The Untapped Power of Product Placement in Nollywood Movies
Product placement is optimally used in Hollywood, and Bollywood has also tapped into the concept, seeing the opportunities that abound through its vast application. What the concept simply unveils, is that the products of the company which serve as props in certain scenes in the movies, will invariably serve as an indirect advertising campaign for the company. Product placement does not necessarily translate into cash for the producers, but they have access to free props from the company which would have cost them a fortune to obtain in the market. For e.g a scene where an expensive car is needed to shoot a particular scene, rather than scampering around to borrow, purchase or hire it, the company which makes the car gives it to the producer to show /use, in the needed scene in the movie, in exchange for a captured shot of the company’s brand name on the car for the viewers to see.
Viewers having seen various products in the flicks with their great functions, unconsciously find themselves being drawn to such products (especially when used by the lead actor/actress). They ultimately purchase the products, which creates a boost in the sales, to the company’s benefit. Product placement in Hollywood movies include Apple Computers (now Inc) products in “Mission Impossible” (Tom Cruise), Mercedes Benz (The Lost World: Jurassic park), Fed Ex (Cast Away).
In Nollywood movies, the names of eateries, accessories and Nollywood clothing shops are sometimes captured to make viewers know where the scene was shot. At best the business names are put under the “Appreciation tag” during the rolling of the closing credits. A lot of producers limit themselves to such places. It could be that they are not aware of the concept being deployed, or have not understood the power behind the concept, making the appreciative gesture a parody of product placement.
The director of “30 Days”, Mildred Okwo (AMAA 2008 nominee for Best Director), with an in- depth knowledge of the concept, secured product placement from Oando for the said movie. Product placement cuts costs, helps producers spend money on other items on the movie budget, rather than incurring expenses on props that can be gotten next to nothing from the companies. The life display of the products in the scenes projects realism into the minds of viewers. It’s about time that Nigerian producers arise and enthusiastically leverage on this concept which would ultimately aid in boosting good productions.