in one way or the other. This unique association encourages the consumers to buy the brand and give the brand an edge over the other products in the market. Thus, it can be said that a brand is a product/service with some attributes or features that helps the product/service to stand out in the market for having such distinguished attributes. A few examples of most commonly known brands all over the world can be: Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nike, Adidas, Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Michael Schumacher, David Beckham, Omega, Rolex, etc. It took a lot for the marketers and brand promoter to first establish these brands and a huge amount of money is spent for the promotion of these brands by using different strategies and techniques. One of such techniques is Brand Placement.

Brand Placement

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Also commonly known as Product Placement, the term Brand Placement has been defined by many scholars like (Steortz, 1987), (Balasubramanian, 1994), (Karrh, 1998), etc. This part of the dissertation highlights the definitions of brand placement by these scholars.

(Steortz ,1987) defines Brand Placement as "the inclusion of a brand name, product, package, signage, or other trademark merchandize in a motion picture, television show or a music video", another definition of Brand Placement is contributed by (Balasubramanian, 1994) who in his work has said "a paid product message aimed at influencing movie (or television) audience via planned and unobtrusive entry of branded product into a movie (or television program)" the definition by Balasubramanian covers the concept of integrating brands as done in the definition by (Steortz, 1987), but it also considers the aspect of paid inclusion which is ignored by Steortz. (Karrh, 1998) defines the brand placement by covering almost all the dimensions associated with it, he defines Brand Placement as "the paid inclusion of branded products or brand identifiers, through audio and/or visual means, within mass media programming", he further explains that the brand placement can also be obtrusive and is done to compliment the character's image and help in setting and filling up the elements in background.

The purpose of brand placement is to promote the brand but the ways in which it is done also generates a hybrid message in the way that it merges the major features of advertising, it give the sponsors privilege of retaining the control over the content and format but also increases the credibility by not identifying the sponsors directly. (Cohen, 1988) With the definitions above it can be drawn that the Brand Placement in movies is that technique of advertising in which the Brand or the owner pays a compensation for its integration in the movie for the exchange of marketable benefit that the brands will enjoy after being noticed by the audience, however, these placements are sometimes done as the plot of the movie requires them to be placed there, this way brand placement can also be of non commercial nature.

Strategies of Placing the Brands

The practice of brand placement has been there for decades, the placement of brands in feature films can be seen since the time of late 1940s and early 1950s (DeLorme and Ried 1999) One example of such placement is legendary actor Joan Crawford sipping Jack Daniels whiskey in the film "Mildered Pierce" in year 1948. (Nebenzahl and Secunda 1993) The evidence of brand placement in Hollywood can been seen in feature films produced in late 1940s, one of the earliest evidence of product placement in Indian cinema can be seen in early 1970s when Rajdhoot motorcycles brand was placed in movie Bobby featuring one of legendary Indian actor Raj Kapoor. Brand placement in feature films caught the attention of marketers and companies when the sales of Reese's Pieces candy increased by 65% in three months after the successful placement of the brand in the film "E.T". (Reed, 1989)

The strategies that help brand placement the most in regards to its impact and effectiveness are elaborated by Russell (1998) and Gupta and Lord (1998) further on, this research looks at classification of placement by d'Austos and Seguin (1999) and Shapiro (1993).

Russell's argument for techniques of brand placement is three dimensional and focuses on modality of Visual, auditory and plot connection, whereas Gupta and Lord emphasizes on two broad categories Audio-Visual and the level of prominence. The studies from both the scholars are discussed below.

Tripartite Typology of Product Placement

According to (Russell 1998) product placement can be classified on the basis of three dimensions visual, auditory and plot connection. Visual dimension enable the placement of the brand in such a way that the product is seen on the screen and these placements on the screen can also be further classified on the basis of their appearance. The auditory dimension or the verbal dimension refers to the mention of a brand in a dialogue these placements are also called as 'script' placements and the degree of such placements varies, depending on the number of times the brands were mentioned, what was the tonality in which the brands were mentioned and in what context the brand was mentioned. The Plot connection dimension indicates the magnitude of integration of brand with the plot of the story. The dissertation will now look at the literature/the findings from previous researches, which point towards the combinations or particular method amongst the three methods stated above that might get the most recalls. Product placement modality and its effect is now expanded to a new dimension of elaboration, the difference between visual and auditory presented information can now be distinguished by exploring the audio-visual context of product placement. The screen placement and the script placement, or the visual and the auditory type of brand placement differ from one another especially in the terms of conveying a meaning. Visual placement of brands act as props in television and movies so as to make them more real and close to the practicality and visual channel leads to the creation of context in which the story is set whereas the audio channel is the medium through which the television program is scripted, narrated and is made audible, this makes the information received through this channel more meaningful. (Russell, 2002) The reception and processing of auditory information also happens when a person is not looking and the auditory modality conveys semantic information through speech. (Rolandelli et al., 1991) The reception and processing of such information which is audible is higher as it also posses the basic characteristics of intrinsic alerting and intrusiveness which also are the basic characteristics of auditory modality. (Posner et al. 1976) Using brands for representation in any of the modalities brings a relativity of the same to the story and brings more meaning to the presentation and gets deeply integrated to a person's cognitive structure. (Lehnert, 1981) Such stimulus generates deeper meaning and leads to greater recalls of brands. (Craik and Lockhart, 1972) The third dimension of brand placement also called as dimension of meaning is that of Plot Connection. The magnitude of such placement depends upon the integration of brand with the plot, the higher the connection of the brand with the story, the more significant the placement of brands is. The plot connection connects the brands with the macro structure of the story, with which are associated important information, hence increasing the significance and role of placement. (Russell 1998) The different combinations in plot connection and modality can also be of great significance. There can only be two situations in which the combination of modality and plot connections can be established; Match and Mismatch. The combination can said to be a 'match' when the auditory method of placement is higher in use than the visual and the brand names are audible in narration and is deeply linked with the story whereas the combination can said to be a 'mismatch' when the visual method of placement of brands is higher in application than auditory in plot connection. (Russell, 2002) A good example of a matched plot connection can be the movie "Cast Away" featuring Tom Hanks who by an accident gets left alone on an abandoned island. The two brands that were integrated well with the plot were one of the biggest courier companies "Fed Ex" and another was sports goods brand "Wilson" which was integrated well in the narrative structure. A good example of a mismatched plot connection can be seen in the movie Transformers and its sequel Transformers Revenge of the Fallen in which the car which is major attraction of the movie and transforms itself into a robot is manufactured by Chevrolet, here more of Visual placement is seen and the brand is hardly mentioned in the narrative structure. Mandler in his work says lesser exposed information which is less congruent in nature is more memorable as it grabs the attention of the person by provoking his/her mind to elaborate the information. (Mandler, 1982) Modality of placement is thus a very significant factor in categorizing the recalls as it persuades and influences people and also shows the significance of stimulus.

Two Dimensional - Approach

After studying Russell's approach of Tripartite Typology of Product Placement this part of the dissertation will look at Gupta and Lord's Two Dimensional Approach. Gupta and Lord (1998) distinguish the product placement on two major categories Mode of Presentation and Level of Prominence. Mode of presentation further classified by (Karrh et al., 2003) as: Visual only, audio only and combined audio-visual. Visual only: this kind of presentation involves visibility of signage, hallmark, billboards, logos, or any other kind of presentation that is represents the brand. The presentation or the placement is only visual with no presence of audio or gestures. One example of 'Visual-only' placement can be seen in the movie Top Gun where the lead actor Tom Cruise wears aviator model of Ray-Ban sunglasses. Although, this method has comparatively low recall rate visual-only form of product placement is one of the most common methods for brand placements and can be seen in a lot of movies. 'Audio-only' technique of brand placement represents the brand by transmitting the message in only auditory way. (Gupta et al., 2000) The name of the brand or a tune or even a jingle closely associated with it can be added to the script and also be a part of the narration. One example of such placement can be from the movie "The Aviator" in which the lead mentions the brand "Sears" in his dialogue delivery. 'Audio-Visual' method of brand presentation represents the brand by both, the presence of brand's logo, billboard, signage, product, etc. on the screen with the mention of it in the narrative of the script. One example of such can be from the movie "James Bond-Die another day" in which, with the presence of Aston Martin, the narrative include the product name which was mentioned as Aston Martin Vanquish. This method of brand placement produce more recalls as compared to both 'Visual-only' and 'Audio-only' methods of brand placement. The other major segment drawn out by Gupta and Lord (1998) for classification of brand placement is on the basis of level of prominence. The differentiation in this segment was on the basis of prominent placement of brand from the subtle placement of brand, wherein in prominent placement of brand the product or the brand is kept in foreground and is in the prime focus, the field in which the brand is placed is not shared and the visibility of brand is prominent, example of such brand placement can be seen in the Tom Hanks starrer movie terminal, when he is in office of immigration officer while he explains him the situation of his country he refers to a bag of chips, the bag of chips shown for over 30 seconds was "Lays". On the other hand the subtle placement of brand is normally not prominent and does not catch attention, the visual field is shared with other brands and the products are placed in the background. Subtle case of brand placement can be seen in the movie 'Hangover' which shows billboard of brand 'Riviera' in background while the actors are driving in a police car in Las Vegas.

Although the strategy which used prominent visual brand placement with properly exposed information and auditory mention of brand's name and its attributes is said to have more effectiveness than just the visual placement, but it is not clear as the results from different academics do not coincide. (Law and Barun, 2000; Sabherwal,. 1994; Galician, 2004: 188-190)

Brand Placement on the basis of Integration and Explicitness

The brand placement methods defined by Russell were three dimensional, as by Lord and Gupta were bifurcated into two major segments based on audio-visual as mode of presentation and level of prominence. d'Austos and Seguin (1999) in their work classify brand placement in three different ways.

  1. Implicit product placement: The placement in which the presence of product, brand or firm is a part of the program and is placed there to fulfill the requirement of the context and plays a passive role and can be seen on the screen but the product name is not formally mentioning or demonstrating the product benefits, etc.
  2. Integrated Explicit product placement: An integrated brand placement is the one in which the brand, firm, product placed plays an active role, the brand is formally mentioned and the attributes of the brand are clearly demonstrated.
  3. Non-Integrated Explicit product placement: In this type of placement the brand, firm or the product is not related to the contents of program and no integration can be seen, but the name of the brand is formally expressed. Such placement is often seen in the title of the movie or in the beginning or in the end of the movie and it is seen that the brands placed in this kind of placement are often sponsors. (d'Austos and Seguin 1999)

The classification of brand placement by d'Austos and Seguin classifies brands on the basis of their integration and explicitness whereas there can be seen similarities in the classification made by Gupta and Lord (1998) and Russell (1998) as they classify the placement using similar grounds of mode of placements which are audio and visual, though the approach of Gupta and Lord's classification is simpler as the modes are clearly distinguished, the difference arise when Russell base the placement with the connection to the plot and Gupta and Lord ground their classification on prominence of brands.

Shapiro (1993) relegates product placement in four different categories which were modified to three as practitioners agreed this classification to be the most suitable compilation for conducting the research at the initial most stage as it covers the spectrum of brand placement. The classification is grouped as:

  1. Implicit: In this kind of placement the brand is visible on the screen, it might be foreground or background, etc. but brand name or benefits is given no verbal reference.
  2. Used in a scene: In this kind of placement, the brand is visible and is used in the scene, but no verbal reference is given to the brand. Instance of such brand placements can be seen in movies when the characters are driving in a car or using a cell phone and the logo or name or identification of car is clear.
  3. Integrated Explicit product placement: This kind of placement shows the lead actor or main characters of the movie using a product while mentioning and describing the benefits or attributes of the brands or the product.

The brand placement method enunciated by d'Austos and Seguin were quite similar to that of Shapiro's classification as both the practitioners focused at the integration and explicitness of brand to major extent but the classification from d'Austos and Seguin cover the dimension in which brand is place in the beginning or in end of the movie which he calls as Non-Integrated Explicit brand placement which is not discussed by any other scholar. The classification by d'Austos and Seguin is very simple and can be used to sort and categorize the placement of brands in a broader way as it covers the major aspect of placement in a well defined manner. I adopt the usage of the classification techniques of brand placement portrayed by d'Austos and Seguin (1999) as it will help me to create a clear distinction in the placement of brands and will be an optimum method to put into application for my research question.

Brand Placement and Bollywood

The technique of brand placement in Indian film industry also called as Bollywood is not new, one of the earliest example of the same was seen in the film Bobby in year 1973 when the lead actor Raj Kapoor was seen riding on a bike which was 'Rajdhoot' Since that time a lot of brand placement can be seen for aerated soft drinks in a lot of Indian movies, brand like ThumsUp, Gold Spot, etc were commonly visible in movies in early 1990s, also the visibility of high ended cars during that time were prominent on the screen. Branded liquor with bottles was a common sight in many movies during this phase and the most common brands placed were Black Dog, VAT69 and Black Label. Latest examples can be seen in movies like Om Shanti Om (2007) with brands placed like Tag Heuer (Implicit), Nokia (Integrated explicit), Shoppers Stop (Implicit), etc, another instance can be seen in the movie Goal (2007) with integrated explicit brand placement of Reebok and Western Union Money Transfer. More than 54% of Indian audience is under the age of 25 which comes under the target audience slab and of most of movie makers and the advertisement companies aiming of brand placement, and according to (FICCI and Ernst & Young, 2003) this generation has more propensity and access to wide range of media and entertainment than the previous generation hence creating a lot of opportunities and scope for brand placement in the Indian Film industry from both Indian film industry and brand promoters point of view. Not only the access to modes of entertainment but also because the Indian middle class has grown more flexible and receptive towards international outlook because of the risen standard of living through increase in purchasing power (Varma, 1998) which is also another factor of supporting the growth. There are not many studies done on Brand placement in Bollywood and no substantial research can be seen focusing on the recalls towards the brands from the brand placement shown in the bollywood movies.




This chapter focuses on the importance of research methodology and explains in brief why it is necessary to draw a frame work of the research before bringing it into practical application. This chapter clearly states the aims and objectives of the research and defines the research approach undertaken. Also this chapter looks at the research methods used for this research and explains in brief the reason for their implementation as well. As almost every other research this research also is encountered with some limitations which are stated in the end of this chapter.

Research Methodology

Research literally means the search for knowledge, a systematic and scientific search for relevant information and answers on a specific topic, searching new facts in any new branch of knowledge through inquiry, search and careful investigation. (Kothari, 2009) It is of very importance to detail out the research approach and the methods used, as it helps the reader to understand the research in a much convenient manner. Research plan includes the instruments of research which will lead to investigation of data (quantitative or qualitative) keeping the research question as prime consideration so as to be ascertain of the information gathered is fitting in with the requirement of the research. (Chisnall 1997) The following chapter includes all the activities concerned with the research conducted for this particular academic work and also tends to draw out research method which sets up an appropriate frame so as to fulfill the objectives and aims of the research further stated. The structure of this chapter is as follows

  • Aims and Objectives
  • Research philosophy
  • Approach
  • Data collection techniques
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Limitations

Aims and Objectives

The main purpose of this research is to work on the concept of "awareness" or "consciousness" of brands as people watch movies. The critical issue that the research focuses at is; do the consumers get sensitized towards brands after watching Bollywood movies. The main objectives of this research are;

  • To know is Indian audience/Bollywood's Viewers are getting aware of brands shown in the movies through in-film brand/product placement?
  • If yes, then which is the most effective method of in-film Brand/product placement by analyzing the recalls?

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy helps the researcher to find out the ways in which his/her research will comprehend the development of researcher's knowledge. (Crossan 2003) Three of the major reasons for which the research philosophy must be taken into consideration are; a) it helps the researcher to figure out the methods he can use to design and conduct the research and to chalk down a strategy, b) it helps the researcher to evaluate the limitations of the research by putting different methodologies to test, c) it helps the researcher to explore different methods beyond his knowledge or experience. Thus researcher's perception towards the development of his knowledge is like a rudder for research philosophy. (Easterby-Smith et al 1997)

The two major ways in which the research philosophy can be differentiated are Positivism and post positivism. Positivism covers the aspect of logical reasoning and works upon the idea of existence of objective reality whereas post positivism is flexible towards the creation of researcher's knowledge and skills. (Crossan 2003) To simplify the philosophical ends, it can further be assumed that at positivism end of the research philosophy Quantitative methods can be put to the test and at the post-positivism end; qualitative methods will prove useful. As the purpose of my research completely banks on logical reasoning and objective reality I in this research am implementing the positivism approach as it blends with the requirement to find the answers to my research question.

Research Approach

This part of the dissertation looks at the approach towards a research and the way it is laid down. There are two main approaches towards a research

  1. Deductive
  2. Inductive

Deductive Approach: It can be understood from the work of (Bryman and Bell 2003) that deductive approach is based on the grounds of theories already established by scholars upon which the researcher puts in various tests to come to a certain desired conclusion. Whereas inductive approach is opposite to the deductive method, it banks on experimentation and data collection which eventually leads to the development of a new theory.

This particular research which is quantitative in nature will follow deductive approach. This can be justified as data collected will be measured in pre-established theories of statistics and help in reaching results in the desired direction.

There are two main approaches towards data collection

  1. Primary
  2. Secondary

Secondary Research

This part of the dissertation takes priority to explain the Secondary method of data collection as only with proper secondary investigation the reason for primary investigation can be legitimated. Secondary investigation of data must take place before the primary research is conducted as it provides the researcher with information and knowledge already present in abundance and acts as the platform on the grounds on which a primary research can be planned. (Stewarts and Kamins, 1993) The researches that have already been made with substantial findings are the sources for Secondary Researches, the source of information for such research are books, journals, newspapers, authenticate online academic resources, articles, etc. (Bryman, 2008) These sources help the researchers to explore the knowledge and information already available in the area of their field and on the basis of that, come to a conclusion and discover the questions unexplored or hardly been researched upon, ultimately finding the gap in the knowledge and frame their research question. These sources also help the researchers to find out easy answers to the questions and link their research to methods of primary research. (McGriven, 2006)

Primary Research

Once the secondary research is done by the researcher, primary research is conducted. Unlike the secondary research most of the times the sources of primary investigation is not academic journals or books or data already existing in data bank in any form. This information is collected to fill the gaps in the existing knowledge and tools or instruments used for such investigations are case study, questionnaire, structured/unstructured interview, focus groups etc. (Stewart and Kamins, 1993) These instruments used for primary research are also used in both the qualitative and the quantitative methods of investigation.

Quantitative Method V/s Qualitative Method

Kothari in his work explains a clear distinction between these two methods: "Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount" Kothari (2009, pp. 3) whereas "Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative phenomenon i.e. phenomenon relating to or involving of quality or kind." Kothari (2009, pp. 3) An example of such a instrument that is used the most to perform a quantitative type of research is Survey, this instrument help in finding out a particular number or in terms of quantity which can be used for comparisons or simply as information which is substantiated by the grounds of research. The instruments that are normally applied for qualitative type of research are structured/unstructured interviews, focus groups, etc., these instruments help the researcher to find out the underlying information which is derived through human behavior and attitude which cannot be measured in terms of number or quantity but enables the researcher to draw a theory and reach to a conclusion by analyzing the data according to the requirements of the research.

Methods Used

This particular research banks on both, Positivism and Post-positivism for the investigation. I intend to collect the information by introducing Qualitative methods to my research which enables me be flexible with the findings and give my own inputs which follows by the case study and the unstructured interviews conducted as a part of my research methodology. The other method that I intend employ for this research is Survey which includes self-completion questionnaire which is an instrument of quantitative research. The methods and their application is explained in brief:

Case Study

Kothari in his work define case study as "The method is a very popular form of qualitative method analysis and involves a careful and complete observation of a social unit, be that a person, a family, an institution, a cultural group or even the entire community." Kothari (2009, pp. 113) In this research recently released bollywood movie "Blue" is taken as a case and will be examined extensively to study in detail the product/brand placement and brand integration with the movie. The selection of the movie is based on the grounds of its date of release and its popularity. The elaborated case study is further documented in the dissertation.


This method of data collection is mostly used for quantitative research and is one of the most popular one which is used by many researchers, private individuals, public and non-public organizations and also by the government especially in the case of big enquiries. In this method a small sample out of the entire population is taken as a subject and a detailed inspection is carried out in a comprehensive way so as to come to a conclusion that can be generalized. Kothari in his work portrays "Questionnaire is considered as the heart of a survey operation" Kothari (2009, pp. 101) I intend to use this method and include self completion questionnaire as the entire process will help me to find out that how many out of this particular sample from the entire population get sensitized or aware about the brands by the brand placement in bollywood movies. The sample for this part of my research is 50 students doing graduation in a commerce college in Indore, the same city where the entire research is being conducted. I took these students as a sample because the target audience that the movie focuses at is people aging between 15 and 35. The graduating students were the prime focus for my research as the level of awareness and consciousness for brands is comparatively high and they fall under the target audience slab.

Semi-Structured Interview

The method explained above which is Survey also has some limitations as the respondent answers the question keeping the social norms in mind and the questions hardly leaves any scope for exploring other dimensions. (Silverman, 2001) A good semi structured questionnaire is grounded formulated according to the nature of the research, the questions asked must be linked to the research questions, usage of simple language is emphasized so as the interviewee does not get confused. (Bryman, 2004)

The main objective of this research is to find out whether or not the Indian audience/consumers get sensitize towards the brands by the brand placement in bollywood movies or not. If yes, which method made the most number of recalls possible? Therefore, the dimension of Movie production and Brand Manufacturers is completely ignored as the collection of any sort of information from these dimensions might be biased and to a major extent irrelevant as these two sectors for this particular field of research cannot be targeted as audience or consumers. Three methods are used for the research of this dissertation. The usage of two or more methods in a research will lead to triangulation of data collected and make the findings more reliable and valid. (Creswell, 2003)

The process of primary research starts by introducing a survey with formulation of a Questionnaire which is drawn out in a comprehensive way, yet it is short and simple to understand. The purpose of this questionnaire is to explore the brand consciousness amongst people and to know if they observed the presence of integrated brands in the bollywood movies. The questionnaire was drawn with only a few open questions which directed towards personal details, most of the other questions were with multiple choices as option. The other method used is of the case study, which is of a bollywood movie, the investigation and data collection was carried out in a cinema hall where a sample of five randomly selected college students were asked to watch the same movie which is used as the case study and with verbal consent sought a semi structured interview was conducted minutes after they watched the movie.


There are three methods of primary collection of data which are used in this research which leads to the analysis of the data collected from three different dimensions. It can be understood from Seale's work that examining and analyzing data from two or more different dimensions can be termed as Triangulation. The use of triangulation is encouraged in any research as it increases the validity and reliability of the findings. (Seale, 1999)

Data Analysis

Once the collection of data is over, the next step and a very significant one is of data analysis. The collected data is to be analyzed in a very organized and systematic way. The researcher must make sure that the data collected is reliable and valid and its analysis and is purely unbiased. Kent (1999) in his work provides three methods of data analysis:

Mechanical Analysis: Appendix 'A' of this research is an example of Mechanical Analysis as the data collected is organized by sorting and coding eventually leading to a formation of a pattern for its representation.

Transcription: For transformation of information from audio medium to typographic one this method is a very important tool. The interview taken from five respondents was converted in to written text in section 4.3 which is an example of this method. The text is analyzed in this section itself.

Interpretive Analysis: The data collected from primary methods of questionnaire, case study and interviews was construed through intensive study and examination. This is a very crucial part of a research as it helps the researcher to draw out sense from all the collected data and helps in attaining the research objectives.

Research Limitations

As many of the other researches, this research also has some shortcomings. The aspect of limitations cannot be ignored as it contributes to reliable and genuine assessing of the results. The limitations of this research are covered in this part of the dissertation.

The main objective of this dissertation focuses on the recall and response of consumers towards the brand placement in bollywood movies. The sample taken for the assessment is small and cannot provide generalization of the entire population. The case study for this research include one popular bollywood movie as a sample which also can not represent the entire bollywood industry as the industry is very huge in size and produces movies with a lot of variations. However, taking into consideration the time provided for this research and the magnitude of study the sample used in this research provides with substantial information and insight for the future researchers to understand and explore the field towards it expansion.

The qualitative data in this research was hard to analyze as there are not many statistical methods to put in to test. Due to lack of such methods objectivity can be the matter of concern which indeed is given a great deal of importance. Rationality and authenticity of this research is given prime priority, transcription of data has been done with a lot of accuracy and importance is given to the minutest of details.

Having these limitations and shortcomings the findings of this research cannot be taken for granted or given any less importance as they not only expand the vision of a particular area of this vast field but will also act as a motivational factor for other researchers for future researches.




This chapter depicts the case study of the recently released super starrer multi casted film "Blue" by focusing on the brand placements and the strategies used in this film. The findings from unstructured interviews that were conducted with 5 random students are also exhibited in this part of the dissertation; the interviewees will remain anonymous as requested by them. The chapter will also discuss and analyze the data collected from self-completion questionnaires which were distributed in the sample of 50 students doing their graduation.

The sections in this chapter documenting the data collection and findings in this research are:

  1. Case study of the movie Blue
  2. The level of recall of brands is high just after watching the movie and the most effective method of brand placement is Integrated Explicit method.
  3. Consumers get sensitize towards the brands from brand placement in bollywood movies.

Case Study: Blue

"Blue" is an adventurous film attracting a lot of crowd especially because of its cast. The lead of the film is India's most expensive actor Akshay Kumar (Aarav) supported by Sanjay Dutt (Sagar), Zayed Khan (Sameer), and Rahul Dev (Gulshan) in negative role. The female lead actor for this film is Lara Dutta (Mona) and supporting actress is Katria Kaif (Nikki). The film has been shot in Bahamas and Bangkok. The film has a lot of glamour and style and the story of the film revolves around a treasure hunt. The only person who knows about the treasure is Sagar who is a good friend of Aarav. The character Aarav is shown as a multi millionaire staying in huge villas and is seen driving Porsche and Jaguar in the movie, his intentions since the beginning of the movie are to convince Sagar to dive in to the deep blue sea for the treasure which is worth billions of dollars. The route to the treasure is known only by Sagar and his best trait shown in the movie is scuba diving. Sagar on the other hand is very apprehensive about the treasure hunt and never wants to talk about it. Sagar's brother Sameer is shown for the first time in Bangkok riding on a Ducati and is seen street racing against Gulshan. Gulshan's friend is Nikki who meets Sameer after the street race and both Gulshan and Nikki convince Sameer to work for them for delivering a package, for which Sameer would get fifty thousand dollars. Sameer being on the way to the destination for delivery gets chased by the police and lose the package. The package lost was claimed to be of fifty million dollars by Gulshan and due to his loss he threatens Sameer to give him fifty million dollars back or Sameer would be killed. Sameer being Sagar's younger brother goes to Bahamas to disappear from Bangkok and live a peaceful life. Eventually Gulshan finds out about Sameer and his staying in Bahamas, and kidnaps Mona who is Sagar's girlfriend. Sagar is left with no choice else to go for the treasure hunt and pay the ransom of fifty million dollars to get his girlfriend back and to give his brother a new life. Sagar, Sameer and Aarav dive into the sea and find the treasure. The instance they come on the sea surface they see Gulshan on another yacht demanding for whole treasure instead of fifty million dollar otherwise he would kill Mona. In the end of the movie Gulshan claims that he was betrayed and tells Sagar that this all was a set up planned by Aarav. Gulshan says Aarav wanted you (Sagar) to find the treasure but since you (Sagar) were apprehensive about it all the time, he planned to set your brother up and kidnap you girlfriend. After finding out what has happened Gulshan gets shot by Aarav. Aarav also jump into the sea and his absence is presumed as his being dead. Three months later Sagar answers a phone call and on the other side of the phone is Aarav who stayed alive and has transferred 20% of the worth of the treasure in Sagar's bank account. Like any other Indian movie the characters lived happily ever after.

The movie had a lot action scenes and bike stunts with international location and underwater photography. The elements of movie indicate that its target audience was people in the age group of 15-30.

Table 1 shows the presentation of data collected after careful observation of brand placement in the movie "Blue". The table shows placement of brands in the run time of 116 minutes and also classifies the branding according to d'Astos and Seguin's relegation of product placement strategies. The classification by d'Astos and Seguin is put into application as there is no substantial academic evidence of product placement strategies in bollywood and strategy by d'Astos and Seguin (1999) can be used to sort and categorize the placement of brands in a broader way as it covers the major aspect of placement in a well defined manner.

This movie based on treasure hunt and having an adventurous them has used brands which defines almost the same thing. The implicit brand placement can be seen of high ended market products, cars like Porshe and Nissan and bikes like Ducati and Suzuki have been shown as they also were the requirement for the movie and bikes were brilliantly placed during a street racing scene. Other instances of such placement can be seen throughout the movie, especially Nokia phones, the phones are prominently visible and can be associated with the brand. Another example was the signage of Fendi and Levi's seen in the background just after the end of songs shot in Bahamas. A can of Heineken was also shown for one second during the street race and was implicitly placed; the attributes and the brand name were never mentioned for these products.

A lot of explicit presentation of non-integrated brands was observed in the very first minute of the movie. Special thanks was given to IDBI Bank, Star Sports and ESPN and other products and services like Streak, Odyssey, FedEx, Book my show, and imperial blue were also thanked and logos were prominent and closely associated with the brands making the placement accurate. Both the groups mentioned above were given 5 seconds each. Logos of the film's radio partner; Fever 104.5FM and Red 93.5 FM were also visualized and given the slot of five seconds, another media partner were channel partner Zoom and Channel V also given the slot of five seconds, other associates like, Bright outdoor partner, Media agencies (MATES, MIDAS and Digit), Talent Syndication,, T Series, T Series digi music were given a slot of three seconds each displaying a brilliant example of non-integrated explicit product placement. "A special thanks to Kylie Minogue" was seen during the titles of the movie which is another instance of brand placement and is classified in Non-integrated explicit method.

Two cases of integrated explicit brand placement are also witnessed in this movie.

The movie have a scene in which the lead actor Akshay Kumar (Aarav) approaches Kylie Minogue (Herself) just before a song; during that sequence Zayed Khan (Sameer) tells the rest of the group, "Hey, that's Kylie Minogue". This is a clear instance of integrated explicit brand placement because the name of the brand with its visual was mentioned during the sequence and the song. The attributes of the brand which is "Kylie Minogue" one of the most sensational and popular singers were seen in the song which was sung by Kylie Minogue herself.

The placement of Kylie Minogue as a brand is a very important one as it is for 9 minutes and the focus of integration of this brand covers a song. The song was super hit and thus a significant placement of brand. Another instance of integrated explicit placement can be during a sequence right after this song ends when Sameer walks out of the club and see a Ducati parked right next to the pavement. The bikes attributes and name is mentioned and the bike is fantasized by the actor; adding the value to the bike's brand placement and making it more prominent. The dialogue delivered between Sameer and Aarav during this sequence is as follows

"Sameer: Wow!!! Ducati 999!

Aarav: You like it?

Sameer: Zero to Hundred in 3.6 seconds! Like it??? She is my dream man!!"

The brands highlighted in the movie from brand placement point of view were Ducati and Kylie Minogue because of the explicit presence for longer duration, and also Nokia and Ray Ban because of frequent implicit presence on the screen.

Semi-structured Interview

This part of the dissertation looks at the data collected from unstructured interview conducted with five random movie goers who were interviewed just after they watched the movie "Blue" which is also take as the case study for this research. The interviewees were selected keeping the age factor in consideration; all the interviewees were of the age between 20 and 25 as this is the prime target audience for this movie. The consent was sought verbally and the interviewee's identity is kept anonymous as requested. Following was the set of questions asked"

  1. How often do you watch the movie?
  2. Do you remember the name of the actors of this movie? If yes, name them.
  3. Were there any guest appearances? If yes, who was the star?
  4. Did you see any brands in this movie?
  5. One thing that you would want to buy after watching this movie?
  6. Do you own any brand shown in the movie?
  7. Did you remember watching any of these brands in the movie or its beginning? Brands were; Streak, odyssey, FedEx, 93.5 Fm Red, Talent Syndication,, ESPN and Star sports.

The answers received from each respondent were very similar to each other's.

The response for the first question from all of them was indicating towards watching movie on an average of once a week or as soon as a new movie releases. Second question was also answered by every one of them with the right names of actors and actresses. While answering the third question one of the respondents rather naming the guest star (Kylie Minouge) was relating more to the song she sang in the movie, however he answered with the right name but he asked his friend about it while watching the movie. The other respondents were correctly able to name the star in guest appearance and they also answered how they got to know the name. The answers from two respondents were of having seen the video of the song on television a number of times and that was the reason he got familiar with the name. The last two respondents answered saying they heard the name when Zayed khan (Sameer) mentioned it in the movie. In this type of integrated explicit placement the brand gets identify not only while watching the movie but also when the brand is seen on television. Kylie Minogue was feature in the song Jiggy Wiggy which was super hit all across India, the song was seen playing on TV during the prime time (6 pm-10pm) and also the name was mentioned on radio as of now this is the most effective method of brand placement as far as brands recall is concerned. The answers for question number four are very significant for this dissertation as they indicate the awareness of brands while consumers are watching the movie. Out of five, three respondents said yes when asked this question, the other two took a lot of time and some clues to answer the question. The first three respondents said they identified the Red Porsche, Ducati, Nokia cell phone and Ray Ban sunglasses. The other two respondents were able to identify with Ducati only when asked why they said they are passionate about bikes and they heard Zayed Khan saying its name with that they added "That bike is my dream too". While answering the fifth question all of the respondents were very quick and one thing that they have started dreaming about was the Ducati 999, although two out five also responded that they would want to buy a Porsche someday. After asking the sixth question it took respondents hardly any time to answer, without even thinking for one minute and trying to remember if they have own something similar to the brands shown in the movie or still own it, all the respondents answered saying Nokia and three of them also answered by mentioning Ray Ban sunglasses. Implicit placement proves to be very useful when the brands are commonly know and are in the reach of affordability of a normal middle class man. When asked the seventh question four out of five responded were able to answer some brands. When asked to the 5th person why haven't he noticed the brands, he answered by saying he doesn't care about the logos shown in the beginning of the movie and that it is not in any of his interest.

The finding from conducting a semi-structured is, Indian consumers gets attracted when they see a brand which interests them for its attributes and they get more inclined towards its when they see the actor of the bollywood movie mentioning the samde. The mentioning of the brand increases the desire and influences the consumers; it can be proved as implicitly shown Nissan car was never recalled, though the car has almost the same attribute as Ducati 999. The best method for brand placement found from this research with the most number of recalls is integrated explicit brand placement especially by integrating the brand in the song. The most number of recalls were received for Kylie Minogue. The second method which proves to be most effective is implicit placement of brands and only those brands which comes under the affordability of a middle class Indian man. One such recall was of Nokia cell phones, the brand was implicitly shown without any mention of the name or jingle or audio of any sort in the script, still, all the five respondents gave the recall of the Nokia phone as they were able to relate with the brand and the product.

Results from Questionnaire

Table 2 shows the data collected from the sample of 50 students doing their graduation in commerce from a university in Indore, the same city where the entire research is being conducted. The maximum number of recalls for the above questionnaire focusing at the brands shown in the movie "Blue" is 47 as 3 students have not seen the movie. Here also the results indicate that the brands which are express implicitly and are integrated in the movie are recalled the most. The brands with most recalls are

  • Ducati and Ducati 999: These brands are recalled the most because of the two sequences in which the bike is shown for more than 20 minutes while the actor is racing and being chased by police and the other scene in which the actor mentions the bike's name and attributes and that the bike is his dream machine.
  • Kylie Minogue: The brand got 100 % recall because of its integrated explicit placement in the movie. The brand placement was done in such a way that the brands name was mentioned during a sequence and the attributes of brand were observed in a song. Since Kylie Minogue is a singer her attributes were not necessary to be mentioned as the song featuring her was sung by Kyle Minogue herself. The repetition of song on satellite television also made the brand more popular and hard to forget.
  • Nokia: 47 out of 47 recalls to a product which was implicitly placed and the attributes of which were never mentioned in any dialogue delivery or in any other auditory way. The reason for such recall was that the consumers relate to that product, every student who was in the sample have seen a Nokia cell phone and also the reason for such recall is familiarity to consumers life.

The brands scoring the least number of recalls were mainly those which were branded in explicitly without any integration in the movie. The brand logos were shown for 3 to 5 seconds without any music or narration in the background. The explicit non integration of brand placement does not seem to be a good technique to be applied in bollywood film industry. Although, in semi structured interview four out of five responded were able to identify with the brands when asked which leads us to another finding from this research which is when the consumers have just watched the movie and the memory of what seen is the highest non-integrated explicit method of brand placement seems to be the effective method for brand recognition and recalls.

Other Findings from Questionnaire

  • More than 65% of the sample of 50 students watches bollywood movies once a week.
  • The observation of products and brands in the movies they have seen recently is of the most common brands with which they are familiar and consume in daily life. Other facet to this can be; recall diminishes with time and only those brands are remembered with which the consumer gets associated to on a regular basis.
  • Brand promotion through songs and other techniques is a good way to generate long lasting recalls.
  • Astonishingly more than 79% of students believe that advertising through brand placement is a much better option than in commercial breaks. Many of those who believed that it is a good technique thought it always catches attention and generates desire in people to buy products as the people aspire to be like the stars that are seen using the brands in bollywood movies.
  • 65% of the sample agreed to the inclination towards the brand if their favorite actor or actress is seen using it on the screen as they aspire to be like them and will use them so as to be associated to them in any way. Most of the others have the opinion of following their own likes and dislikes. If the actor is carrying and supporting a brand they don't like they won't get inclined towards buying it.




This is the last chapter of the dissertation and concludes the research by summarizing the collection of data and relating it with the research objectives. The objectives are linked with the literature comparing practice with theory. This chapter also draws out the limitation of the study and scope of the study for future.

Research objectives

There are two main objectives for this research

  1. To know, does the Indian audience/consumer get aware of the brands shown in the movie through in-film brand placement
  2. To find out the method of brand placement applied in bollywood film that leads to maximum number of recalls of brands by analyzing the data collected from literature review, case study, semi structured interview and questionnaire.
  3. To know does the Indian audience/consumer get aware of the brands shown in the movie through in film brand placement.

The findings from data collected and analysis prove that the Indian consumers get sensitized towards the brands shown in the bollywood film. This research is based on empirical study and after applying the method of case study in which the bollywood film "Blue" is scrutinized to know the brands placed in the movie a table was presented drawing out the detailed classification of data on the basis of relegation of brand placement provided by d'Austos and Seguin (1999) who classifies brands on the basis of Integration and Explicitness. The classification method by d'Austos and Seguin is considered for the investigation of this research because the classification is portrayed in a broad sense and covers the aspects of brand placements from all dimensions. d'Austos and Seguin elaborates the method of explicitness when the product or brand is not integrated with the movie; this method is not taken into consideration by any of the other scholars in the literature of this research. The main reason of executing classification from the method of d'Austos and Seguin was to classify the brands from the first second of the movie till the end and this method

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