Propaganda for Patriotism
Documentary is a unique form of expression, one that aims towards a group of people, appeals to an even more specific subgroup of that people, meanwhile captures the attention of mass audiences despite the filmmakers concern of their viewing. A propaganda documentary influences viewers in a precise way that convinces them to react based on subjective content. Michael Moore’s film, Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) takes on the roots and effects of the Bush administration, the Iraq War, and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from a liberal perspective.
Moore’s film was distributed internationally, made for the American people, but supports the left-view American view. Leni Riefenstahl’s motion picture Triumph of the Will (1935) was exposed to Nazi Germany, appealed to join young well-able men to join the Nazi army, and ultimately fed the idolization of Adolf Hitler. Moore and Riefenstahl have incredibly divergent party allegiances, these documentary filmmakers use opposing cinematic strategies to appeal to the individual citizen’s best interests, but ultimately ignite a sense of patriotism in their citizens.
Commonly characterized as the sophisticated and intellectual film genre, the informative undertone of documentary filmmaking–no matter how artistically decorated–should raise suspicions as to why this specific documentary has been made. Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned by the Nazi Germany government to create Triumph of the Will during a time where Nazi leaders were concerned for the public image of Nazism and Adolf Hitler. The film was intended to show Adolf Hitler as a heroic figure and savior to Germany during this time period. Triumph of the Will was deemed a commercial production to distance the Nazi party’s involvement in the project, the Nuremberg rally was used to project an invincible Nazi government and military to deject their enemies and ignite supporters of Nazism.
Riefenstahl refrained from common documentary contrasting to explicitly show more and more shots of the flourishing Nazi Germany, in particular during the annual Nuremberg rally in 1934, instead she built powerful image upon powerful image. This film, being a government sponsored film in support of the present regime, did not seek to provoke empathy as do some documentaries, Hitler and the Nazi soldiers were portrayed to be flawless characters. Everything about this films production and execution centers around power and wealth. The streams of crowds, affluent city, Christian church, multiple cameras in rally, etc. This film had a singular message, which was for everyone to know the wealth, power, and success of Nazi Germany, it was a vision of what every German citizen should make of the Nazi regime.
The film techniques such as tracking shots, low angle shots, and aerial shots used were not unique to cinema at the time but the film’s complex production and use of scope uniquely reflected the unyielding superiority of Nazi’s agenda for power and wealth. The Nuremberg Rally was filmed with numerous cameras planted throughout the parade, emphasizing the scope of massively well-organized crowds of either soldiers or supporters. This film is indulgent in order and mass, and its excessive budget was a reflection of Nazi Germany’s flourishing economy.
In film critic and theoretician Bill Nichols’ classic text, “Introduction to Documentary” (2001), Nichols would categorize Triumph of the Will documentary mode to be observational within his establishment of six different types of documentary modes. Observational documentary is aimed towards depicting reality as it is, or what the filmmaker wants to portray as everyday life reality. The mode revolves around the fact that the filmmaker is not intrusive on the subjects, however Riefenstahl presents this documentary as an observational documentary, but in reality much of the film was curated. The lack of narration supported the Nazi party’s goal to distance their direct touch on the filmmaking process in order for it to appear to be a more legitimate representation of them. This detachment of filmmaker and film allowed the viewers to feel less instructed, but more able to develop their own conclusions on the Nazi regime based on what they saw. As mentioned prior, Nazis were not in the best place during the time this film was made, a handful of their leaders were assassinated and the concentration camps were just being developed. The lack of expository elements allowed the Nazi’s to represent themselves in a better light without context as to what is actually going on within the party.
This serves as true in the sense that Riefenstahl did obtain her footage in the direct cinema style of filmmaking, despite claiming the film was cinema verite. She didn’t incorporate narration of the images she was recording, the distinction between diegetic and nondiegetic parade music is foggy. The shots of Hitler’s arrival to Nuremberg, the city’s famous annual rally, and the prospering infrastructure of Nazi Germany seem to be conveniently acquired with a simple camera present. In reality, these scenes were embellished as much as Riefenstahl could manage, for example the seemingly invigorating moment Hitler arrived off the plane was actually a moment curated for the film. In Triumph of the Will, patriotism and nationalism was developed in its viewers through an observational lense that anonymously presented the magnitude of control the Nazi regime had, making any of the wavering or untrustworthy German army members feel threatened by the numbers and fierce leadership. The lack of self reflexivity of the filmmaker, legitimizes the visuals of Nazi Germany and the power and order they seemed to have possessed amongst their people. The indirect address of Riefenstahl’s subjects and prolonged takes lead the audience to join her as the “fly on the wall.”
Another political propaganda film not directly hailed for its advanced cinematic elements but the complexity in which cinema was used to document is Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. The film is the highest grossing documentary of all time, Moore delves into the early years of the Bush Administration and the US government’s suspicious behaviors within the War on Terror and rationalizations of the Iraq War. Triumph of the Will was a film generated in the midst of hope that the Nazi regime would continue to flourish into the future and it was commissioned by the government in support of the regime. In contrast to Fahrenheit 9/11, where Moore is speaking against his government and wants the audience to reflect on past events in question to how power and wealth was being played out. However, Moore is still engaging in film propaganda and the criticism lies in the favor of the left-view politics and parties, but isn’t explicitly trying to empower us but rather inform us.
It is important to refer to Bill Nichol’s establishment of documentary modes to understand how these films differ in execution and impact. Michael Moore engages in a performative mode in his film, which combines numerous different filmmaking styles and modes to best nourish the subject matter and provoke a conclusive and relatively emotional reaction to what the viewer is seeing. Fahrenheit 9/11 contains first-hand accounts of politicians, citizens, victims, and Moore himself in relation to the political and historical problems of the US government. The emphasis on personal experience is pivotal to a performative documentary, in comparison to Triumph of the Will, where citizen individuality was not celebrated yet still attracted patriotism and nationalism. While this documentary is performative, it includes reflexivity and expository choices. Moore’s subjective, personal understandings of what is happening in the grand scale of American politics is a powerful tool for viewers to engage in postmodernism rhetoric on what is really happening in America, without the in depth logistical context.
The use of compilation is rampant in this Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore has derived archived footage of key moments in US government decision making and utilized it for evidence and ironic punch lines. As in expository documentary, Moore enlists himself as the film’s “Voice of God,” being the authority narrator, navigating the audience members throughout the film, another element in which the viewer hands their trust to him, Moore’s famous approach to simplifying his rhetoric is with humor and sarcasm, most often towards the country’s elites, but nonetheless is it taken as a trustworthy voice to left-wing supporters. The editing revolves around the verbal continuity of Moore’s “storytelling” and builds the viewer’s investment in a resolution to the recent corruption in the presidential administration.
Reflexivity is also a present mode in the film, Moore is frequently in front of the camera demonstrating his own investigative nature in find the missing parts of his knowledge and conclusion to the film’s subjects, meanwhile taking us on a journey that will ultimately end the film. The film is not reflexive in the sense that Moore demonstrates the organization of the production, but we follow him as he creates the film’s footage.
In conclusion, both films are propaganda films, but they are using the opposite cinematic techniques to invoke an ultimate sentiment of invigorated patriotism towards the filmmaker’s favored political party leaving the individual (in the party’s favor) a more fierce and polarized citizen. One film is looking to expand the government’s longevity, and reflect this in the film’s complex production, hoping solidify the party’s advancement. The other film criticizes a government administration’s actions, weakening their front, analyzing the past.
Anna Corbitt Film Appreciation Film Final November 23, 2018 A Review of Shaolin Soccer Since the beginning of the film industry, it seems that Hollywood films have dominated the movie world. Whether it’s due to lack of advertisement or reluctance, many Americans (myself included) have watched very few foreign films in their lifetimes. However, there is a plethora of films made outside of the United States that deserve recognition.
Foreign films can give audiences an insight into the culture of the country the film originates from. Even films that are not quite as serious contain a certain charm and uniqueness that isn’t found in Hollywood. Shaolin Soccer is one of those films. The plot of Shaolin Soccer takes the audience on a journey of actioned packed laughter. The story begins by introducing Golden Foot, a permanently crippled former soccer star, who dreams of redemption by coaching his own soccer team and taking down his nemesis Team Evil. Golden Foot meets the film’s financially struggling protagonist; Sing. Sing is trying to reunite his brothers and revitalize the art of Shaolin Kung Fu. The pair eventually decide to team up to accomplish their goals and ultimately create the heart of this chaotic comedy. Sing and his reluctant brothers form a soccer team with Golden Foot as the coach.
Their plan is to use their special martial art abilities to win the million-dollar soccer championship and promote Kung Fu globally. After several intense sports montages and some adversity due to Team Evil’s drug enhanced athletes and injuries, the band of Kung Fu misfits finally conquer evil. Shaolin Soccer takes the classic underdog sports story and twists it into something comedic and jam packed with action. The only thing relating this film to actual soccer is that there is ball and a goal. However, the crazy high flying Kung Fu style version of the game is what makes this movie so silly, unique, and endearing. The heart of this film makes it impossible not to smile throughout even with the predictable plot developments and occasional dumb joke.
Cinematography plays a significant role in this film. Specifically, different camera angles and movements are used to break from and intensify the action sequences. During one of the action scenes near the end of the film, one of the Shaolin soccer players gets injured. The camera quickly zooms into the concerned faces of his teammates making the scene much more intense. The film uses lighting the same way. Most of the scenes in the film are shot with very bright lighting. However, the movie occasionally uses dim lighting during flashbacks or particularly intense moments.
The movie starts off with a flashback showing how Golden Foot became crippled. It is shot in black and white with darker lighting because it is meant to represent the darkest moment of Golden Foot’s life. This scene set in the past contrasts greatly from the movie taking place in the present. These are just some of the examples of how cinematography is present. The film uses cinematography to frequently shift from a lighthearted comedic triumph to an overdramatized yet equally hilarious trial. Another factor that plays a key role in the success of this film is the acting. The dialogue of this film almost entirely consists of humor. However, the actors never make the storyline line seem like a joke. The comedy filled lines are delivered seriously and with emotion.
The actors perform well enough that the audience can easily get behind the outlandish characters and their goals. The ridiculous dialogue never gets boring or annoying because of its delivery. The chemistry between the characters is natural and does not seemed forced. The actors do a fantastic job of portraying the memorable afflictions and demeanors of their characters. The Kung Fu brothers’ strengths and weaknesses make the story more interesting, and the actors stay true to what makes each brother distinctive. It is easy to believe that Golden Foot and the Kung Fu brothers care about their goals and that they care about each other. The small amount of romance never seems forced or frustrating.
The actors’ interactions with each other make it believable. Overall the actors in this film do an amazing job of making the Kung Fu fantasy seem realistic and relatable. Auteur theory is the theory in filmmaking that the director is the major creative force behind a movie. The directing of this film is the perfect example of auteur theory. Stephen Chow is the film’s director, but he also co-wrote the script and starred in the lead role. Chow, as director, oversees the audio and visual elements of the film, but as co-screenwriter he also wrote the story. Starring as the protagonist, Sing, he can easily make sure the emotions he wrote in the script are portrayed accurately. He is certainly the undisputed creative force behind Shaolin Soccer. His directing style perfectly showcases the crazy Kung Fu scenes and the comical, yet heart felt, moments that make this film so wonderful.
With a delightful cast and near perfect set placement, it is difficult to criticize Chow’s direction of this film. Stephen Chow is a very talented actor, writer, and director. Without his creative influences the success of this film would not have been possible. Chow is a cinematic genius and his direction of Shaolin Soccer showcases this. He plays a huge role in the production of this motion picture and is definitely a major creative force. The final elements that I find to be a critical part of this film are the editing styles and visual effects. Even though this is a high-flying comedy, the pacing of the film never feels rushed. The film is fast paced throughout, but manages to slow down at the correct time for dialogue.
The cuts between scenes always seem to happen at appropriate intervals and allow for a smooth change in settings. The screen fades in during the action sequences making the scenes seem more intense. The camera zoom allows the audience to get a close view of the actors’ facial expressions and emotions. The scenes then fade out after the soccer games which creates a smooth transition between the Kung Fu and the character dialogues. Though the visual effects in the film can seem cheap and cartoonish, they only add to the film’s wild comedic value. The soccer kicks with enough velocity to create a tornado, crazy flaming backgrounds, and high flying athletes are what helps distinguish this film from other underdog sports stories. The post production of this film is crucial. Without the computer generated imagery and editing, Shaolin Soccer is dull and pointless.
Overall I found Shaolin Soccer to be a wonderfully goofy comedy. Although the audience is unable to relate to being a martial artist with super power like abilities, one can relate to the story of being an underdog with the hope of overcoming adversity and achieving the seemingly impossible. I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for a ridiculously good laugh. Shaolin Soccer is a noteworthy movie that takes the audience on an amazing roller coaster ride. The film contains an attention-grabbing plot, dynamic cinematography, outstanding acting, remarkable directing, and brilliant post production. The movie promises to make the audience laugh, and it delivers exceptionally.
Gender Roles Resistance and Response in Thelma Louise
Ridley Scott’s progressive 1991 road movie, Thelma & Louise, shines an accusatory spotlight on female oppression. Regrettably not left behind in the ’90s along with frosted blue eyeshadow, this maltreatment is unfortunately still very much present in today’s society. By highlighting repressive gender roles and the lead characters’ ultimately futile efforts to resist them, the revolutionary film launched a nationwide conversation, and spurred a cult following of women feeling seen for the first time in their lives.
The film opens with a subtle, but very symbolic shot. Set to haunting rock music, a black and white view of a valley pans to a dirt road leading directly to a majestic mountain on the horizon with wide-open skies. As the camera cranes up, the image transitions to full, vivid color. The shot freezes and then darkens over into black. This simple opening foreshadows everything that is to come: a bleak outset, a journey toward freedom, and the short-lived actualization of that wondrous freedom before it all comes crashing down to a devastating end. Without necessarily realizing it, the viewer already knows all they’ll need to – an attempt to break free will inevitably end in disaster.
The audience is then introduced to Louise (Susan Sarandon) and Thelma (Geena Davis), and their respective lives of routine and domesticity. Louise works in a diner, subservient to an endless influx of customers. Thelma, who Louise teasingly refers to as “”little housewife””, is stuck in a submissive role under a controlling husband. The spaces they inhabit are very telling. Louise wears a uniform and operates in a cramped, loud environment. All day long she offers choices to everyone else, while she herself has no choice in anything. Her surroundings reflect how she feels stifled by society, holding no control over her own life. Thelma is a mess living in mess. Her apartment is small, dark, and chaotic. Her hair isn’t done, she isn’t dressed, and there’s a feeling of entrapment due to the cacophony of noise resulting from the TV playing, the phone ringing, and her yelling to get the attention of husband Darryl (Christopher McDonald). The clippings of dream kitchens she has hung on the wall show her yearning for a different life, a better life. Louise’s kitchen, on the other hand, is shown to be the total opposite of Thelma’s with the sink housing only one dirty cup to be washed. The simple, spotless space feels cold with no sign of life or living.
The women start out occupying pretty traditional gender roles for the movie’s early 1990s setting. The ’80s had seen a real rise in acceptance toward women in the workplace – the percentage of working women had reached 71% by 1985 (Guilder) – but it hadn’t yet become fully commonplace in the minds of all Americans. Chauvinistic Darryl stands as the perfect example of the resistance to the women’s liberation movement. He cruelly belittles his wife by waving his title of regional manager over her, in a sense asserting she has no power (over him, or otherwise) because she doesn’t hold a “”respect-worthy”” position in society. When Thelma hesitates to ask Darryl for permission to go on a girl’s trip, Louise sums up the troubling dynamic perfectly when she accusatorially asks Thelma if he is her husband or father. Darryl sees his wife as inferior rather than as an equal partner, and by so strongly enforcing his views, he keeps her from reaching to achieve her full potential.
Less overt is Louise’s imprisonment in the gender framework, but it’s just as present. She goes through life with a hard outer shell, which we learn later on is a protective mechanism adopted in response to a traumatic experience from her past. She keeps walls up because every time she lets them down a little, she (or someone close to her) gets burned. On the phone with physically and emotionally absent boyfriend Jimmy (Michael Madsen), she asks if he loves her, and, sensing hesitation on the other end, immediately regrets opening herself up. It’s better to be closed off and alone, than exposed and hurt. She chastises and blames herself for letting her guard down and having a little fun at the country bar instead of vigilantly protecting her vulnerable friend. The internalized guilt over Thelma’s almost attack drives her actions for the remainder of the movie. Louise takes this burden of self-repression on herself because she feels that’s the only way to survive in a world set up the way it is. No one messes with a strong-willed woman, so she stuffs her desires and emotions down to continue to portray and inhabit this cold exterior.
The women decide to head out on the open road for a short retreat from their stifling realities, but it ends up leading them somewhere they could never have imagined. The road movie is a central American narrative structure revolving around freedom in which the characters’ physical journey is paralleled by a spiritual journey. As utilized in other iconic cult films such as Two-Lane Blacktop and Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, the format can easily lend itself to a critique of American society. The open road is a space representative of unlimited potential, the exact opposite of the spaces Thelma and Louise occupied at home. As the women take to the road to physically run from their past lives, destructive significant others, and the law hot on their trail, they establish a metaphysical destination of freedom, and decide to follow the path wherever it may take them.
In their in-depth book, Cult Cinema: An Introduction, Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton dive into the theme of violence in cult films. They start generally by explaining that many cult films use instances of violence to oppose mainstream modes of representation. Diving deeper, they discuss how in classical Hollywood cult films, it’s typical to have violence associated with “”frontier liminality””, or the character’s inability to cross the frontier marking the edge of civilization. Unable to function in civilization or in wilderness, the “”frontier hero”” finds himself stuck in limbo. This conflict sets the stage for violence. Mathijs and Sexton go on to specify that adventures and westerns are the genres that most often lend themselves to this type of story, as their entire narratives exist in this “”frontier zone, where violence becomes a mode of existence rather than a functional tool”” (Violence).
Thelma & Louise fits perfectly into this explanation of violence in cult films, but the film goes one step further by adding gender into the mix. Our leading ladies made the choice to leave their lives of domesticity behind them, but find themselves stuck in limbo when they come face to face with the edge of civilization. In defending Thelma against Harlan’s rape attempt, Louise commits an irrevocable act, and the women are flung into a situation where they’re forced to come to their own defense against an unrelenting legal system. Even with a sympathetic detective leading the search for them, there’s no lawful option they can take that won’t strip them of their freedoms. They’re victims of a world that holds women down, and, by choosing not to give in, are fighting back against the oppressive patriarchy.
There’s no scene that better depicts frontier liminality than the iconic closer of Thelma & Louise. The women’s joint decision to commit suicide is in direct response to the limited set of choices they were faced with. Trapped and cornered, they pick the only path that would keep them in control of their own destiny. Since leaving their homes in Arkansas, they had experienced their first taste of freedom, and they weren’t going to give that up by surrendering to the system of oppression that had restrained them for so long.
Driving off the cliff was the ultimate rejection of male domination, but it’s important to see the decision in context as but the conclusion in a series of acts of resistance. Throughout their journey, Thelma and Louise gradually shed their feminine image in a subversion of restrictive gender norms. Gone are the flowy, printed outfits and piles of accessories, as distressed tank tops and denim jeans become the new uniform for these accidental fugitives. Literally tossing the lipstick out of the car, the women trade makeup and curled hair for dirty faces and messy buns. They’re no longer living their lives for anyone but themselves, and their outward metamorphosis is reflective of this shift.
In a cool reversal, Thelma, once a prisoner in her home, becomes the cause for Darryl’s turn at feeling powerless in his own space. The FBI moves in and converts his house into the base of operations in the search for his wanted wife, and he finally feels what it’s like to have no control. His football game is out-voted and all he can do is sulk in the corner. On the phone, Thelma calls him out and puts him in his place as her husband, not father. He’s caught off guard when he realizes he’s lost his hold over her now that she has asserted herself, and he reverts to blaming Louise for empowering (and therefore perverting) his once-subservient wife. On the contrary, Louise led the way for Thelma to take the reins back in her life, and this takedown of Darryl is just one more way in which they set themselves free of their past and took another step forward toward independence.
In a strong push back against male oppression, the women take down two men who attempted to forcefully assert their dominance. Multiple times on the trip, they encounter a certain truck driver who doubles as the human embodiment of toxic masculinity. After ignoring him didn’t work, they muster up their newfound boldness and confront him. They quickly and masterfully turn the dynamic around, transferring the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness onto him, before wrapping up the interaction by blowing up his oil tanker. When the friends get pulled over for speeding, instead of giving in to the lawman, they kick into survival mode and overpower him. The state trooper had started out stern and tough, but is reduced to a crying, shaking mess the moment Thelma pulls a gun on him. The women take his gun, ammo, and sunglasses as they lead him into his own trunk with words of advice to be sweet to his wife so she doesn’t turn out like they did. By stripping a truck driver of his truck and a state trooper of his gun, they emasculated two men who never expected to have their dominance checked. It’s a powerful thing for the female audience to see women pushing back against the men who once stood over them, in effect flipping the script and using these men to get to a place where they are no longer dependent on men.
In a 2016 reunion interview in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary, lead actresses Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis discussed the reaction at the time of the movie’s release. Neither of them had expected any sort of big return, so when the film was met with such an immediate and massive response, they were shocked. Davis incredulously exclaimed, “”We were on the cover of Time Magazine in, like, 5 seconds!”” (Davis). Pieces like the one in Time tried to dissect why the movie was making such a splash, but the answer was deceptively simple: the audience found the characters relatable. Thelma and Louise were two ordinary women dealing with the same problems all women go through, so it was exhilarating watching them respond in ways one could never get away with in real life. The movie is so much more than a female take on a buddy film; it’s a story of female empowerment operating on the “”rules of male-escapist fantasy”” (Cult Now). Thelma and Louise were the strong, liberated role models audiences had long been waiting for.
With such an encouraging reception, it seemed in all likelihood a shift toward gender equality in the entertainment industry would naturally follow. It’s clear from recent headlines, however, that that never occurred. The film was able to start the conversation, but that wasn’t enough to effect any real change in the straight, white, boys’ club of Hollywood. The women behind Thelma & Louise took it upon themselves to step up and continue the work their movie began.
Davis in particular was enlightened and inspired by the “”eye-opening”” reactions (Davis), and followed through by starting the “”Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media””, which researches the gender depiction disparity present in media. With shocking statistics such as the ratio of male to female characters not changing at all since 1946 (Davis), she’s putting up a challenge to those who feel the problem is solved and behind us. To continue pushing things in the right direction, she launched her own film festival that shines a spotlight on works from women and diverse creators.
Sarandon came at the issue from a different angle when she stepped up as a leader in the recent Times Up movement, “”an initiative launched by hundreds of Hollywood women to advocate better workplace conditions and the end of sexual harassment”” (Nyren). She attended the 2018 Golden Globes with a Times Up activist to raise awareness for the cause, and, fittingly, that same night saw a Thelma & Louise reunion as the two leads co-presented an award. Their appearance was met with roaring applause from the crowd, to which Davis sarcastically quipped, “”Susan, they love that we fixed everything!”” Sarandon responded, “”Um, yeah, I don’t think we fixed quite everything actually…”” before lauding the women of Hollywood for doing their part in the fight to stand up for women everywhere (76th Golden Globe Awards).
Rounding out the trio of women at the center of Thelma & Louise, Oscar Award-winning screenwriter of the film, Callie Khouri, has also expressed her disappointment with the current state of affairs for women in film. With studios systematically rejecting female-centric projects, Khouri made the transition over to TV, which she feels is “”a world in which you have a lot more freedom in terms of telling stories with women at the center”” (Tartaglione). The first television show she created was the highly successful musical drama series, Nashville, which just so happens to center around two strong female characters.
Although it didn’t necessarily shake up the industry in the way many had hoped it would, Thelma & Louise has continued to remain relevant to today’s culture in part due to its passionate fans. This continued excitement is a hallmark of cult blockbusters, as “”excessive investment [is] disproportionate to…films’ status as throwaway products of popular culture”” (Cult Now). A “”kind of epochal film”” (Mainstream Cult Fans?), Thelma & Louise is significant in that it provided an example that inspired so many women to see themselves as worthy of standing up for at a time when that wasn’t the norm. The fact that it continues to provide this empowerment for women of the following generations now streaming the movie for the first time shows the mark of a powerful, timeless film.
Thelma & Louise is a movie that still feels fresh today, but in this case that’s not such a good thing. It’s disheartening that a depiction of women being forced into a life on the run as the only way they could experience some freedom isn’t too far from realistic. The liberal film started the long overdue conversation on gender in equality, but it’s now on us to pick up the ball and run with it. Until the day women can freely experience full autonomy without major drawbacks, the movie remains a goal; as Louise so eloquently put it, “”we don’t live in that kind of world”” (Khouri).
Cult Now. Cult Film as a Guide to Life: Fandom, Adaptation, and Identity, by I. Q. Hunter, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.
Davis, Geena and Susan Sarandon. “”Thelma & Louise Reunion: Susan Sarandon & Geena Davis On The Film’s Legacy””. Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly. 1 May 2016. Digital.
Guilder, George. Women in the Work Force. The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 1 Sept. 1986, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1986/09/women-in-the-work-force/304924/.
Khouri, Callie. Thelma & Louise. MGM, 1991.
Mainstream Cult Fans? Cult Cinema, by Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton, Wiley, 2012, pp. 63“65.
Nyren, Erin. Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern to Be Accompanied by Activists at Golden Globes. Variety, Variety, 8 Jan. 2018, variety.com/2018/biz/news/celebrities-bring-activists-golden-globes-emma-watson-meryl-streep-laura-dern-1202655789/.
Tartaglione, Nancy. Callie Khouri Talks Women In TV Vs Film, ‘Nashville’ & ‘Deep City’ Project “ NATPE. Deadline, Deadline, 18 Jan. 2017, deadline.com/2017/01/callie-khouri-deep-city-women-television-nashville-natpe-1201889225/.
Violence. Cult Cinema, by Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton, Wiley, 2012, pp. 189“191.
76th Golden Globe Awards. The Hollywood Reporter, 2018, www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/geena-davis-susan-sarandon-talk-gender- disparity-25-years-golden-globes-2018-1072764.
Freedom Of Speech In Film Industry
Laws concerning to limit the audio-media programming is completely impractical. Even though it will help the nations to protect its culture and to oppose the outside filmmakers and their organizations to influence the nations cultures. High output movie industries are like invasive species that will affect local industries, but it is highly impossible that it will not have any effect on the set of rules and regulations in the present period of trendsetting inventions with the ongoing modernizations in the technology.
China has a law in place that says that foreign films need to feature China and Chinese artists to be released in China which is a huge market. It seems practical why nations have put restrictions on the number of movies and motion pictures being distributed.
By doing is it will assist local film producers to gain market for their films and will give market to the nations Celebs. Additionally, it will help protect the original culture of the country and will narrow the impact of outside movies. In Cuba, there is a complete shutdown of outside media, but people have found a way to smuggle in hard drives into the country with the latest movies and TV shows. Some radio or televisions broadcastings can be taken into consideration like the content which they are displaying will be proper for that particular nation but for others that might be inconsiderate as everyone from that nation will be hearing or watching that content which considers teenagers and adults and while growing up they may make wrong choices by what the watch on the televisions or heard from the radio. The expansion of online media, in my opinion, will not affect local creators as it involves jumping through more hoops to get to the content. The law to limit the audio-visual programming as of now is critical.
As in the present time of technology and invention it is difficult to put in the efforts to control people from the country from using internet to watch the videos or shows which are being restricted, internet is of great use to the individuals to break these laws. Different kinds of softwares are being used to play around with the VPNs or Proxy Servers which gives choices to the citizens to remove the obstructions of what they can or cannot watch. Examples of VPNs being used is that a lot of time there is an illegal download of movies, songs or any type of digital media and that will make it exponentially harder to follow and track. Because of this the movies which are on restrictions or are banned by the government are also being viewed. Companies also have a list of boycotted IP addresses to which they have restricted their employees to go or search for. But due the emerging technology they can also be easily avoided with the use of VPNs, as it will cover the real IP with a virtual IP that is being used in the other part of the world. One Example of it is that you can mask your IP address to hide your location history when you are using social media applications where they track your accurate locations, by doing so the IP address will not show the current location but ii will allow to use a location where you are not present. The use of proxy servers is so widespread that there is no stopping for them, they are hard to trace and extremely hard to block.
However, a free exchange of ideas is important since competition brings about improvement. Laws and restrictions being applied will not intimidate people in todays upcoming tech savvy world to stop the use of the modern technology. As it is completely out of control to stop an individual from watching or hearing to the broadcasting being made it will be great if they are being taught of what is good and bad for playing a short video before movies to let them know what content is going to be displayed on the screen. An example how the movies have the ratings of PG-13 or R where you can distinguish of whether it is a family movie or an adult movie. Doing this will help the government to let their citizens distinguish between which content is appropriate for them and which is not.
Censorship Laws and Cultural Norms
The 1960r’s film, Psycho challenged censorship laws and cultural norms at the time of its release. Movies and film influence the perceptions and ideas of the mass culture, especially in America by portraying underlying attitudes and beliefs that the culture holds. Because of this, film has made itself an integral component of the culture by influencing it with the underlying themes which are already present but are often unspoken.
While censorship was stricter in the past, the idea of censoring ideas and thoughts has and always will affect the society in which it takes place. While film has always held an important part in American culture, current trends in censorship have greatly changed the way in which films are produced and what their content really is.
Pushing Censorship to Tell a Story
Alfred Hitchcock was a respected director from the 1920r’s into the late 50r’s with many intricate films with large budgets such as Notorious in 1946 and Vertigo in 1958. His films were known for their stunning visuals and ingenious psychological plots. Therefore, Psycho came as such a shock in 1960 (Absolute Crime).
In Hitchcockr’s film, Psycho, there was a blatant push against censorship which was more of a statement to what censorship was becoming more than it was about having such content in his film. Hitchcock wanted to push limits and continue to pave the way for freedom of expression in film which was pointedly stifled at the time. We often see this when it comes to any expression which goes against the views of the general public or even more, the views of the government. Psycho was daring for its day, almost a joke from Hitchcock as he did everything which wasnt allowed or would be seen as obscene (Greenbaum).
This sentiment from Hitchcock can be seen again in an interview he gave BBC Show Monitor in July 1964 where he talks about the film being taken too seriously and, in his eyes, it was rather amusing. The film was meant to be crazy and absurd, shocking but to the point of amusement for the audience (Brooks).
Hitchcock was able to push aside all these restrictions with his masterpiece of misdirection, horror and ironic humor.
This film provided many risque ideas as well as imagery which would have been very shocking for the time in which it was produced. The lead actress, Marion, is seen in lingerie as well as having a naked body double for her shower scene, although it is blurry, so no real nudity is seen. There is also blood on Marion as well as in the shower, but since the film is in black and white, it is not particularly gruesome (Psycho, Hitchcock).
Transvestitism is also something which this film appeared to show through the antagonist, Norman, dressing up as his mother to kill his victims. While his dressing as his mother appears to me more of an illusion towards his dissociative identity disorder rather than transvestitism or being transgender, this is another key aspect of the film which was toeing the line in film production for its time as this was still seen as ?unacceptable in society.
by equating cross-dressing with a form of mental illness so severe that its only logical manifestation is violence.
Psycho was instrumental in pushing boundaries in film simply by being able to get past the censors for its time while still being full of provocative and risque content. The opening scene in which you see a shirtless man and lingerie clad woman in a bed was a definite test of the censorship regulations at the time. It took what had previously been only suggestive sexual undercurrents and made them absolutely upfront within seconds of the film beginning. This pushed the narrative on sexuality in films to come (Robb). Overall, Psycho was able to capture almost all the integral aspects of slasher films into one and push them without getting the film banned entirely.
The claim of Psychor’s ability to capture the integral aspects of a slasher film is based somewhat on the fact that Psycho holds the title as the probable first slasher film to be produced, giving it the automatic advantage of setting the stage for what is known today at the hallmarks of a good slasher film. In other words, Psycho would have to capture the important aspects of a slasher film as it was creating the genre by its existence.
Some of the hallmarks or traits of a slasher film are the type of killer as well as the violence. The killer is usually a man whose identity is concealed by a mask or costume which prevents the audience from seeing who he is until the culmination of the film. This is seen in Psycho through the hiding of Norman as the killer until the final scene. The violence is usually bloody it excess, often the killer hunts down and kills his victims with a knife or other sharp tool. Again, Psycho contained this trait almost exactly. Norman kills his victim with a knife, although there is no chase scene (Harris).
Another integral aspect of most slasher films is the strong, leading heroine. Although slashers are often criticized for being misogynistic, they’re one of the few film genres that primarily feature strong, independent female leads. Psycho captured this through having Marion Crane as a strong lead character. The biggest way in which slasher films have changed this aspect has been by keeping the heroine or the “final girl” until the end of the film so that she can confront the killer (Harris).
When Psycho was in the works, Alfred Hitchcock sent the script for Psycho to the MPAA but was required to remove profanity as well as tone back the implied incestuous relationship between the characters of Norman and his mother. Twenty or even ten years earlier, there is no way the MPAA would have allowed Hitchcock to commence production, but it was now the 1960s and the mindset of Production Code officials had shifted along with the cultural changes happening around them (Howell.) This shows the advancement and change in the film industry based off time alone, which changes peopler’s views as to what is deemed acceptable.
The change in societal ideals can be seen in Psychor’s rating. When the film was first released, it would have received a rating of R in accordance to MPAA guidelines. Today, the film hardly holds more than a PG rating as there a far more violent and grotesque films which are produced (Deseret News).
In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America set guidelines and rules for rating films. While these were not enforced by law, most public theaters would not show films without a rating. Ratings for films are almost an alternative for censorship in modern films because if something is to violent or explicit in a film, it will simply receive a higher rating before being shown in the theaters rather than being banned all together. These ratings provide a way for children and those who do not want to be exposed to certain content, to avoid said content and rather choose something which has been rated a ?safe or ?appropriate. Both of the changes within the MPAA influenced the remake of Psycho almost forty years later.
Pushing Censorship to Get more Viewers
In 1998, Psycho was remade by Gus Van Sant. This remake follows the original film quite closely when it comes to identical scenes and dialogue. While this 1998 remake follows the original in many aspects, the change in culture and censorship in the thirty-eight-year difference is visible. One of the biggest differences is in the way in which the famous shower scene is done. The original film does not show nudity outside of the form of a naked person through the steam, but the remake shows nudity. This shows the progressive changes which the film industry had undergone through the year. This is also characterized by the use of color during the shower scene which makes it more graphic and the blood more realistic (Psycho, Van Sant).
The 1998 remake of the film stayed close to the storyline of the original while still pushing the censorship limits for its time by making scenes racier as well as more graphic. The 1960r’s Psycho, while it did show a woman in lingerie, did not show excessive nudity or violence because this was not characteristic of the time.
What has been the focus of censorship through the years has changed dramatically in many ways, especially in the United States. When film was first becoming a thing, the emphasis seemed to be primarily on censoring anything which was visually explicit, be it violence or sexual. There has been a cultural shift towards acceptance of the human body and sexuality on-screen which is in stark contrast to the years past in which it would have been obscene to even have a somewhat unclad person in a film. While the total prohibition and censorship of the human body is extreme, current films often exploit their ability to have these things on-screen and as a result, it almost comes off as degrading and offensive most often to women as they are so sexualized in film. Also, in the early day of film there were strict regulation on the voicing of opinions or making of jokes about figures in power, usually political figures or the church.
This is the idea that censorship, which puts restrictions on what can said, written, or put into film, puts a damper on peopler’s ability to express their thoughts and ideas and therefore, restricts their freedom of speech and expression. In Hitchcockr’s film, Psycho, there was a blatant push against censorship which was more of a statement to what censorship was becoming more than it was about having such content in his film. Hitchcock wanted to push limits and continue to pave the way for freedom of expression in film which was pointedly stifled at the time. We often see this when it comes to any expression which goes against the views of the general public or even more, the views of the government.
Things which are not politically correct or go against societal norms are often discouraged. This is seen through the production of movies which are obscene or violent which are allowed or even encouraged to be shown in theaters while movies which hold political, moral, or religious ideas in the forefront are often passed over. This shift in censorship trends shows how far society has come since the days in which Psycho hit the screens. While it may seem very tame in todayr’s ideals of what is extreme or risque in film, Psycho really created a sensation and stir which would be almost impossible to replicate in American society today because of the change in societal and moral ideals. Psychor’s pushing of boundaries and rules simultaneously pushed the next generation and the generation after to continue changing the narrative around film as an expression of ideas and art and changed American film forever.
Authenticity vs. Censorship in The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives is a certified American classic, a heartland epic about three veterans returning from World War II. Being one of the most commercially successful movies ever made, it won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Score. In this essay I will explore how realism is used to its utmost potential in The Best Years of Our Lives to convey a timeless and authentic story.
Ironically, this fiction film feels more real and personable than many documentaries. What factors of authenticity made the film such a success and all-time classic? The casting, content, and cinematographic artistry of the film had the perfect combination of authenticity and censorship that made America fall in love with a film this film.
Only a couple years after World War II ended, The Best Years of Our Lives came at a time when America was finally ready to open up their hearts again to a war story. The country still had many open wounds in the mental and social fabric of the nation, but The Best Years of Our Lives was still mountains successful over its competitors, such as 1946’s Let There Be Light. Whereas Let There Be Light highlighted the mental and physical illnesses veterans encountered when they came back from war, Best Years showed more physical impairments. Let There Be Light showed interviews and therapy sessions of veterans in a mental facility before returning to their hometowns. Mental mutilation was deemed to be more taboo than physical mutilation. The film was a complete flop and did not even make it into theaters because it never got past the committee for the motion picture association of America. The film, being a documentary, was as authentic as a film could be, but it was possibly too real and raw for Americans to witness so soon after the war. The fine line of showing too much versus not enough was what producers encountered at this time. The Best Years of Our Lives focused on rebuilding life at home and the social and economic difficulties that came with returning from war. While still difficult to swallow, this was a story that Americans needed more than they thought, and seventy years later, the film still remains incredibly relevant.
Casting and the participation of real veterans behind the scenes were essential in creating the film’s authentic-feeling heart. The realistic casting and genuine content of the film stole audience’s hearts and and the special Oscar for disabled veteran Harold Russell thanked him and the cast for “bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans.” Would the film’s extremely positive reception have been different if the cast was made up of professional actors, instead of real life veterans? Harold Russell, who played Homer Parrish was a real veteran and amputee. In fact, the original film script was intended to have an actor play a veteran with a brain injury, however when the producers heard of Russell, they changed the script for him. The producers felt American audiences were not yet ready for someone with such an injury and they did not know how to write or cast that part. This made the scene toward the end of the film with Homer and Wilma looking at Homer’s amputated hands especially powerful to watch. It was a moment that tested the balance of authenticity and censorship. When he takes off his prosthetics, it is shocking in some ways because there’s no distance at that moment between actor and character, or between character and film maker, because Wyler himself was a disabled veteran. Homer has had to learn how to do everything as if for the first time: lighting a match, drinking lemonade. He has mostly mastered his hooks, but now every ordinary social encounter is a minefield of awkwardness, and he can’t bring himself to touch his girlfriend Wilma. The rawness in this scene, especially because it was true and authentic to the actor under the character, made the film have a sense of trust and intimacy for preserving Russell’s real life story. The story is not for show or box-office views, but this part of the film is as real as scenes in Let There Be Light. When questioning if this part of the film should have been censored for viewers, the producers looked to Russell for guidance, and Russell’s approval gave the green light to continue the film with this scene in it.
In addition to casting actors, the backbone and director of the project, William Wyler, was deeply connected to the film. Wyler was a veteran of combat in Europe and based many of the scenes on his own experiences. It was even his idea to create the film from a true story he had heard through word of mouth of three soldiers on a road trip home from their army base and how they were getting more and more nervous the closer to home they got. Wyler put much of himself into his version of the three men. Like Fredric March’s character Al Stephenson, Wyler was a middle-aged soldier who came home to a life with financial security, a loving family, and invisible damage. Like Dana Andrews’s Fred Derry, he flew in bombing missions over Europe and lost a close comrade who was shot down. And like Harold Russell’s Homer Parrish, he came home physically disabled, though Wyler lost half his hearing, not both his hands.
Wyler also made it a point to infuse authenticity into other facets of the project. The film was shot on real army bases and did not use recreated locations on movie set stages. The cameraman even rigged a system for Wyler so he could hear the actors well enough to direct them. It was especially important for this film to be accurate for Wyler because his previous projects were slammed for not being truthful to their original stories. Wyler wanted this film to be accurate, and not just in terms of detail, but on a really deep level; emotionally and physically accurate. He told actors to go to the store and buy their own clothes, instead of having them be designed by a costume department. He told Fredric March to slim down because his character would have been on army rations and should not come home looking heavy and well fed. This “unbelievable powerful realism” is what separated The Best Years of Our Lives from other films of the year.
Music was also a key factor that contributed to the authentic feel of the film. We are encouraged to empathize with the characters through the film’s famous melodies and the hours of deepening struggle set to its wistful soundtrack. The original score of emotional symphonic music written by Hugo Friedhofer pulled the heart strings of audiences. With many actual string and horn instruments, the orchestrations sounded grand and full. Critics described the score as really emotionally charged with a variety of musical swells in every song, which is key to make people feel empathetic. Music played a large role in the film in other capacities as well. Homer had to re-learn how to play the piano with his new hands, which once mastered, gave him a sense of hope that other goals were possible if he accomplished playing the piano, which is so coordination-driven. There were also a few dance scenes in the film that act as settings for relationships to form and break apart. Music and dancing were one of the only outlets of joy at this time, and showing it on screen to remind viewers of the small occasions of happiness they still had, gave the film a joyful element.
There were also a couple unscripted scenes in the film where Wyler had to solely rely on Friedhofer’s score to tell the story, such as in Fred’s nightmare sequence. Friedhofer incorporated plane noises and heavy drums to convey the violent sounds of battle. When Peggy came into the room to comfort Fred, flutes and violins took over with a comforting innocent melody. Secondly, when Fred is in the air field at the end and has flashbacks of his time in the air, the score vaults out of the warm, slice-of-life mode into pure musical horror: psychological turmoil and graphically dissonant suggestions of a desperate aerial battle with machine guns, fire, and blood. Sherwood said to Wyler about the last scene in the plane field that he did not know how to write it. Wyler was given complete artistic control and had to use the language of movie direction to convey the scene because Sherwood claimed to not be able to convey it through dialogue. When Fred stands by himself wandering through and air field, it is the moment when the trauma of his past and the terror of his experiences comes out of his system and is purged in a way that will allow him to go on with the rest of his life. It is conveyed through camera technique, and through impressionistic audio where we hear the dead planes in the air field appear to roar to life, and we see an ever greater pressure inside Fred’s head. Wyler had to create this through the language of film and Friedhofer had to create an original score for an unscripted scene. These sounds were probably actually in Wyler’s head from his previous experiences in combat, and they were brought to life by Friedhofer’s imagination. Wyler lost his hearing in a plane so he realized this scene would have to be created sonically and the sounds would and could mean something to audiences. To convey such vulnerability, comfort, and violence through a musical score is a true skill that Wyler had to trust in Friedhofer to portray, since Wyler could not fully hear it by himself anymore.
Cinematically, the pace of scenes and sequences helped the film connect to audiences in a more realistic way. Technically, the picture was free from quick cutting for mechanical pace that Hollywood is so known for, and close-ups did not pop in to fill dramatic vacuums. There was no excess of moving shots having the aesthetic value of vertigo. The film’s plot did not start moving until about an hour into the three-hour long film. This very intentional slow start was to illustrate the lifestyle and suspense the soldiers felt before arriving at home. Studying these characters in isolation before they reached their families allowed the audience to feel more connected to the characters as we root for their recovery. Mostly avoiding close-ups, the film habitually shows its characters arranged in relation to each other, their moments of connection and alienation framed by their friends, family, and environment. There is a kind of respect and love in the sheer duration of its steady attention and deep focus: it is a long movie with sustained shots and slow scenes that make us appreciate the luxuries we experience in a post World War II today.
The stereotypical image of a macho-man hero saving the day is also ignored and the authentic reality of gender roles in these households unfold. We are educated into a new erotic of male vulnerability, a broken beloved masculinity that hints at the method anti-heroes of the decade to come. It is a vision of romance in which the men fall apart and the women keep it together. In a scene of utter vulnerability, Homer finally shows Wilma how to disarm him. She takes on the task of taking off his prosthetic harness. After it is off, he tells her he cannot smoke, put on his clothes, or open the door. Their marriage will depend on their acceptance of his dependence, and she is ready when he is. Walking the line here between authenticity and censorship, this fictional scene is the right amount of truth that gave communities hope to keep going in households that might not be the function of what they had imagined. Having a real-life veteran in the scene accepting that manhood is not always the definition of physical strength was a huge moment to see on screen.
Here we are faced with the general stereotypes of the film industry and popular fiction. The original novel by Mackinlay Kantor was even more run-of-the-mill, and the Wyler-Sherwood changes moved the story progressively toward realism. In Kantor’s story, Al leaves the bank to become a small-time farmer and Fred narrowly escapes becoming a bank robber. The film’s drive toward truth is evident in every sequence. There is immense patience for detail and emotional texture, especially in the homecoming scenes of Al and Homer, where the inventive commentary on human behavior is enormous. A passion for insight smashes the stereotypes, around the edges. The lesson for directors and writers is evident: writing for the movies is writing under censorship. The censorship forces stereotypes of motive and environment on the creators, and the problem is to press enough concrete experience into the mold to make imagination live.
As we are reminded again after every war, coming home is rarely simple and often sad. The Best Years of Our Lives applies a version of that paradoxical logic to veterans, only it seems that for them the war itself was a kind of home — it was maybe the best years of their lives — and now returning to civilian life is like facing death all over again. Hollywood did not get the best of this film and the unapologetic realism and touching story elevates The Best Years of Our Lives above other war films. The Best Years of Our Lives is often praised for its documentary realism, however its authenticity is what is unremarkable and nearly unprecedented in the genre. This was one of the first times an actual civilian was cast in a blockbuster movie to portray a real life condition on screen. The team of producers went above and beyond to make this production holistically authentic, on and off screen. Although the story does not necessarily reflect the most positively on America and the job crisis that veterans has post war (and are still experiencing today), producers ruthlessly and without shame showed America’s faults and holes in its systems. The film took on subject matter that no one talked about in those days. PTSD, unemployment for the returning veterans, and the adjusting to civilian life.
To conclude, I wondered how Wyler changed his mindset on directing and the film industry during his years in combat. In an interview with a reviewer of the film, they said “There was nothing for Wyler in the years he stopped making films…but there was also everything.” The cultural, intellectual, and emotional baggage Wyler put into his projects after his time serving is what gave the films the heart and endurance to stay relevant for decades to come. The Best Years of Our Lives was ahead of it’s time and contained the perfect balance of authenticity and censorship which was everything America needed and still needs today. When casting a project, on and off screen, it is so important to infuse the project with authentic experiences and emotions, so that the project has a real-pumping heart, and is not solely made up of the fantasy of Hollywood.
Film and Communism
The Cold War, a period mostly remembered for the constant threat of an arms race, nuclear inhalation, hysteria, quasi-wars, diplomatic stalemates, and the seemingly never ending fear of communism. Spanning nearly half of the twentieth century, 1946 to 1991, the Cold War has changed the way of life for everyone. Starting from the rise of the Bolsheviks and the USSR’s hold of Eastern Europe, the Cold War had impacted American life to a great extent.
Though mentions of diplomatic policies’ influence on the perception and beliefs of American life have been widely written and talked about, no such conversation exists for domestic media’s influence. One forum of media that had taken America by storm in the early twentieth century was film. Though rarely talked about, film had an influence on peoples’ thoughts during the cold war and also can be seen as a reflection on public opinion during the time. However, to what extent the films of the 1950’s and early 1960’s reflected and influenced the opinions of the American public is a question rarely asked and or answered; and in this paper this is the question that is to be explored.
One of the most remembered and recounted events of the Cold War, from the American view, is the Communist hysteria that swept the nation. When one thinks of the Cold War, the infamous communist hysteria and McCarthy trials are soon to follow. Since the Bolsheviks took control of Russia and formed the USSR, communist fear was on the rise in the US. The First Red Scare immediately followed the fall of Czar Russian era and the end of the First World War. The scare consisted mostly of anti-immigration sentimentals towards Southern and Eastern European immigrants. The fear of communism eventually led to the passage of the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, which lowered the influx of immigrants. By the end of the Second World War, this fear intensified. The idea of communists among regular citizens started to go widely out of control and this growing fear was further intensified by senator Joseph McCarthy.
Though the film and entertainment industry was targeted by McCarthy, they themselves wanted to distance themselves from communism. Film was a new form of popular entertainment and art in the early twentieth century. Due to this there was a huge demand for films and movies from the public. The demand created large amounts of revenue and created very strong capitalist industry in its purest sense. The film producers and companies had total control of what they made and whatever they made, made money. Naturally, film producers and executives were opposed to communist philosophy. Eight major studios controlled over 90 percent of the films made and distributed in the United States. The executiveswere hostile to communism, owing to political conviction and economic self-interest, not because they felt beholden to officialdom. Men like Louis B. Mayer at MGM and Joseph Schenck at Twentieth Century-Fox instinctively equated patriotism with capitalism (Shaw & Youngblood., Cinematic Cold War : The American and Soviet Struggle for Hearts and Minds , 2010) This act of a pro American view in films was further enhanced by the increasing government surveillance of the film industry, due to the fact the film was seen as a possible propaganda tool for communists. Then FBI Director, Hoover, testified in front of the HUAC in reference to the film industry, the entire industry faces serious embarrassment because it could become a springboard for communist activities. Communist activities in Hollywood is effective and is furthered by communists and sympathizers using the prestige of prominent persons to serve, often unwittingly, the communists cause. The party is content and highly pleased if it is possible to have inserted in a picture a line, a scene, a sequence, conveying the communist lesson, and more particularly, if they can keep out anti-communist lessons (Hoover, 1947). Thus complied with self-interest, preservation, and fear more pro-American and anticommunist features were created in an attempt to sway the American people.
Following the end of World War II, a new ideological dichotomy engulfed the entire world. The emergence of the Cold War could be seen at every corner of the globe, and also every facet of American life. Anti-communism became a national ideology, and for many, an obsession. In the early years of the Cold War paranoia reigned supreme. Men like Joseph McCarthy initiated witch hunts in order to root out the communist threat that had supposedly embedded themselves in American society. Any semblance of a connection to communism, no matter the circumstances, essentially doomed you in front of the eyes of the House Un-American Activities Committee. The greatest fear was that communists infiltrated American institutions. One institution that drew much attention, especially in the late 1940s and early 1950s, was Hollywood. J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI at the time, testified in front of the HUAC in regards to Hollywood’s communist problem. The Communists have developed one of the greatest propaganda machines the world has ever known. They have been able to penetrate and infiltrate many respectable and reputable public opinion mediums Communist activity in Hollywood is effective and is furthered by Communists and sympathizers using the prestige of prominent persons to serve, often unwittingly, the Communist cause. Oddly, this growing concern came after the most successful year Hollywood had to date. Hollywood and its influence grew, yet so did its worries. The HUAC formed the Blacklist that sought to purge the industry of communists and their sympathizers. Hollywood’s adoption of the anti-communist rhetoric was not wholly due to pressure from Washington.
Many of the decision makers in the industry saw the adoption as a necessity in order for Hollywood to survive. (A means of survival for the industry?). Following the Blacklist, anti-communist themes began to appear in films across a multitude of genres. The films varied in the prevalence of their anti-communist rhetoric. Some films were blatant propaganda films. Works like Walk East on Beacon! (1952), which J. Edgar Hoover was given a writing credit for, and Big Jim McClain (1952) blared their anti-communist sentiments. Other filmmakers, like Cecil B. Demille, sought to present their ideology in a more subtle fashion. Many different genres incorporated anti-communism into their films. The growing genre of science fiction made the public leery of science experiments. Westerns warn viewers of an encroaching threat that must be stopped. The enormous religious epics, from men like Demille, tapped into the religious aspect of the ideological difference between America and the U.S.S.R. The theme of anti-communism was apparent throughout hundreds of films following the HUAC hearings regarding communism in Hollywood, and was primarily brought about by Hollywood itself. Leading up to 1947, the HUAC was becoming increasingly concerned with the growing influence of Hollywood and cinema. Films like Mission to Moscow (1943) and Song of Russia (1944) concerned the HUAC.
The two big studios, MGM and Warner, appeared to produce pro-communist propaganda. In 1946 Hollywood saw their highest revenue yet, making around $1.7 billion with over 4 billion admissions. Seeing the steady increase in revenue, the HUAC knew that such an influential institution was a prime target for communist infiltration. This culminated in a nineday hearing to assess the communist threat in Hollywood. The Blacklist was created, and the Waldorf Statement was issued by Hollywood declaring that executives would comply with the blacklist. By 1960, the Blacklist contained over two thousand names, and ruined a multitude of careers.The film industry has tried to avoid external censorship. In 1934 The House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce looked establishing a federal censorship board. Hollywood instituted The Motion Picture Code in the 1930s as an internal form of self-censorship to appease the government and avoid external regulation. Many of the rules denounce showing evil in a positive light. I. No picture should lower the moral standards of those who see it. This is done: when evil is made to appear attractive, and good is made to appear unattractive. In accordance with the general principles laid down. No plot or theme should definitely side with evil and against good. The HUAC would bring many of these rules up years later during their inquiry into Hollywood.
The film industry had other reasons to insert anticommunist themes in their works besides government pressure. Even though 1946 was a record year for Hollywood, they still worried about their future profits. United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. ended the ownership of theaters and exclusive holding rights by the movie studios. This made studios fearful of drastic cuts in their profits. Other factors made the studios fear for their profits. Television became a mainstay with full-scale commercial broadcasting beginning in 1947, and by 1955 half of all households owned one. Television was also affected by McCarthy’s witch hunts, however. Another issue was that many European countries in 1947 began raising taxes on foreign films. England imposed a 75% customs duty on all incoming films, which lost the studios millions. With the pressures from T.V., along with increasing cost of production, increase of foreign taxes, and labor issues, Hollywood feared collapse or significant harm to their industry. In order to attract more viewers, Hollywood sought to embrace the public’s fear of the communist threat. They knew that addressing the Cold War, whether directly or in more subtle fashions, would put more people in the seats.
Exposing the public to this sort of confirmation bias would not only increase revenue, but also appease Washington at the same time. Darryl Zanuck, head of production at Twentieth CenturyFox, said If you have something worthwhile to say, dress it in glittering robes of entertainment and you will find a ready market without entertainment no propaganda film is worth a dime. Zanuck knew that the public wanted to be entertained; that is why that is why Hollywood had over four billion admittees three years later. Zanuck knew that these propaganda films would be nowhere near as effective without Hollywood’s touch. The direct propaganda films were the simplest and most blatant forms of anticommunism in the industry. Walk East on Beacon, directed by Louis de Rochemont and adapted from a Reader’s Digest article written by J. Edgar Hoover himself, was a detective film that sought to directly address Soviet subversion. It tells the story of a federal agent tracking down leaked atomic secrets and bringing light to the communist subversion. Of course this film has a very positive view of the FBI, and is trying to convey to the audience that they should trust the FBI to keep them safe from the communist subversion.
This movie is about as good as one would assume a movie in which J. Edgar Hoover has a writing credit would be. Only receiving a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is not great, but it is very apparent in its goal. Westerns became a great voice for Hollywood’s anticommunist sentiments directed at the public. John Ford was one of the most highly regarded western film directors who included his anti-communist views in his work. Ford was a very accomplished director winning seven out of twelve Academy Awards. His name was often associated with the greatest movie cowboy of all time: John Wayne. Wayne, who was brought in by the HUAC during their investigation of Hollywood and was the co-founder of the Anti-Communist Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, was a cold warrior who did his part by starring in these westerns pregnant with anti-communism. the growing defeatist attitude in the Cold War imposed on us by the Soviet [Union]’, and consequently needed to appreciate the struggle our ancestors made for the precious freedom we enjoy. Wayne starred in Big Jim McClain; Big Jim McClain, a simple film that does not try to hide its anti-communist sentiments. In the film, Wayne plays HUAC investigator who saves Hawaii from communist subversion. He worked with John Ford on eighteen films. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), being one of the Wayne and Ford collaborations, exudes the ardent anti-communist sentiments in a more nonchalant manner. In the opening scene a group of Indians are shown riding while narration plays over it.
The narrator speaks of the threat the unification of red people everywhere poses to America, and how if they are not stopped soon, they will take centuries to defeat. Anti-communism undertones were very apparent in the narration of the opening scene, but it was not wholly spelled out, leaving some connections for the audience to make. More anti-communist westerns would arise in the late 1950s and early 1960s including The Magnificent Seven (1960) and John Wayne’s directing debut, The Alamo (1960). Science Fiction was a growing genre in the 1950s and was wholly affected by anti-communism. The sci-fi movies being produced in the late 1940s and 1950s were generally B grade films that could be churned out because of low budget costs. Due to the sheer number of sci-fi movies being produced they were the perfect vessel for anti-communism, but in more subtle ways than films like Walk East on Beacon or Big Jim McClain. Films like Them! (1954) taught the public to be weary of atomic power. Them! is about ants that became mutated by atomic tests in New Mexico. This radiation exposure makes the ants giant, and they begin to wreak havoc on society; they are eventually stopped by the brave military men. The American public already feared the power of the atomic age, and this only reinforced their fear. Kids hiding under their desks during fallout drills began to fear the threat of giant mutated creatures coming for them more than they feared the actual bomb. Them! also shows the public that their military is there to protect them from this new atomic threat. Films like Them! successfully play off the fears of the unknown nature of the atomic era.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is a prime example of science fiction making commentary on ideology. It tells the story of a small town doctor who begins to see paranoia running high in his town due to the people of the town being replaced by imposters. Just in the opening scenes one can easily see the similarities to the Red Scare, with paranoia running high and people concerned that their family or friends are communists. The main character, Dr. Miles Bennell, discovers the people of his town are being replaced by imposters that are coming from the pods found all over town. Invasion of the Body Snatchers exudes familiar characteristics that are common during the Red Scare of the 1950s, conformity, paranoia, and alienation. Conformity, as shown in the movie as accepting the pod people, was an important ideal during this time. The U.S. spoke of conformity against communism, urging citizens to report anything suspicious and to display Americanism and capitalism. Excessive conformity, as in the 1950s, was a salve to smooth over obvious conflict and turmoil Bennell’s paranoia while telling his story to others captivates the paranoia that drove the McCarthy witch-hunts and is what the government used to keep their citizens ever vigilant against communism. In the closing scene of the film Bennell’s psychiatrist, who put his story off as the ramblings of a crazy man, sees one of the aforementioned pods and calls the FBI. Like in Walk East on Beacon or Them! this affirms the public’s dependence on institutions such as the FBI and the military, and the message of if you see something call it in. Just looking at the movie poster for the movie indicates an undertone of communism.
The background is washed with red and yellow with a hand coming out as if to snatch Bennell from the foreground of the poster. Something like this is subtle, but still conveys the message. One of the most ardent anti-communists in Hollywood was Cecil B Demille. He created biblical epics such as Ben Hurr (1959) and The Ten Commandments (1956). Demille, like many directors such as John Ford, mobilized the past for political use in the present. Biblical tales were often used in not only Demille’s films but also in films like Samson and Deliliah (1949) and The Prodigal (1955) to make political statements. Many saw the Cold War as more than merely a political disagreement; they saw it in terms of religious context also. This can hardly be a coincidence. Many people, including some in Hollywood, believe that the Cold War is fundamentally a conflict between Christianity and atheism and that religion is therefore a strong weapon against Communism. Whether the pictures dealing with these three subjects are deliberate propaganda, or not, they belong to the same, easily recognizable, pattern of ideas The best propaganda, of course, is indirect, hardly noticeable. How many of us, I wonder, have not been taken in by any of it.17 Demille, being the son of a Protestant minister, he saw the importance of religion in the battle against communism. His greatest contribution to this was The Ten Commandments, the historical’ account of Moses’ exodus from Egypt. The theme of the film being whether men are to be ruled by God’s law, or whether they are to be ruled by the whims of a dictator like Ramses.
One could replace Ramses’ name with Stalin in that statement and tell someone that this was a quote from Joseph McCarthy, and they would most likely be none the wiser. Demille clearly meant for Charlton Heston’s Moses to be an allegory for America leading the rest of the world to freedom from the tyranny of the allegorical Egypt. Demille opens the film by walking on screen and asking, are men property of the state? Or are they free souls under God? This same battle continues throughout the world today. Demille’s biblical epic won six out of the seven Academy Awards it was nominated for and is now seen as a classic. Most versions shown today have edited out Demille’s questioning prelude to the film. Over time, as the Cold War cooled down, films became less subtle about their anti-communist sentiments, especially with the rise of action movies in the 1970s and 1980s. Movies like Rocky IV and Red Dawn pit America directly against the Soviets in more non-traditional settings unlike the direct propaganda movies of the 1940s and 1950s. This history of anti-communism could possibly be blamed for all of the Russian villains in modern cinema. The popularity of film only continued to rise, and with it came a rise in public influence. Whether it was direct propaganda in frankly poor movies, like in Walk East on Beacon, or more subtle themes of the times in highly revered classics, like The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, anti-communism was very apparent throughout American film and was consumed by millions of viewers.
Financing Is The Key Component
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Conclusion
Financing is the key component that determines the level on which the film is produced, because the budget determines the level on which it is shot. It is the main feature that makes the art film that targets the niche market different from the Hollywood blockbuster that aims at reaching the wide audience. Financing is critical not only for production of the movie which refers to the actual making of the media product.
It is also critical for marketing, which is the key component in distribution of the media product. It influences the actual reception of the movie, real popularity among the audience, and potential reactions of the audience and the critiques. So, financing is a complicated task that is the responsibility of executive producers. When the script for the movie is chosen, producers make everything possible to make it fit the budget, which is sometimes difficult to achieve. Because of the nobody knows, producers would have no ideas about whether the film will be successful after it released, which means that the main issue in marketing and choosing the right strategy is the thing that determines the future success or failure of the movie.
These two categories have nothing to do with the artistic value of the particular work. It is more about the box office and the revenue that investors actually receive. Thus, it is possible to state that issues connected with financing do not only influence its quality, but also allow to evaluate the commercial success of the movie. It allows to call financing and marketing the basic components that are important toward the films. Financing There are hundreds of movies that are based on the love story at late 20th centuries, Titanic, directed by James Cameron, can be called one of the most well-known romantic movies that were produced at that time and it was the film about one of the most dramatic catastrophes of the 20th century.
So, it allows to assume that there are other reasons that made Titanic popular except its narration of love story that makes the audience cry and feel compassion to the protagonists. First of all, it is crucial to understand that cinematography aims at impressing people. The effect includes audience’s visual, emotional and hearing senses. As the result, it has become the evident blockbuster because of the romantic script, well- performed actors and iconic theme music. In fact, all these components require money, which means that it is the budget that has made the movie to the high professional quality.
Furthermore, failure chance of the film would be high, since all innovations and production that made Titanic popular were expensive and everything was made without being sure that these expenses would be paid off. Thus, the main thing that was evident about financing of Titanic was that the production of the movie would be expensive. Because, Titanic is a huge ocean ship that was the technical revolution of that time and it was necessary to show the grandiosity of the construction in order to show the dramatic event. One of the objective difficulties during the production of the movie was building the ship and showing the ship wreck. Special effects that were used for this movie could be called innovative for the end of 1990s when digital graphics were not that developed as it is now. For example, the full-scale model of Titanic was constructed in the studio.
All these things required money to build and to support, which was the serious challenge for the movie’s budget. In addition, the script was also adapted to the conditions in which the movie was actually shot. It shows that it was a challenging process that required much time, attention, and professionalism from the cast. All these components of the working process required financing from the movie’s budget and it was the duty of the executive producer at that time. In order to advertising the film, participation of stars includes Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie is necessary but costly.
Horner wrote the soundtrack for Titanic that has become extremely popular and Celine Dion recorded the composition Heart Will Go On and it also became the important factor that contributed to the overall popularity of the movie (Allen, 2014). It is evident that all these people who worked for the film had to receive money for their services, even though there is no precise information about it in the public access. Investment Finding money for the production of Titanic was a challenging task for producers. 20th Century Fox studio asked for the loan that constituted almost 65 million dollars from Paramount Pictures that wanted to have the part of movie rights and to share the profit. It was the example of the co-financing deal that is rather popular in the production of movies in Hollywood (Allen, 2014).
However, Titanic had an exceptionally big box-office after it was finally released, which proved its popularity. The movie made 2 billion dollars in the end and people who were working on the production of the film could not even believe in it. In fact, it was the financial success with the production budget that was 200 million dollars (Allen, 2014). This type of investments allows to decrease potential risks if the box office of the movie would not be sufficient for covering all expenses, which means that minimizing the risk of financial failure and finding the balance between making a good movie and saving money is important to investment of one film.
Marketing Marketing is important in distribution of the movie. One of the evident examples that support this claim is the choice of the time when the movie will be shown in the cinemas. As a result, summers and Christmas holidays are considered to be the periods when people watch movies more and thus the chances for making the film popularity increases significantly (Allen, 2014). The analytics write that actions movies that have a big budget and thus have many special effects tend to become more popular during summer, since people had more free time and they were on holidays.
This principle was also applied to the post-production of Titanic (Allen, 2014). It is possible to apply the same principles to starting of DVD selling campaigns and starting the broadcast on television. It is crucial to find the time when people are not busy at work and they have the required mood to watch the movie like Titanic. For example, it is the movie for adults, which means that it is better to show it on the satellite channel or on the TV channel in the late evening. Titanic was released according to the rather traditional scheme. The official date on which people could see the movie in the cinema was after the series of preview screenings that happened before the premiere. It allowed the film producers to see the reaction of the audience on Titanic and to make the prognosis concerning the potential success of this movie and its box office. Actually, the reaction of the audience showed that the movie would be paid off almost at once. In 12 days after the release in July, the profit was more than 100 million dollars.
The expenses were paid off in one month and the film grossed over 250 million dollars (Allen, 2014). Moreover, the international marketing is also important in making the production profitable. Titanic was released in other counties and in some of them the movie has become the real blockbuster. China was among such countries, and in the end of February 1998 the box office of the film was more than 1 billion dollars (Allen, 2014). Thus, the success of the movie depends greatly on international marketing and it is crucial to target not only domestic audience, but to reach people worldwide (Allen, 2014). Almost one year after the official release in the cinemas the company decided that they would start selling video versions of Titanic.
The estimated profit from it was approximately 800 million dollars (Allen, 2014). The time was also chosen wisely, and the maximum of sales were on Christmas holidays, when people wanted to spend time at home, watching a good movie (Allen, 2014). the cable service of Titanic was two years after the cinema released and one year after the beginning of video sales. It was the optimal choice of the period during which the maximum of tapes would be sold. The rights for showing the movie were sold to Sky Box Office channel and to HBO America, which was also the part of financial pay off (Allen, 2014). Also, people had to pay for every time they watch the movie on Sky Box Office channel in April 1999. Only half a year later, in October, it became available on Sky Movies, it was the channel where people had the opportunity to watch Titanic by the subscription instead paying every time they want to watch it (Allen, 2014).
After the first wave of popularity disappeared, the company started to release DVDs with director’s cut editions and other special editions. This new perspective on the old popular movie has become the means that allowed the producers to increase the profits from video sales almost twice (Allen, 2014). Furthermore, the terrestrial premiere of Titanic in the United States was in 2000, because NBC bought the rights for showing the movie and the TV premiere was during the weekend on Thanksgiving (Allen, 2014), which leads to Titanic became popular again. All these examples show that the choice of releasing date and time is important in making the movie become successful. For instance, holidays and weekends were perfect time to watch the movie with family and friends.
As the result, the producers of the film had a good revenue from selling licenses for broadcasting Titanic and for selling DVDs with the film. Advertising and Promotion The marketing of Titanic can be called the example of marketing in the post-production and thus it is possible to apply it to more modern movies. The producers of Titanic also used advertising techniques that are often applied nowadays. Among the widest spread and popular means of promoting the movie were TV advertising, trailers, posters with the faces of the main actors and the huge ocean ship in the background (Ulin, 2013), because all these things supported the public interest of people in this film. Another important way to promote the movie and to support the public interest in it was the public interview. The leading actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio became extremely popular at that time, and they were the guests in different TV shows and radio programs, their interviews were printed in the magazines (Ulin, 2013), so the rising popularity of leading actors would help the film be successful. As it was already mentioned, the soundtrack of the movie has become iconic.
The composition My Heart Will Go On has become popular as the separate song. It was not always associated with the movie, but its popularity and first places in the musical charts added publicity to Titanic (Ulin, 2013). Evaluation of The Movie’s Success It is possible to state that Titanic was obviously one of the most successful movies in the history of Hollywood. It was truly popular in the end of 1990s and there was the real rush about this film. The leading actors have become the stars, teenage girls wore t-shirts with printed posters of the movie, and it was possible to hear the main soundtrack of the film on every corner. Thus, it was not strange that the overall reaction of the public media was positive. It showed the attitude of the majority of people to this movie.
Those people who did not like dramatic love stories simply did not watch it, while the others could not avoid mentioning the high professional level of the production.
On the stage of post-production, Titanic was considered by the investors to be extremely long and expensive. In fact, it is the normal part of the post-production period, when it is still impossible to understand whether the movie will become popular or not (Allen, 2014). There are no people who can predict that the movie will be certainly popular, because the film industry is full of unexpected circumstances because of nobody knows. However, movie production was on the highest professional level. Titanic has obviously become a very popular movie and it is possible to state that the finances that were used to produce this film were the key issue in making it the professional high-quality media content.
As the result, its box office was many times bigger than the initial budget and more than James Cameron’s expectation about $400 million in box office receipts worldwide (Allen, 2014). Coordination of financing, production, and marketing has become the important component of the success of Titanic. All details like the time of release, advertising and promotion, and choice of stuff have come the part of this success.
Economic impact of the new 3D technology on the worldwide movie industry
- 1 Foreword
- 2 Executive Summary
- 3 1. Introduction
- 4 2. Literature Review
- 5 2.1 Comebacks of the Studios in Past Recessions
- 6 2.2 Technological influence on Business in the past
- 7 2.3. Current issues in the industry
- 8 2.3.1 Videogames as substitution goods
- 9 2.3.2 Piracy
- 10 3. Research Methodology
- 11 3.1 Introduction
- 12 3.2 Justification of Research Perspective
- 13 3.3 Primary Data Collection
- 14 3.4 Secondary Data Collection
- 15 3.5 Conclusion of Methodology
- 16 4.1. How does 3D technology exactly work?
- 17 4.2 History of 3D Movies
- 18 4.3 SWOT Analysis
- 19 4.4 Avatar as an Example
- 20 4.5 Importance of 3d movies
- 21 4.6 The role of the IMAX group
- 22 4.7 3D technology in home cinemas
- 23 4.8 Comparison of Surveys from 2005 and 2010
- 24 4.8.2 Survey Comparison
- 25 4.9 Forecast
- 26 5. Conclusion
- 27 6. Recommendations
- 28 7. Bibliography
Writing this dissertation was a long and exhausting process which included many setbacks and failures. Nevertheless it also was fulfilling and exciting as I was driven by my passion and interest in movies and cinemas in general. I always intended to work for the movie industry one day and hold well- grounded hopes of achieving this goal in the near future. Maybe this dissertation will help to convince the studios of my passion and capabilities.
My thanks go to Mr Nick Bowen, who was an outstanding tutor and helped me through rough and inconvenient times with his competence and great sense of humour.
I also would like to thank me interviewees Mr Arwed Fischer and Mr Jan Fantl, who provided me with many important information and an inside into the industry. Without them, a big part of the report would not have reached the standard it has now.
Finally, I am very grateful for the help of my parents who made it possible for me to go to London and provided me with everything I needed in order to be successful and happy in the future. I do not want to forget to thank everybody else who supported me during this tough time and cheered me up after one of the occasional setbacks.
Recently the film studios are experiencing a boost of attendances and ticket sales despite the financial crisis. This already happened in past recessions and therefore will be analysed in this report. One reason for that economical immunity seems to be the technological development such as sound and colour in the past or 3D cinema nowadays.
Nevertheless there are some issues the industry has to deal with at the moment, e.g. piracy or substitution goods like videogames. Although 3D movies did fail continuously in the past in terms of economical success, the studios tried it again with an advanced technology and exceeded all expectations when Avatar was released. In this context factors such as rising ticket prices or the limited number of 3D capable cinemas play a big role as well in order to determine the future potential the 3D technology. A few companies already started to produce and sell 3D capable TVs which are supposed to the next economical success the movie landscape. IMAX cinemas suffered a long period of very low attendances and decreasing ticket sales until advanced 3D technology has been used to produce movies. Since then the IMAX group notes record breaking attendances and boosting profits. Two surveys have been analyzed and compared to each other. One, published in 2005 by Opinion Dynamics Corporation already showed some curious facts on 3D cinema and its likely success in the future. The second one has been generated online by the author of this report in 2010 amongst a group of people from 10 countries.
In terms of forecasting a success of 3D movies it is very hard for the studios to forecast the success of a single movie or even a whole new technology. They mostly try to find what is most appealing to the audience (unlike independent productions) and therefore have their analysts forecasting risks and returns. Nevertheless DisplaySearch 3D Display Technology conducted a forecast which is quite optimistic and expects increases in every sector of the movie industry (cinemas, home cinemas etc). The recommendations include the author’s personal opinion of how the 3D technology will influence the cinema landscape and the options studios have to market it properly. By interviewing people from the movie industry the author gathered some inside knowledge which he tried to apply to his recommendations. Therefore it is expected that the boom of 3D movies will slow down slightly but continue to strengthen again. In the long term it is expected that the new technology will have a positive impact on the movie industry.
According to Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, the upcoming 3D movie technology is "the greatest innovation to occur in the movie business in 70 years." (CNN Online, 2008) This statement shows the hope of the whole industry for more attendances and a revolution in the movie market. An increasing amount of movie studios shift their productions towards the new technology. As a result this is discussed in a rising number of TV-shows, magazines and newspapers. Despite the fact that videogames are becoming more popular and the financial credit crisis has reduced average income, going to the movies still seems to be a big part of daily life all over the world. This happens even though the whole film industry seems to be in a crisis, as will be explained below.
Initially 3D movies were produced using 2 separate projectors to produce one double image and running two separate rolls of film. Nowadays the technology is far more advanced which means that digital projectors are installed in cinemas producing sharper and steadier images. There also is a difference in production between ‘real’ movies and animated ones. Animated movies are not produced with real cameras but use computers to create and render every single shot from two angles. Live action movies on the other hand are filmed by new dual lens digital cameras that are able to capture two points of view. (BBC news, 2009)
Movie attendances in the United States decreased by 2, 6 %, falling to its lowest level since 1997, whereas revenues fell from $1,484 billion in 2004 to $1,364 billion in 2008. In the same period the amount of screens jumped from 35,993 to 39,476. To be able to show 3D movies, it is necessary to upgrade to digital screens; here the number increased from only 138 in 2004 to 4,576 in 2008, a rising trend. (Marche du film, 2009)
Linking these data leads to the conclusion that the movie industry is keen to establish and invest in a new technology in order to make going to the cinema more attractive to its customers and increase attendances in the short and long-term.
The following report analyses the current status of the movie industry and shows the likely economic impact in times of recession on the worldwide market. The industries’ main current issues and a forecast based on trends and profound market research are also examined.
2. Literature Review
This chapter summarises and evaluates the related research of what has been written about the research topic. Opinions and data from many different people, working for the movie industry or being close enough to venture a forecast, have been taken into account and evaluated objectively. The chapter also defines and explains the new 3D movie technology, its history and its characteristics from different perspectives. Furthermore it covers several models and theories and talks about reports and how to estimate their importance. This is followed by an evaluation to point out weaknesses or gaps in the literature. The final part will consist of a link to the initial research question and what the plan for proceeding is. Overall, there are 3 main questions to be covered in this chapter:
1. How did big studios fight back in past recessions?
2. How have technical developments influenced business in the past in different markets?
3. What are current issues in the industry?
It also is evident that due to the newness of the topic chosen, there are certain constraints in terms of what kind of literature is currently available. Therefore the main sources cited are websites as well as primary research.
2.1 Comebacks of the Studios in Past Recessions
After the first big Wall Street Crash in 1929, admissions rose by 58% compared to the previous year. (Entertainment times online, 2008) According to John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners in America, this means that “In the past four decades there have been seven recession years in this country, and the box office has climbed strongly in five of those years,” (Entertainment times online, 2008) According to the Academy of Management Journal (1996), between 1936 -1950 property based resources such as long-term contracts with stars and theatres helped financial performance to stabilize. Contrary to the period of 1951-65, when knowledge- based resources such as coordination and production talent and budgets increased financial performance. (Academy of Management Journal, 1996, pp. 519-543)
Asking some of the most important and powerful people in the U.S. and UK movie industry shows that the majority believes that the current recession either is an opportunity or even a reason for rising sales. But what is the reason for that surprising success in economic downturns?
Besides new technologies, which unfortunately are not always released at the right time, the studios decide to publish more comedies and action movies, to help the audience to escape from their monetary problems. In the USA, three of the top-five movies in terms of gross profit of 2009 are comedies: "Mall Cop," "He’s Just Not That into You" and "Bride Wars". (CNN movies, 2009)
This permits us to draw the conclusion that a recession does not necessarily lead to a break-down of sales in the movie industry. But did past recessions really have no impact or even a positive impact on the movie industry?
Not everyone agrees with the theory of increasing sales in recessions though. Gerald Peary, a documentary filmmaker and critic in Boston, Massachusetts, believes that the market will be flooded with intellectually less challenging movies since they are the ones that are more likely to succeed on the audience with smaller budget. In his opinion "The dumber the movie is, sometimes, the more money it makes," which states that "Those movies are somehow both critic proof and depression proof." (CNN movies, 2009)
Another point of view is represented by Basinger, the film historian who assumes that it is still too soon to predict any trends concerning the recession and movies. She points out that recessions leads to faster changes in the movie scene. Also for her, going to the movies is not highly affected by the crisis, as it still is "[…] the cheapest and fullest way to abandon your troubles and lose yourself in a story." (CNN movies, 2009)
Even in some of the worst recessions, economy ever has experienced, the movie industry mostly has been of the few sectors that was able to maintain its position in the market or even increase admissions. This is due to peoples’ not changing consumer behaviour. Even though they got affected by economic downturns, most of them still wanted to escape from their misery for a few hours. It also is an opportunity for independent film makers to realize low-budget productions, as movie studios get more cost- conscious when their stocks fall during a crisis. Henceforth studios prefer to invest little money in innovative productions and directors hoping for a reasonable return of investment.
2.2 Technological influence on Business in the past
Around 120 years ago, films were little more than drawings that seemed to come alive with motion. Then, in 1877 Emile Reynaud had patented a machine, the ‘Praxinoscope’, which projected seemingly moving paintings onto a screen. An upgrade of his invention, the ‘Projection Praxinoscope’, which was a large-scale Praxinoscope, got patented in 1888 and was used for public projection. Reynaud started to screen his films, accompanied by music on a regular base. Yet that early atmosphere and technology were very similar to today screenings. (Kinogeschichte, 2009) Using spools to feed and take-up the extended picture band, sequences were no longer limited to short cyclic movements. This was the first and important step for commercial use which has been so essential for successful cinematography. (Exeter, 2000)
Nevertheless, there were still many issues concerning films, amongst other things the length of them or the lack of sound. To compensate this problem, it was tried to create a more realistic, narrative and psychological atmosphere using on-screen text and a pianist accompanying the film. Back in 1927, after the introduction of movies with full sound, cinema attendances jumped up from 57 million to 90 million in 1930 (Shmoop statistics, 2009) and made them even more popular. This demonstrates that introducing a revolutionary technology can lead to soaring attendances and higher box office sales for the studios. Also the lack of colour on screen was tried to be compensated to improve the movie experience. One of the first ideas was to tint the film reels but later prising companies such as ‘Technicolor’ and ‘Eastmancolor’, made it possible to use new ways of colouring and achieved the objective of a deeper and more intense atmosphere. (Inventors library)
Nowadays black/white movies disappeared almost completely from the world of movies. Although, the success of films like ‘Schindler’s List’ (Steven Spielberg, 1993) and ‘Clerks’ (Kevin Smith, 1994) shows that it is still possible to achieve commercial and critical success with monochrome. (David Parkinson 1995, pg 112)
After releasing the first full-colour, La Cucaracha (1934), coloured movies became more and more popular. In the late 1930s, the films,Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937, Disney), were a huge success. Last one still is considered a milestone as it was thefirstfeature-length animated film. (Filmsite, 2007) Introducing new, revolutionary technologies and giving them the chance to go to maturity stage of the product lifecycle always has been very profitable for movie studios. Be it the implementation of sound or the introduction of colour, people loved to spend their money on being amused in cinemas.
2.3. Current issues in the industry
There are more problems and issues the movie industry has to deal with besides the current substantial crisis and recessions. These will be examined in the following sections.
2.3.1 Videogames as substitution goods
Amongst many threats for the movie industry such as the highly developed internet, DVDs and an increasing amount of home activities, one of the main problems for the movie theatres and studios is the rising and durable success of videogames.
First released in the 1980s, videogames have been designed for a significantly smaller target audience. This was attributed to the fact computers were still in the early stage of their product life cycle and thus the presence of computers in the average household was a much less common occurrence. The commercial use of computers was much more prominent during this period, than their household residential usage. Even with the introduction of platforms such as the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) in the 1990’s, the Videogame industry was still viewed as a niche market. It was never anticipated to develop into a competitor of the movie industry as it is nowadays. Currently, the profit generated from videogames equates to that of their movie counterparts. Current trends indicate that consumers have a tendency to spend more on buying videogames as opposed to going to the movies which has been identified as a huge threat for the studios.
Just recently, in the beginning of November 2009, Activision Blizzard Inc’s released "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" and anticipated more than $660 million in sales from 11-13 million sold units by the end of 2009.
Also previous games were big hits in terms of sales as the table below shows.
Top video games sales on their first day
Grand Theft Auto IV
( Reuters, 2009) Figure 1
These data can be compared to Top Hollywood worldwide opening weekends:
Harry Potter and the
Warner Bros 2009
Pirates of the Caribbean:
At World’s End
( Reuters, 2009) Figure 2
As aforementioned and illustrated by the tables (Figure 1 & Figure 2) above, it is evident that data solidifies the trend that an increasing number of consumers are changing their consumer behaviour and purchasing videogames which they may enjoy at home. Another possibility for the rising success of videogames could be the fact of potential consumers rather staying home than spending money on transport for getting there and quite expensive snacks and drinks in the cinema.
This data backs up the trend that more and more consumers tend to shift from going to the movies to buying videogames which they can enjoy at home. Even if they are more expensive (around $50/ unit depending on the platform) the duration of playing them is far higher than only two hours. This makes them a substitution good with which the studios have to deal with now and most likely even more in the future. On the other hand this also creates new opportunities for the movie and the game industry to work together and create profits by co-operating. This is already working in terms of converting movies to videogames but also the other way around.
Another very recent issue and problem for the movie industry is the rapid spread of illegal movie copies, also known as pirate copy. In 2007, downloads of movies rose by 50 % in Germany, mostly saved as digital copies. ( Welt online, 2009) According to The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), the cost of motion picture piracy is significant high and an essential threat to the studios and the whole industry. The loss for the movie industry was $6, 1 billion in 2006. Taking all industries into account that are related to the movies that number would add up to $20.5 billion annually. This means that not only the studios and related companies lose money. It also means that people are losing jobs. Piracy being absent, 141,030 new jobs would have been added to the U.S. economy in 2006 (IPI, 2006) Henceforth the studios are in an on-going war with the movie pirates trying to reduce losses. The enormous impact on U.S. and worldwide economy forced the industry to consider distinct strategies to decrease or even stop piracy. Besides Ads, showing movie pirates chased by police and going to prison as for every other federal crime, the industry also adopted a hard line by suing them for compensation. This found its peak in sending four men to prison for one year and ordering them to pay $3.6 million of compensation to major film companies such as Warner Brothers, Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony BMG and EMI. (CNN Piracy, 2009) They operated a Swedish movie pirate website which has been judged of being illegal.
In total, piracy and the recession have reduced DVD sales in the UK by around 10 % and in the US by even 13 %. The problem for the studios is that DVD sales are responsible for half a title’s long-term profits and more than double the revenue than from tickets sold. (Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010) Hence Hollywood always tries to find new ways of protecting their movies and anticipate copyright theft.
Consequently they always need new technologies which cannot be hacked but according to Arwed Fischer (Fischer, 2010), it is almost impossible to find the perfect safety. Hackers are able to break any copy protection within days or hours. In fact, this made him quit the job as resources seem to be wasted on nothing. Critics on the other hand state that the way of how to calculate losses for the movie industry is neither transparent nor comprehensible. The studios claim that each single pirate copy is the same as one loss of attendance. This is one of the reasons why mentioned losses are extraordinary high. People that just downloaded the movie and never considered going to the cinema or buying it on DVD are not included in these statistics which makes them quite subjective. On the other hand, the new 3D technology makes studios feel quite safe at the moment as it yet is impossible to pirate 3D featured movies. Hence people who want to experience this new way of cinema must go to the movies and pay for their tickets.
James Cameron also is aware of this unique selling point when he says: "You can pirate a 3D movie but you can’t pirate it in 3D, so you can’t bottle that 3D experience." (New Yorker Online, 2009) Although this is a justifiable and legitimate objection, piracy remains one of the industries’ biggest problems. Even if not each ‘pirate’ can be considered a loss of attendance and ticket sales, it remains an act of stealing. The studios spend millions of Dollars to produce profitable movies which are linked to many jobs. That should not be undermined by downloading movies instead of going to see them in the cinemas and pay the entrance fee.
3. Research Methodology
This chapter explains the approaches used to facilitate a precise and specific answer to the initial research question. In order to gather relevant and accurate information both, quantitative and qualitative data will be used. However the author’s focus will be on qualitative data collection. The potential bias of primary is quite low due to a wide range of interview partners, all from different sides. Secondary data has been gathered under same criteria in order to minimise the risk of potential bias.
Where, if possible, the author tried to look for alternative explanations and to show that he was aware of any potential bias.
3.2 Justification of Research Perspective
Every research requires distinct methods recommended for structuring research programs. In this dissertation, it has been chosen to base all outcomes and results on actual data or professional forecasts like interviews, surveys and questionnaires. Copies of them can be found in the appendix. A high level of discipline was necessary and essential at the beginning of the research. Even though it got disappointing at some points, as the researcher took a wrong path, objectives from books by Mark Saunders (2009) helped the author to keep focused and motivated.
According to Saunders
* “Data are collected systematically
* Data are interpreted systematically
* There is a clear purpose; to find things out”
(Saunders et al, 2009)
3.3 Primary Data Collection
The author attempted to use all the important primary data collection methods such as interviews, networking and surveys in order to analyse the data objectively. This leads towards an accurate answer to the initial research question.
Interviews with people from the movie industry such as former employees of copyright companies and cinema owners have given a deep insight into the topic.
* Arwed Fischer, former employee of X-Protect GmbH in Munich
* Representative of the ‘Kinopolis’ group, one of the biggest German cinema chains, who wants to stay anonymous.
* Jan Fantl, producer, production manager and former director
Several approaches for the interview structure have been considered and led to the following conclusion: Although unstructured interviews have the advantage of "complete freedom in terms of content and structure" ( Kumar R, 2005), the author of this report decided to mostly use structured or hybrid interviews for his research purposes. This represents a spot in-between the unstructured and structured interviews in Figure 3. That was given due to the fact that face-to face interview were not possible for a number of reasons such as travelling cost or lack of time of the interviewees. Nevertheless personal interviews would have given the author some advantages such as observing his interviewee as well as listening to him or the chance to gather the data more efficiently. (Hollwitz, J. & Wilson, C.E. 41-52)
Therefore it has been decided to make use of telephone interviews, which are far less costly than personal ones, and mail questionnaires which require accurate question design to match reading comprehension of the interviewees. (Using Structured Interviewing Techniques, 1991) Especially mail interviews have been proofed to be quite efficient because interviewees took their time to think about the questions before answering them.
An online survey has been generated and distributed by the author of this report. 47 people aged 22- 50 and from 10 countries filled out this online survey which has been piloted before with 5 people in order to make it more precise and accurate for a wider audience. It was created on the 07.April 2010 and has been closed on the 07.May 2010 .To generate it the online platform www.surveymonkey.com has been used. The complete survey can be found in the appendix of this report. Due to easier access given times and resources it was not possible to have interviews in other countries like the USA or India. At a later point in this report it has been compared to another survey taken by Opinion Dynamics Corporation in 2005 before the 3D technology boomed yet. This will show the process and change of customer’s opinion on 3D movies. Also a questionnaire has been conducted by the author. It has been sent via to several people of the movie industry. The response rate was rather poor as asked people seemed to be busy. Standard questions have been used in order to facilitate the collection of data and due to limitations in terms of time and resources. The questionnaire can be found in the appendices in section 8.1
As aforementioned, the potential bias has been considered in the evaluation process.
Another option to be deemed is the use of a supervisor or mentor. He made sure that collected data was rather objective than subjective and could provide the author with constructive criticism.
3.4 Secondary Data Collection
Thanks to a wider range of secondary data available, the author collected a lot of relevant information on the topic. He did this through a critical evaluation of literature, not only from the USA but also from Europe to accomplish a fair and accurate picture of the industry and its potential in the future. Parts of the research were also based on past and current trends and forecasts that justify arguments and recommendations. In order to sufficiently cut down the total amount of data, the author interpreted data sourced mainly from smaller subgroups rather than “all possible groups” (Saunders et al 2009, p 150 & 152)This method saves the author valuable time and also makes research and evaluation of data more efficient by using a smaller pool of information.
As every other method, this one also has disadvantages, such as gathering the wrong kind of data or using irrelevant data which cannot answer the initial research question accurately. Also some academic literature such as the "The Academy of Management Journal" has been used to provide a different angle of the research question.
A SWOT analysis on the current situation of the 3D Technology and outline possible threats and opportunities for the whole movie industry has been carried out. As a planning tool a SWOT analysis has many benefits like the simplicity of taking one. Nevertheless this can lead to problems like underestimating the value of a SWOT analysis or to an imprecise and weakly conducted analysis. (Ferrel & Hardline, 2007, p. 119-120)
More benefits can be seen in Figure 4:
No need of extensive training or technical skills, only comprehensive understanding of industry and company
Since there is no need for training, costs for conducting a SWOT decrease.
A SWOT analysis can be conducted without using extensive marketing information systems as well as using them to make analysis smoother and efficient.
Integration and Synthesis
Opportunity of integrating and synthesizing qualitative and quantitative information. SWOT can deal with a wide diversity of information sources.
SWOT analysis encourages collaboration between different functional areas.
(Ferrel & Hardline, 2007) Figure 4
3.5 Conclusion of Methodology
Using all the aforementioned methods and approaches, the author attempted to find an accurate answer to the research question. Giving the reader a deep insight into the topic and a widespread view of the 3D Technology opportunities and risks has lead to a complete understanding of the subject. All data has been analyzed and evaluated neutrally so a conclusion has been objectively drawn.
4. Findings and Analysis
This chapter starts with an explanation of the technical side of 3D technology used today followed by an overview of the history of 3D movies and a SWOT analysis. After that, the role of 3D movies in general and in combination with IMAX cinemas as well as the importance of Avatar will be discussed. The chapter will concluded with the comparison of two surveys (for further information please see research methodology) and a forecast.
4.1. How does 3D technology exactly work?
First of all, the binocular vision system is based on the fact that the eyes of a human being are spaced 5 cm apart. Consequently each eye sees the picture from a different angle. At the same time the binocular vision system in a brain is using the difference to calculate the distance. The brain also has the ability to show a relationship between those images even though they are slightly different. The brain can choose objects in the two scenes and work out how far an object is between those images. (How Stuff works 3D glasses, 2010)
The reason for wearing 3d glasses is to provide different images into your eyes. The movie screen in fact shows two different images and the glasses cause one of the images to go into one eye and the other one to enter the second eye. There are two widespread systems of doing it
* Polarization: The majority of the big studios such as Disney or Universal the first choice are polarized lenses for the glasses because they allow colour viewing. Two synchronized projectors project two individual views onto the screen, each with a diverse polarization. The glasses only let one of the images to enter each eye because they hold lenses that are polarized as well. This is comparable with the polarization of sunglasses.
* Red/Green or Red/ Blue. Since polarization cannot be used on a traditional TV screen (unlike on upcoming 3D TVs which will be dealt with later on in section 4.7) the red/green system is used. Again 2 images are displayed on the screen, one in red and one in blue/green. The filters of the glasses only allow one picture to enter each eye. The brain has to correlate those pictures as aforementioned. It is not really possible to use a normal colour movie when using those glasses which makes the image quality far poorer than the polarized one.
(How stuff works, 3D glasses, 2010)
* There also is the possibility of rapidly showing two alternate images one right after another. Special LCD- glasses obstruct the vision of one eye and then the other one in fast sequence. This technology allows colour viewing on a normal TV if certain equipment is provided. One weakness is the high price of the equipment needed.
(BBC News, 2008)
4.2 History of 3D Movies
The movie industry is experiencing the third big wave of 3D movies after two big failures in the past in the 1950’s and 1980’s. In the beginning it was promoted as the "The Miracle of the Age!!!" or a "lover in your arms"(Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010) In 2008 the big studios tried the establish 3d movies again which has been quite successful ($240 million box office) but only Avatar in 2009 helped the new technology to finally become popular and the ‘miracle" studios expected it to be. Hence more and more movies are produced or post-produced in 3D to the point that today 3D screenings have outperformed their 2D counterparts by more than double in attendance rates and over three times in profits. The graph below (Figure 5) shows 3D film releases over the years starting in the 1920’s until the point when HD technology gets released. It also takes into account the IMAX and its peak in terms of attendance in 1997.
(The 3D revolution, 2009) Figure 5
The table below (Figure 6) summarizes the main differences between 3D movies in the 1950’s and 1980’s and today:
3D movie booms in the past ( 1950’s and 1980’s)
Current situation/ Today
Screening System/ Technology
Two sets of projectors and movies needed –> comparably higher cost to set up and run them
General use of digital 3D makes it more feasible to implement 3D screening systems
Movie Content/ Genre
Mostly Horror movies, over the top 3D effects –> causes eye train, nausea
ü Increased Know-how in showing 3D makes viewing more relaxed
ü Widespread use of CGI makes it easier to produce 3D movies.
Figure 6 (Created by the author)
4.3 SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis also has been conducted to determine and evaluate possible opportunities and threats as well as current strengths and weaknesses of 3D featured movies.
* Still competitive advantage over home cinemas at that price level.
* New cinema and movie experience for demanding audience
* Impossible to pirate 3D movies yet
* Premium prices for tickets allow studios to re-invest higher amounts of money
* Completely new opportunities for directors and film makers: 3D as a another colour in their palette
* Customer complaints about "annoying glasses", "dim colours."
* Ticket prices still very high compared to conventional movies
* Uncomfortable for wearers of glasses since they have to wear the 3D glasses on top
* 3D effects can lead to dizziness, headaches or nausea
* Only one size of glasses
* Disadvantages for smaller studios due to high starting investments which they cannot afford
* High investment of upgrading cost of around €140,000 for each auditorium to be capable of showing 3D
* Not enough cinemas, capable of showing 3D movies yet: Nineteen 3D movies have been announced so far for 2010, some of them will be released at the same time but there are only 4,000 cinemas yet that are able to show 3D movies. Usually, big movies start in over 10,000 cinemas. (Preisgenau News, 2010)
* Expanding opportunities in the home cinema market including co-operations with television and equipment manufacturers
* Re-publishing of former blockbusters such as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings as additional source of income.
* Possible creation of new genres using 3D
* Another step towards 4D cinemas and movies ( moving seats, inflowing smells, real actors in front of the screen etc)
* Showing of sports or music events in 3D in cinemas in the future
* By using a new technology by Technicolor, costs of upgrading screens are about to fall drastically. ( $4000- $ 6000 per screen plus rent of a special lens for $12,000/ year compared to $75,000 for a screen before)
* Home cinema market as a threat in the long-term
* According to the Eyecare Trust "12 per cent of people have a visual impairment that means their brains are unable to correctly process the individual images which are transmitted via their left and right eyes" (Eyecaretrust, 2010)
* No 3D effect for partially sighted people
* Piracy as a threat once 3D televisions and equipment got released and established
4.4 Avatar as an Example
With an estimated production cost of $500M (including marketing with $150M though) Avatar started in over 2,500 3D screens all over the USA. This is a comparably small number as usually potential blockbuster start in over 10,000 screens which is due to the fact that not all of them are 3D ready yet. Avatar was the first movie that has been shot with the new 3D technology from the start on. This is one of the reasons for higher production cost. It also is adherent a much higher risk because in the beginning it was not certain how many screens were going to be upgraded to actually show Avatar in 3D. James Cameron himself said that "This film integrates my life’s achievements. It’s the most complicated stuff anyone’s ever done.” (New Yorker Online, 2009) This quote shows the huge complexity of the movie and the preparation and effort needed to get it done.
Figure 7 below from December 2009 compares the biggest blockbusters of the last years. The first column only talks about production cost and does not include marketing of any form. It is evident that- in this graph- production cost for potential high grosser movies are immense but justified as all of them earned at least three times the money compared to their cost. This is excluding revenues from DVD or rentals or any other form of merchandising.
(The Wrap online, 2009) Figure 7
4.5 Importance of 3d movies
Due to the fact that 3D movies got widely accepted by the audience an increasing number of box office sales fall upon those movies using an advanced technology.
There are several reasons why it seems that 3D movies overall earn more money than traditional movies.
1. Ticket prices: Due to higher ticket prices, box office sales seem higher even if less people went to the movies. 3D movies get higher revenues because of premium ticket prices. Sometimes up to $18 in some areas in the USA.
(Business Insider, 2010)
According to the New York Times (2010) "More than 20 3D movies were released in 2009 – including the blockbuster hitAvatar- and this propelled a boost to $1.14 billion of 3D ticket sales in 2009, from just $240 million in 2008" which shows the enormous increase of sold tickets for 3D movies. Unlike tickets for traditional movies that exist for many years, 3D movies are still between the introduction and the growing phase of the product lifecycle. Hence it is attracting more and more customers. Although there is a slightly distinct situation as 3D movies already partially bring in more money than traditional movies. Therefore it is hard to determine where exactly in the product lifecycle 3D movies can be seen. If one assumes that it is between the introduction and growing stage, prices are still high and customers are still being sought and attracted. Normally there is no pressure for profit yet which again is different in this case. Studios invested a huge amount of money for immediate profit generation. There also is only a limited number of 3D movies available due to a small number of distribution channels. In fact, more and more cinemas are being upgraded to show 3D movies. In the growing stage normally competitors enter the stage and prices fall. As a matter of fact even smaller studios outside the circle of the big five will try to produce 3D movies if they seem to be successful in the long-term. As soon as producing those movies gets cheaper more studios will have the opportunity to enter the market. This also will affect smaller studios that cannot afford cost intensive 3D movies at the moment which gives financially stronger studios a significant competitive advantage.
(Sääksvuori A. & Immonen A., 2008) Figure 8
2. Rising number of customers: Despite the aforementioned fact that ticket prices adulterate the actual success of a movie, 3D movies do attract more customers than conventional ones.
In total 2009 was an extraordinary successful year for the studios. 1.42 billion people went to the cinemas which is the highest value in the last 5 years. (Spiegel Online, 2010) This rapid growth and new record shows the massive eagerness audiences continue to have for great and enjoyable films.
3. Increasing number of 3D capable cinema screens: Another fact for the on-going success is the growing number of upgraded cinema screens that are capable of showing 3D movies. According to the graph below the projected number of 3D capable cinemas is rapidly growing and will reach more than 15,000 worldwide which is more than twice as much as in 2009.
(Sony Online 3D, 2010) Figure 9
4.6 The role of the IMAX group
The IMAX Corporation is "an entertainment technology company, specializing in motion picture technologies and large-format film presentations" (Marketscreen, 2010)
In recent years the group was struggling with decreasing box office sales and a declining audience, as can be seen in Figure 10 below which clearly shows the decrease and stagnation between 2005 and mid 2008.
(Advfn Financials 2010) Figure 10
It is also evident that turnover started to recover in mid 2008 and still keeps increasing.
A similar evolution can be seen in the following graph which demonstrates the Share price performance previous 3 years of the IMAX Corporation.
(Advfn Financials 2010) Figure 11
After a weak 2007 and its lowest share price in 2008, just after the global crisis struck, it also started to recover and almost quadrupled until December 2009.
One of the reasons undoubtedly is the enormous success of block-buster "Avatar" which became the highest grossing film in IMAX history. It is obvious that there is a direct correlation between its release date on 17th of December 2009 and the boosting share prices in the same month.
According to the IMAX group Avatar worldwide earned more than £125 million until 21.02.2010. This conducts a huge increase compared to the previous high grosser Batman: The Dark Knight which earned £41.3 million. (Imdb Batman, 2009)
Therefore, the new technology is an essential factor for the new success of the IMAX cinemas after years of financial underperformances. The gross operating profit almost doubled and grew from $ 55 million in 2008 to $ 100.1 million in 2009 according to the annual report of the group. (Advfn Quarterly Report, 2009)
Many people, working for the industry also expect a further rise in sales within the next years as well they anticipate the new technology to prevail. One of them is Jan Fantl who stated in the interview that "3D is the next best thing and will generate huge amounts of profits in the near future". (Fantl Interview, 2010)
IMAX cinemas will get more important as they will stand for an own experience which justifies higher ticket prices than for 2D movies in traditional cinemas. Whereas digital 3D cinemas and IMAX cinemas almost offer the same price for adults in standard categories on 15.03.2010 as the following table shows (Figure 12)
Although ticket prices for IMAX and digital 3D cinemas are almost the same, the huge success of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland led to an increase of ticket prices in the IMAX cinemas to $20 in the end of March 2010. (Celebrifi, 2010)
The Wall Street Journal states that (2010) “At some theaters in the northwest, adult admission is rising to $11 from $10 for a conventional film, to $15 from $13.50 for a regular 3-D showing and to $17 from $15 for Imax 3-D.” This is due to the fact that going to the movies gets popular in general so that cinemas also can set prices higher for conventional films.
A justification for higher prices can be the aforementioned screen which is four times bigger (588m²) than the ones in traditional theatres. The audience normally sits very close to the screen which leads to the feeling that the screen is almost surrounding them. The following drawing (Figure 13) gives an idea of how it works:
IMAX cinemas also are able to show 3D movies using bothLCDshutter technology which leads to the following section. In the future, IMAX cinemas will get affected heavily by the new 3D technology and are very likely to increase their revenues.
4.7 3D technology in home cinemas
For future prospects it is also inevitable to analyse the upcoming home cinema market. After the first few waves of 3D featured movies in the cinemas have been released, studios and home cinema equipment manufacturers are keen to take opportunities to make profit further. Therefore Panasonic will be one of the first ones to enter the stage and to sell the first 3D home cinema instead of just demonstrating it on exhibitions. (Panasonic, 2010) And more companies are to follow such as Samsung that already launched its 3D kit and Sony that will start selling it in summer. Although only fifteen 3D movies will be available in the beginning it is expected to double up to over 30 by the end of 2010. Pricing also plays a big role for the success of the new technology. According to Bill Foster, a consultant at Futuresource Consulting, the 3D chips only cost about $20 (€15). Nevertheless, necessary shutter glasses will cost more and he expects them to be sold at $99 (€73) (Futuresource, 2010) It is evident that 3D is considered to be the next big thing in the world of entertainment. Estimations state that by 2011 ten out of 100 TV sets sold will be 3D ready.
The importance of this technological movement is emphasized by DreamWorks’ chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg who already has called the development "as important as the introduction of sound or colour". (Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010) DisplaySearch predicts that the number of 3D-ready TVs will increase from 0.2 million units in 2009 to 64 million units in 2018. It is also forecasted that 3D-ready TV will be the largest application in terms of returns in 2018 with $17 billion.( Digital Today, 2010)
Nevertheless many of the forecasts are biased as the movie industry itself conducted them or assigned a company to do it for them. It is obvious that they rely on some kind of a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ by telling potential customers to not miss out on the next revolution of the entertainment industry.
4.8 Comparison of Surveys from 2005 and 2010
In this section two surveys have been analyzed and compared to each other. One, published in 2005 by Opinion Dynamics Corporation already showed some curious facts on 3D cinema and its likely success in the future (subsequently called Survey A). The second one has been taken by the author of this report in 2010 amongst a number of people from 10 countries (subsequently called Survey B). For further details please have a look at section 3.3
4.8.1 General findings of survey A
Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted research on this issue on November 29-30, 2005, with 900 adults in the United States. Findings are as follows:
• 12 %, which represents around 26 million American grown-ups’, say they would go to the movies more frequently if there were more 3D films. Another 6% (13 million adults) say they would go more regularly, depending on the films being presented in 3D.
• 14% (over 30 million American adults) say they would be willing to pay $2-3 more to see a feature-length film in 3D, while an additional 6% (or 13 million) would pay more depending on the films being offered in 3D.
• Consumers are somewhat split over the type of 3D effects they might enjoy the most. Over one-third (37%) say they prefer effects that appear to come out of the screen at them, while 31% say they prefer 3D effects that give better depth to the images on the screen.
• Nearly half (48%) of American adults say they have seen a 3D movie (of any length or type) before. One in five (22%) has seen a 3D movie at a regular movie theater, 19% have seen one at an IMAX® Theater, and 7% have seen 3D movies at both types of theaters. It also has been essential in 2005 to examine the possible future of 3D technology. (Opinion Dynamics Corporation, 2005)
4.8.2 Survey Comparison
"Would you go to the movies more often if there were more feature-length films released in 3D?" with the subsequent result:
This result seems rather disillusioning as the vast majority of 74 % would not go to the movies only for its 3D feature. Nevertheless it is important to have a closer look at the target and age group of this survey. 18-29 years old adults state that they are more likely to go to the movies for their 3D features. This exactly is the main target group of most of the studios and movies which explains why they still invested in 3d movies despite surveys like this one.
Compared to survey B (Figure 15), it is evident that many potential customers still would not go to see a movie only because of its 3D feature. Nowadays the movie itself is far more important for them and their decision making with 36 %. Subsequently, studios cannot only rely on marketing the 3D feature but also must provide the audience with quality movies.
Survey A (Figure 15) also took into account the differences between IMAX and regular cinemas. According to this survey question 48% of adults 18-29 had seen a 3D movie yet by the end of 2005, which is quite impressive as there was only a little number of regular cinemas that provided 3D movies at that time.
Survey B (Figure 16) on the other hand shows the increased number of people (46 %) that have seen 3D movies at both a regular and IMAX theater. The number of people that went to see a 3D movie at a regular cinema also significantly went up from 22% to 33%. In fact, 3D featured movies and cinema became more and more popular and successful during the last years.
Most likely one of the most important questions for the studios and cinemas is the following.
In Survey A (Figure 17) the great majority answered that they were not ready to pay more only to see a 3D movie. Only 6 % stated that it depended on the movie. Nevertheless the survey takes can be divided into age groups to emphasize the difference. Adults 18-29 years old (15%), adults 30-45 (16%) and adults 46-54 (17%) are about twice as likely to pay $2-3 more for a feature-length 3D film than adults who are 55 years old and older (8%). Consequently the future for the studios lied in the youth in 2005.
In Survey B (Figure 18) only 17 % refused to pay more for a 3D movie. The majority stated that it was the movie that counts. A quarter of the survey takers were prepared to pay a little extra though only because the movie is shown in 3D. Since Survey B was conducted in 2010, a significant difference to Survey A is obvious in a very positive way for the studios.
Summed up, the most obvious changes between the survey A and B are the increased willingness of paying more money of potential customer of a younger target group (18-30) as well as the enlarged interest in 3D movies in general. From all this data gathered, studios can be optimistic in their future views.
For the studios it is very hard to forecast the success of a single movie or even a whole new technology. They mostly try to find what is most appealing to the audience (unlike independent productions) and therefore have their analysts forecasting risks and returns. Nevertheless, "On averageonly23%of allwide-released pictures in the last 10 years cleareda profit at box officesin North America…and even less worldwide." (Filmforecasting, 2010) Consequently roughly only two out of 10 movies amortize.
This number got even worse in 2007, when only 17 % of the movies cleared their production budgets on the box office. (Filmforecasting, 2010) According to the aforementioned website, most of the movies could have made profitable if they would have repaired errant script components and miss-castings.
Nevertheless there is a different situation to be evaluated since 3D movies follow their own laws. Using a new technology there is a vast number of new opportunities to market those movies. Even if a movie has not been in 3D in the first place, studios do anything to make them 3D in the post production like with the action movie "Clash of the Titans" released in April 2010. The studios know about the huge attraction of a 3D stamp which leads to very optimistic forecasts.
3D display returns are about to reach $22bn by 2018 which would be a massive increase from $902 million in 2008. It can be seen in the graph below that a regular grow for every single year is expected. (Digital Today, 2010)
According to Jennifer Colegrove, director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch, “A number of manufacturers of consumer electronics devices, including TVs, monitors, notebooks, Blu-ray disc players, and digital cameras/camcorders/photo frames have aggressively promoted 3D in the home. In addition to consumer use of 3D displays, the technology has also been used for many professional applications and advertisement/public displays.” (Digital Today, 2010)
According to a forecast, created by DisplaySearch 3D Display Technology (2009) and Market Forecast Report the findings are as follows:
•3D-ready monitors will grow from 40K units (0.02 percent penetration) in 2009 to 10 million (3.6 percent penetration) in 2018.
•3D notebook PCs are forecast to grow from 66K units (0.04 percent penetration) in 2009 to 17.7 million (3.2 percent penetration) in 2018.
•Mobile phones will be the largest 3D display application on a unit shipment basis in 2018, with 71 million units with 3D capability.
•LCD will be the primary display technology used for 3D displays, as a result of its wide range of display applications ranging from small mobile phones to large public displays and TVs.
•Eyewear will be necessary for most 3D applications for many years to come, due to the limitations of auto-stereoscopic (no glasses) technologies.
•DisplaySearch forecasts there will be more than 7,000 new 3D cinema screens installed in 2010 and an additional 9,000 in 2011.
(DisplaySearch 3D Display Technology, 2009)
It is evident that this report emphasizes the strong increase of profit and distribution of 3D featured equipment or movies. This can be dangerous as forecasts barely ever come out to be true as happened twice to 3D technology already as well as in other industries such as cars (a forecast of 90% of electric cars in 2010) or even aerospace
(Stations on the moon by 1982 and going to Mars by 1990) (Ruediger, G., 2007)
Forecasts mostly play with people’s desires and fears to give them what they unconsciously ask for. Therefore this forecast also is most unlikely to turn out right but even if there will be only a increase half as good as predicted the studios and manufactures shall be satisfied as costs for upgrading screens and shooting 3D movies will fall due to advanced technologies and economies of scale.
Jan Fantl, (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0266931/) is a successful producer, production manager and former director, who also analysed the current situation, future prospects and whether it would change his work. Based on his answers and all the data gathered over the months the author has reached a number of conclusions which are set out in section 5 of this report.
After evaluating all the aforementioned data and facts a non-ambiguous forecast is barely possible due to the newness of the topic. Since 3D movies just started to become popular and showed their potential with the worldwide blockbuster Avatar it may be the start of a new era of movies. Like former revolutions of cinema such as introducing sound and later on colour people might get used to this new cinema experience. This would lead to increasing ticket sales which are necessary for the studios since shooting 3D movies is far more cost intensive than doing it the traditional way. Even if studios produce a movie in a traditional 2D way and only want to turn it into a 3D experience afterwards, estimated costs are between $8M and $15M and still providing a far worse 3D experience than movies like Avatar which has been shot in 3D from the beginning.
On the other hand, critics state that 3D only is a trend, just something new and exciting for a short period of time which will disappear in the near future. Trends like certain genres that became successful for a few years and then almost completely vanished from the screens are hold as an example. Those genres were the horror films in the 1970’s, the patriotic and not very intellectual challenging action movies in the 1980’s (such as Rambo, Die Hard etc) and the romantic comedies in the end 1990’s (e.g. American Pie). Those genres have been very successful for a while until the audience got bored of it and lusted for a change in the movie landscape. Henceforth this is one of the biggest fears of the studios and they try to work on solutions and an increasing customer loyalty towards 3D movies.
Also the home cinema industry and the IMAX group are likely to benefit from a constant and increasing 3D movie trend.
Although the amount of movies published in theaters dropped by 12% last year, 3D technology could change the film industry forever. However it is doubtful that these box-office numbers can remain as high as they are, especially since Avatar was arecord-breakerandcompetition will be severe. (Business Insider, 2010)
To conclude, Tim Burton who is more successful than ever, also thanks to 3D technology shall be quoted: "We’re surely going to see a lot of bad 3D films in the near future, because Hollywood cannibalises every recipe for success. That’s how the industry works … It’s a great thing when you use it as a technical tool and not as a wonder weapon." (Independent Online 3D Revolution, 2010)
This statement emphasizes the ambivalence when it comes to this revolutionary technology and the fear of exploiting it for economical reasons only. Therefore it will be interesting to see which way the movie industry will choose and how deep changes will be in the cinema landscape in the future.
Due to limited resources and the newness of the topic the following recommendations reflect the author’s personal forecast of a potential change in the cinema landscape.
In general it is assumed that there is a big effect on the industry which can be seen already. Especially after AVATAR, expectations are yet higher although the whole industry was very keen to see the outcome in terms of profit of AVATAR. The 3D movies Ice Age 3D before and Alice in Wonderland after AVATAR were a test run for the studios aiming different main target groups as can be seen in Figure 21. All of them worked which proved the potential of 3D.
Ice Age 3D
Animation in 3D
Action Adventure developed and shot stereoscopic
Alice in Wonderland
shot in 2D posted for 3D
Big movies – ultra wide releases – for large audiences worldwide will become more popular and successful. This is where 3D will work. After a while the momentum will slow down
* Because it becomes a commonly known fact how 3D works,
* Because bad movies will be shown in 3D, as a wave of mass production down to c-level horror films.
* Because it always will be more expensive in terms of production than 2D.
It will continue to strengthen what started before and what has increased due to the world financial crisis: Polarization. Young audiences- the main target group- will not be able to go to the cinema that often anymore due to a shortage of financial resources and increased prices. They only go if they consider it a valuable entertainment experience (e.g. well made 3D movies). On the other hand lower and low budget arthouse for the core fans of movies will still be a niche market that is unlikely to disappear. It is obvious that there will be problems for the midsection and it most likely will disappear. Hence only potential high- grossing or very low budget movies will push out everything in between This situation can be compared to the food industry and its polarization: Junk food or culinary high class food are the most profitable businesses. 3D just adds an opportunity to make the theater house very attractive and appealing again which no other application like home cinema can offer yet. Above all, the benefit of copyright protection is a huge advantage for the whole industry.
It also is essential to take into account the change of the work procedures for directors, producers etc. Now everyone who is responsible for realising a movie has to consider of 3D is necessary and even more important if it is affordable. It is still 15%- 35 % more expensive than conventional movies (Jan Fantl, Interview, 2010). It also is necessary to think about the logistics in regards of time, directing, camera, lightning as which differ from shooting traditional movies as well as the artistic approach of the director. This includes things like "language of framing", the picture as an expression of storytelling that will have to be changed. In fact, every project that only has a low amount of dynamic moving cameras and/or small budgets should be shot in 2D in the future to avoid an over saturation of the market. This also would be advantageous for people that get seasick or a headache watching 3D movies. In the end this of course will be the decision of the producer and the director of what dynamics shall appear in the respective film.
When it comes to market a 3D movie, Jan Fantl also stated that he, like the whole industry will scream:" "Look here it’s in 3D! Come and see!" (Fantl Interview, 2010) This shows that, after all, it still is show business and all about profits like in every other industry as well. Although this might open some opportunities once 3D movies have been established, smaller studios might market their movies in the opposite way: " It s in 2D, here you see a movie and can relax at the same time" (Kinopolis representative Interview, 2010)If the studios do not overuse 3D technology in the beginning, the impact on the movie industry will be very positive.
ü Interview with Jan Fantl, former director and current producer of movies, 31.1.2010
ü Interview with Arwed Fischer, former employee and Investor of X-Protect GmbH, 25.03.2010
ü Interview with a representative of the Kinopolis Chain in Germany, 08.04.2010
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ü Auzel Dominique,1992.Émile Reynaud et l’image s’anima. Paris: DuMay
ü David Parkinson, 1995. History of Film. London: Thames & Hudson
ü General Accounting Office, 1991. Using Structured Interviewing Techniques. Washington, D.C.: Program Evaluation and Methodology Division
ü Greif R., 2005. Measuring the 3D Film Revolution: Understanding the Impact of New Technology on Movie Theater Visitation, Opinion Dynamics Corporation
ü Hollwitz, J. & Wilson, C.E.,1993. Structured Interviewing in Volunteer Selection.Journal of Applied Communication Research, 21
ü Kumar R, 2005.Research methodology: a step-by-step guide for beginners. California: Sage
ü Mannoni L., 2000. The Great Art of Light and Shadow: Archaeology of the Cinema, Exeter: University of Exeter Press
ü Miller D. & Shamsie J., The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 3 Jun., 1996, The Resource-Based View of the Firm in Two Environments: The Hollywood Film Studios from 1936 to 1965
ü Michael D. Hartline, 2007. Marketing Strategy (4th ed.) Florence: Cengage Learning
ü Rüdiger G., 2007. Zukunftsprognosen – Traum und Wirklichkeit Münster: IPT-Verlag
ü Saunders, M. et al, 2003.Research Methods for Business Students (5th ed.)
Chester: Pearson Education Limited
ü Sääksvuori A. & Immonen A., 2008. Product Lifecycle Management (3rd ed.) Berlin: Springer
Indian film industry
Churning out nearly 1,000 films a year, the Indian film industry is the largest in the world. Now, aided by technological advancements, the industry is set to take a further leap – across production, exhibition and marketing. In such a scenario, product placement in mainstream films deserves a renewed focus because as a marketing communication tool, it is fast emerging as the medium with maximum potential to capture and covert audiences to potential consumers. This is especially relevant in a world where traditional media vehicles are increasingly failing to reach the consumers for various reasons.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brand/product placement is a promotional tactic used by marketers in which a real commercial product is used in fictional media, and the presence of the product is the result of an economic exchange, it is an advertising technique in which the companies pay a fee or provide service in exchange for a prominent display of their product. Product placement occurs in plays, films, television series, music videos, video-games and books. The objective of such brand communication is to expose the audience to a brand, whereby the effect can be maximized in terms of increased awareness and higher recall, so that the customer will buy the brand which has maximum recall; and to satisfy the customer to optimum level.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This research paper looks at the rationality of brand placement, the possible congruity that can be built in the story, as indicators of success of effective brand placement in films and if so, as variables in bringing desired change in consumer’s attitude. The paper highlights the basic reasons for placing products and brands in Mainstream Hindi films and the effectiveness of these placements as a tool for enhancing the recall value of brands in long run brands in the films. This paper also gives insight as to how audiences react to product placement, do they think it as an effective alternative media, if it has any impact on them and if they find it ethical.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The research incorporated case studies of four mainstream Hindi films, selected on basis of their box office fate and the amount of brand placement. These films are then anaysed in terms of effectiveness of the variety of placements in bringing the desired recall and recognition values. The four films selected include – Om Shanti Om, Goal, Chak De! India, and Lage Raho Munna Bhai. The research concludes with suggestions regarding areas for future research.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Product placement has come as a blessing in disguise for both, the brand and the filmmaker. Through it, the brand managers get the clutter breaking opportunity to look beyond the 30 sec TV commercial and the filmmaker gets to earn huge revenues by just showing the brand being used by protagonist or let it exist in the background. The deal is just perfect for both of them. But the most important person in the deal is the consumer who is vigilant and smart enough to notice what’s served to him and has reservations against in your face placements. Surely he does not want more intrusion in his life.
Hence, product placement has arrived and here to stay. But a word of caution is to be always kept in mind, by both the brand and the filmmaker- if as communication purveyors they are looking for better and innovative means of reaching the consumer, the consumer himself is already bombarded with marketing tactics from all over and in the three hours of movie, he would want to forget about all these intrusions, including advertising. Thus overdose of brand placement will only drive away the consumers from the cinema halls, resulting in a flop film and a failed marketing endeavor.
- 1 INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
- 2 WHAT IS PRODUCT PLACEMENT?
- 3 PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN MOVIES
- 4 TYPES OF PRDUCT PLACEMENT
- 5 BRAND PLACEMENT IS DIFFERENT FROM CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
- 6 THE OPPORTUNITY OF BRAND PLACEMENT, CONSUMER INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ISSUE OF BRAND CONGRUITY
- 7 Other variables affecting Brand placement are-
- 8 FAILURES
- 9 RESEACH PROCEDURE
- 10 1.CONSUMER SURVEY
- 11 Objectives of the Study
- 12 Methodology
- 13 Experimentation Procedure
- 14 CASE STUDIES
- 15 1.Om Shanti Om
- 16 3. Chak De! India
- 17 (2007)
- 18 1. Om Shanti Om
- 19 KEY FINDINGS
- 20 Other Issues:
- 21 Key Findings
- 22 Q RATIO SYSTEM CONSISTS OF 2 COMPONENTS
- 23 Other Issues:
- 24 FUTURE RESEARCH
- 25 CONCLUSION
- 26 References
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
- The Concept of Product Placement
- Product Placement in Movies
- Types of Product Placement
- Brand Placement is Different from Celebrity Endorsement
- The Opportunity of Brand placement, Consumer Information processing and Issue of Brand Congruity
WHAT IS PRODUCT PLACEMENT?
A product placement is the inclusion of a product, package, signage, a brand name or the name of the firm in a movie or in a television programme for increasing memorability of the brand and instant recognition at the point of purchase. Placements can be in form of verbal mentions in dialogue, actual use by character, visual displays such as corporate logo on a vehicle or billboard, brands used as set decorations, or even snatches of actual radio or television commercials.
The objective of this communication strategy is to expose audience to a brand, whereby the effect can be maximized in terms of increased brand awareness and higher recall, so that the customer will buy the brand which has the highest recall; and to satisfy the customer to optimal level. Because of proliferation of advertisements and the consequent difficulty in getting commercial messages to reach and influence potential customers, product placement appears as an interesting alternative to traditional marketing communication tools.
Basically, there are three ways product placement can occur:
- It simply happens.
- It’s arranged, and a certain amount of the product serves as compensation.
- It’s arranged, and there is financial compensation.
Sometimes product placement just happens. A set dresser, producer, director, or even an actor might come across something he thinks will enhance the project. Usually this has to do with boosting the level of credibility or realism of the story being told. Example can be use of ‘Tata Indigo’ car in movie Aaja Nachle. The car has been used to as mode of transport for the lead actress both when she arrives from abroad and when she goes back. Interestingly the vehicle is widely used as commercial luxury vehicle in many Indian towns. So use of this car added a touch of realism in the movie. However, when contacted, the representatives of the car company denied being approached about the use of their product.
Arranged product placement deals fall into two categories:
- Trade-off of integration or placement for a supply of product
- Financial compensation for placement or integration
The most common type of deal is a simple exchange of the product for the placement. Example, let’s say the production team wants lead actor to display a quirky affinity for a particular type of beverage. This will come across rather strongly over the course of the program — which means the chosen product could get a lot of air time. It turns out that someone on the crew knows someone who works for that beverage. The production people approach the beverage company folks with a proposal and a deal is made; in exchange for the airtime, the cast and crew are provided with an ample supply of the beverage at work. Example: the movie Krish where the lead actor drinks a lot of Bournvita.
Sometimes, a gift of the product isn’t an appropriate form of compensation, so money powers the deal. Imagine that the marketing team at Tag Heuer has heard about this project and feels that, given the star power of the actor playing lead, this project would be a great vehicle for showcasing its product. Someone from Tag Heuer approaches the set dresser with a financially lucrative proposal. Eventually, they come to an agreement and the wristwatch casually appears in several scenes.
Before product placement really saw a surge in the mid 1990s, it was pretty much a do it yourself effort. Now there are specific corporate positions and entire agencies that can handle the job. Some larger corporations will dedicate personnel to scout out opportunities for product integration or placement within films, television shows and even games and music. Good example would be Madison’s specialized division for in-film branding, MATES.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN MOVIES
Every frame in a movie has an opportunity for branding. With that intent, a number of marketers are now using movies to project the core values of their brands. In-film advertising, in its most effective form, is about a brand being a part of cinema’s content. Many global brands are now turning to this medium for the sheer impact that a movie can make on its audiences.
Product placement in movies has gained momentum all over the world. The practice of using branded products in Hollywood movies started as casual process since 1940’s. The earliest example would be 1945 movie Mildred Pierce with film star Joan Crawford drinking Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey. The current Hollywood movies feature a plethora of products ranging from telecommunications (Motorola, Nokia), automobile (Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Jeep, Lada and Mercedes) to other products like FMCG goods, Tobacco etc. Good examples are James Bond movies.
Indian mainstream Hindi films, popularly known as Bollywood the world over, caught up with the trend in 1970’s with Rajkapoor using ‘Rajdoot’ in his movie Bobby. Popularity of movies as medium for product placement grew because of the increasing difficulty of using television as an effective medium to target audiences. The film medium provides an excellent message reach and message life and an effective method of popularizing and immortalizing brands.
One of the key drivers for movies becoming a popular medium for product placement has been the increasing difficulty of using television as an effective medium to target audiences. The advent of cable and satellite television has meant that audiences have become more fragmented and tend to demonstrate a greater level of ad avoidance. By contrast, the film medium provides an excellent message reach and message life and an effective method of popularizing and immortalizing brands. The movie-goers vicariously experience the brand as they make a connection between the film, the actor, the product and its consumption, and argue that product placement acts as a perceptual clue which directs behavior to purchase a product to satisfy a need or reinforce a social status. Movie product placement is viewed as a cheaper and more effective alternative to traditional marketing communications, despite its inflexibility, but as a result of the establishment of specialist placement agencies, and through increased brand exposure through cable, satellite, video and DVD, a typical movie with international distribution can reach over one hundred million consumers from box office to TV.
There seem to be three reasons why marketers consider product placement in movies as interesting communication strategy. First watching a movie is high attention and involving activity. The particular exposure context associated with movies in theatres (lights off, minimal noise and distraction possibilities, large screen, difficulty in moving around, no zapping) is bound to lead to a high level of consumer attention as opposed to, say, listening to television. In addition, movie goers expend some significant effort (choosing a movie, driving to the theatre, finding a parking space, staying in line, finding a seat) and money (transportation, parking, tickets) in order to go to a movie and therefore quite involved during the show.
Second, successful movie attract large audiences. A blockbuster movie like Om Shanti Om for instance has been seen by millions of people, and this does not include video purchases and rentals, and eventual television broadcast. Therefore from a strict cost per viewer point of view, a product placement in a movie is a real bargain.
Finally product placement represents a natural, non aggressive, non persuasive way of promoting brand or a firm. Hence it may lead to less counter arguing and ‘internal’ zapping from consumers.
The most famous instance of product placement till date is appearance of Reese’s Pieces in Hollywood movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The film, released in 1982, prominently featured Reese’s Pieces candy.Â While the brand was available prior to the film’s release, appearance in the film is credited with stimulating a 65% sales increase. M&M/Mars had been approached first about a scene in which E.T. is coaxed out of hiding by a trail of candy. In a major blunder M&M/Mars declined the opportunity.
Such success stories firmly establish the importance of product placement.
The use of feature films as a strategy for introducing new products has grown increasingly sophisticated. Savvy marketers now build elaborate marketing communication plans cross-promoting films and brands. For example, Audi used 2004’s Babul, a film by Ravi Chopra, as an integrated element for introducing a new model, the Audi A6. It was judged the most successful promotion of 2004.
Subhash Ghai was one of the early filmmakers to do product placement on a real large scale. Bollywood insiders say Ghai recovered production cost from Coke and other products even before the release of films like Yaadein and Taal. In future 40% of a film’s revenue will accrue from streams like TV, online rights, product placements and digital downloads. Video-on-demand, IPTV and DTH are already fetching handsome returns. Then, of course, there is the overseas market, which is expanding fast. In 2007 alone, at least a dozen Hindi Mainstream films have crossed a US $ 1 million mark in the UK an US.
As successful marketing efforts incorporating motion pictures continue to mount, the casual use of brands as props will diminish. While current practice does not require filmmakers to identify brands placed in films, viewers can reasonably assume that prominently featured brands have offered some compensation or other consideration in exchange for the appearance.
TYPES OF PRDUCT PLACEMENT
In films, product placement can be divided into three broad categories:
- Implicit Mode: in this the star appears in a situation and is seen openly stating that he is using the product/brand. For example, in the movie Chalte Chalte, Shahrukh Khan is seen asking his worker to fill Castrol in his truck.
- Imperative Mode: In this the star would ask his friend/co-worker/peer to use the product. For example, in the movie Koi Mil Gaya, Hritik Roshan is seen recommending Bournvita to Priety Zinta and her mother in the film.
- Co-present Mode: in this, the star appears in some kind of setting with the product or he or she could be seen consuming or using the product. In the movie Diljale, love is the ulterior theme, and Sonali Bendre, the lead actress is shown expressing her love through Archies cards, thus revolving around the ‘social expression’ feel of the Card makers.
BRAND PLACEMENT IS DIFFERENT FROM CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
The celebrities endorse product and brands with commercial reasons, which normally come in the breaks in television programmes or in cinema halls. The phenomenon of zipping and change in television usage behavior due to surfing during the commercial breaks has reduced effectiveness of television commercials. Similarly commercials of cinema hall are found to be of low involvement as audience takes them as blocks between the reasons of visiting the cinema hall and the time available to them for entertainment. So the brand communication and the entertainment product are viewed differently from the audience of both media. Brand placement provides an opportunity where the involved audience gets exposure to the brands and products during the natural process of narration of movie or television commercial.
THE OPPORTUNITY OF BRAND PLACEMENT, CONSUMER INFORMATION PROCESSING AND ISSUE OF BRAND CONGRUITY
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Of late there have been attempts by Indian producers and brand managers to come together and place the brand in a situation where the audience is captive and more prone to show high level of retention. Many consumers and researchers are of the view that this method is excessive commercialization of media and intrusion in life of viewer.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The viewer does not necessarily go there to see the brands; rather he is going to the cinema hall to escape from the realities of life. Brand managers are using different type of placements to make the brand look obvious at the point of emergence. They are also integrating the brand presence with the plot of the cinema, so that the audience does not feel the brand to be out of context. The brand should also be reflective of the class of user of character in the film. If the plot connection is missing and the brand is not reflective of the character’s class of usage, then probably the whole brand placement exercise will be futile. The success of Indian movies is not based on sound fundamentals which is evident from the number of feature films flopping every year. So if the vehicle in which the brand is placed does not have the required viewership, then the tariff charged to bring brand at some point of the story will also go in drain.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Films are selected as context of research for various reasons as explained below.Â Compared to television, movie viewing has higher involvement. While watching a television programme, the viewer can do multifarious work at home setting, which may affect the attention degree span of the audience and hence, reduce the overall effectiveness of the medium for enhancing brand retention. In opposition to this argument, is the movie going behavior where the viewer makes a voluntary choice for viewing (exposure) a specific film (product) at a cost (time, financial, opportunity cost) for the purpose of wholesome entertainment. So he is more receptive to brand communication provided to him in the movie hall while watching the movie of his choice.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It has been observed from research that brand recall for commercials shown during the television programmes with higher level of TRPs are very poor due to the channel switching behavior. High level of media clutter, similarity of programming across channels, channel switching behavior are the factors responsible to generate sufficient level of research interest in researchers at the practice of brand placement in movies.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brand placements are used to increase the level of brand knowledge among consumers as in every advertising medium. The uniqueness of the medium is found in the process of exposure and congruity of brand in the story. There is no competitive exposure in the same medium at the same time, unlike television of newspapers. This is significant as it may increase the level of brand knowledge. Brand knowledge is conceptualized as brand node in memory to which a variety of associations are linked. So it is important to identify the properties of the brand node and brand association.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The factors important for product placement include the level of abstraction and qualitative nature of the brand memory effect and the congruity among brand associations affects the favorability, strength and uniqueness of the brand associations.
The factors being:
Brand awareness: It is the strength of brand node or trace in the memory as reflected by consumer’s ability to identify the brand under different conditions.
Brand image: It is the set of perceptions, held in the consumer’s memory, as reflected by brand associations. Are the other informational nodes linked to the brand node in memory and contain the meaning of the brand for the consumers?
Brand Attitudes: they are the overall evaluation of the brand by the consumers. They often form the basis of consumer’s choice.
Other variables affecting Brand placement are-
Favorability of Brand Associations: Associations differ according to how favorably they are evaluated. The success of a marketing program largely depends on the ability of the marketing program in creating the trust among consumers that the attributes and associations benefits are there in the brand talked about in communications.
The Strength of Brand Association: It depends on how the information enters consumer’s memory (encoding) and how it is retained as part of brand image (storage). Strength is a function of both the amount or quality of processing information received at encoding (how much the person thinks about the information) and the nature or quality of the information at the encoding end (the manner in which the person thinks about the information).
Congruence of a Brand: the congruence of the brand with the story of the film and presentation in the film is another measure. Congruence is defined as the extent to which the brand association shares the content and meaning with other brand associations. This explains how easily one existing brand association can be recalled and how additional associations can be linked to the brand node in memory.
Brand Leverage: Compares the characteristics of the secondary associations with those of primary brand associations. The secondary associations are derived out of the usage of the brand by the character in the film. Example in the film Taal, the hero uses the bottle of Coke as a symbol of exchange of love and this contextual placement increases the strength of association of the brand.
Earlier researches have shown the importance of a strong link between the brand and the film. The stronger the link, the greater is the impact between the brand’s image and the attitude towards the brand sponsor.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Increase in product placements and institutionalization of the industry indicate that advertisers are using the technique to sway consumer’s brand attitudes. The type of placements should look natural to the narration, as consumption symbols are often used to enrich the plot, theme and characters of popular culture texts.
Some consumers may feel that the use of brand names in popular culture simply reflects the increased commercial content of a culture or the producer’s efforts to enhance the realism of their film. However, in case where the brand takes a major role in the story of the film as in the movie Friends, or where its presence in the movie might look suspect as in the movie Yaadein, the audience may realize that it was placed there to affect their judgments and they may counter argue them just as they do to the traditional advertising messages.
Advertising gurus claim that in-film advertising is a very shaky business and most marketers have a tendency and temptation to go overboard with the result that the film would end up becoming a long advertising commercial. Others say that since marketers always tried to stretch their advertising rupee in order to obtain the maximum bang for their buck with the result that brand suffered. However, most advertising professionals vouch for the fact that films, by virtue of being quite engaging, are one of the cost-effective and effective mediums for advertising. ‘If a consumer watches a particular scene and the advertisement is well embedded into that, it will remain,’ they say. This can be referred to the fact that the girls beating the boys fighting sequence in ‘Chak De’ has been referred to as the McDonald’s fight scene merely because it takes place in one of the outlets. Again, there is no mention of McDonald’s in the entire film as it has been seamlessly embedded.
Film content of any kind can be used to build brands. The last one year has been rather active in terms of in-film placements and branding through films. However, the placement of brands such as Ultra Tech poses a big challenge especially considering that there is no obvious benefit in sticking to stereo-types and force-fitting the Brand in film’s theme or storyline,’ he said
Literature survey in the Indian context was more disheartening despite the fact that brand placement is used more and more in Indian films these days. There are hardly any evidences of work carried out on brand placement in Indian Movies.Â The Indian Hindi film industry id the largest in the world in terms of number of movie produced. Yet the success rate of the movies in Indian film industry is very less. If a proper research on brand placement can be done, it can guide the producers, brand managers and academicians to develop and effective brand placement strategy in which the risk of the film making and failure will come down substantially in the Indian market. The producers can charge a price for the brand placement and cover a production cost; the brand managers will find a platform to communicate with the audience about their brands in more effective manner than conventional television advertising.
PROMINNENT EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT PLACEMENTS IN SOME MAINSTREAM FILMS
(In Recent Times)
SOME FAILURES TOO
Bollywood has finally discovered branding. In 2007, according to industry estimates, brand cameos earned around Rs 200 crore, and as a result, even small-and medium-budget movies as well as animated films are hoping to cash in on this new and lucrative revenue stream. Indeed, media analysts and industry watchers expect that figure to climb to Rs 800 crore by 2010.
Some of the select successful instances of brand placement in recent times are cited below:
Rang De Basanti: Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti was probably the most successful Bollywood branding in 2006 with its limited edition RDB Coca-Cola bottle, and cameos of Airtel, LG, Berger and Provogue in the film. Coke, in a first of its kind attempt, launched Coca-Cola bottles branded with the RDB title and Amir’s picture and produced a movie trailer that was a montage of shots from the film and Coke’s ‘Piyo Sar Uthake’ campaign. Just the right kind of media partners, the film’s marketing ensured good and effective publicity and both the brands and the movie generated a lot of mileage from each other.
Krrish: Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish, now a case study of Indian Institute of Management, Indore, prominently featured Singapore Tourism Board, Sony, John Players, Bournvita, Tide, Hero Honda, Boro Plus, Lifebuoy, HP Power, Acron Rangeela, Hansaplast and Lays chips, followed by merchandising of Krrish masks, lunch boxes, water bottles. Its merchandising sold like hot cakes among children. Krrish made 12 crores out of product placement.
Don: Farhan Akhtar’s Don promoted Tag Heuer watches, Motorola, Garnier, Citibank and, of course, Oakley sunglasses as well as Louis Philippe outfits. The placement ensured that the viewer noticed don’s phone, his laptop, his watch, hia sunglasses and the brand names were the focus of the camera work. But it was still done in a subtle way and did not come across as being imposed on viewer.
Dhoom 2: Sanjay Gandavi’s Dhoom 2 promoted Coke, Pennzoil, Pepe, Sony, Disney channel, Sugar Free, McDonald’s, Speed, and Suzuki Zeus. The movie was quite an opportunity for Coke, for both the brand ambassadors of Coke were starring in the movie together for the first time. The cool couple drinking the always coolest drink, perfect for Coke! The cola company had a special campaign for Dhoom 2 where Hrithik Roshan encouraged youngsters to take a swig and “go dhoom”.
Baabul: Ravi Chopra’s Baabul featured brands like Audi, Kotak Insurance, Eros Jewellery, Nerolac and Taj Mahal Tea. The spirit of Baabul is celebrated with ‘Kotak Life Insurance’. The high profile in-film ad in Babul featured the Audi A6. Chivas Regal, Eros Jewelry and Audi together contributed 40 lakhs in cash and kind for the music release and fashion show of Baabul.
Main Hoon Naa: Farah Khan’s first movie Main Hoon Naa featured the following brands- Reebok, CafÃ© coffee day, Frito Lays, Levis, LML. MHN was an example of optimum utilization of branding in a film. The story of the film revolved around youth hence it gave us the scope of using lifestyle and youth centric brands. The brands that were involved were the ones keeping the modern day college goers in mind, for which using brands is just a way of life. The brands were woven into the screenplay in a manner where it looked like a modern day college going youth was using the product – natural yet conspicuous.
Baghban: One of the clear cases of effective placement in recent times was BR film’s family drama Baghban. The movie creatively integrated five brands in it. The brands included were ICICI Bank, Tata Tea, Archies, Ford and Tide. Baghban truly depicted the craft of product placement.
And these are not mere stating of the brands featured. These placements result in stupendous impact in consumers as delineated by the sales figures of the featured brands, before and after product placement. After Bournvita featured in Krrish, it reported a increase in sales by 15% and intention to use brand by 9%*.
Domios registered greater footfall in its outlets after its placement in Phir Hera Pheri. Garnier recorded a product recall of 46% after it got featured in the movie Chup Chup Ke. Lays got an additional endorsement from Priyanka Chopra after she was shown munching on the snack in Krrish, thus re-establishing Lays as ‘cool snack’.Â After Reebok featured in key scenes in Viruddh, the brand boasted of having got verbal endorsement of Amitabh Bacchan, and extensive reach through multiple showcasing of the film on multiple vehicles. Tanishq recorded a average minimum revenue of 1.45 crore from its Paheli collection. And as if that was not all, they recorded a increase in purchase intent by 13% and favorability of the brand by 10%!!!
That says a lot about the success of brand placements.
There is always the other side of the coin!
Academicians from Universities say that currently, embedded advertising still needs to grow in India. ‘It is like a deranged marriage, the brand most often does not fit into the film the way in which it should. The reason is that most filmmakers still do not think of it as a revenue stream,’ they say.
So apart from the huge successes, there were some bad failures as well. Few of them are:
Ta Ra Rum Pum: After you see drivers and cars layered by brands of their sponsors, Ta Ra Rum Pum a film on racing cars would seem like the perfect avenue to showcase such similar branding. After all seeing these brands is what we’ve come to expect, but corporate honchos didn’t seem happy just with ‘being there’. So they must’ve insisted on special close-ups and zooms for their brands. As a result we get a good dose of Castrol, Goodyear and Chevrolet periodically through this film.
Salaam E Ishq: Salaam E Ishq was another product-friendly movie. With such an extensive star cast and lavish set designs the director must’ve felt the need for corporations to cover up costs. Of the many placements there was one that stood there screaming for attention. John Abraham and Vidya Balan play a couple in love so on the day of their anniversary John decides to gift his lady love with a diamond set. For those curious about the brand, it was Ira Jewellery and the makers give more than a glimmer to those who wonder. To make things worse, the camera decides to zoom more on the brand than the jewels.
Victoria 203:Â If you’re one of the few people that watched the remake of Victoria 203, you’d probably be gripped by the urge to buy diamonds, more specifically Gitanjali Diamonds. That’s because Gitanjali has been constantly mentioned throughout the first half an hour. The makers go to the extent of giving the viewers an unwanted history lesson about the Choksi family that owns the company and their legacy.
Virruddh…Family Comes First: In terms of product placements, Viruddh went to the extent of shoving their branded products down audiences’ throats. What made this blatant promotion unbearable was that Virruddh was made as a serious film about a grieving family and their dead son. Obvious instances were where Sanjay Dutt posed with a can of Elf Oil in his garage and John Abraham praised how great ‘the services of Western Union money transfer’ were.
Koi Mil Gaya:The product placements in Koi Mil Gaya weren’t as awkward as Yaadein but they were definitely obvious. You can definitely tell why the mother (played by Rekha) insists that her overgrown, mentally handicapped son (played by Hrithik Roshan) drink his glass of Bournvita milk. Not to mention another scene where the dimwitted son magically transforms into a promoter for Bournvita when his drink preference is asked. Coffee, tea, Bournvita or me? Other instances include where Hrithik sips Coke with his classmates and rides off into the sunset with Preity Zinta on his Hero Honda Bike in the end.
Yaadein: Few films have been universally panned like the way Yaadein has. Ironically, the film’s message was to shun the materialistic life all the while promoting brands. Coca Cola had a large presence throughout the entire film. It even went to the extent of having the Coke logo branded on Jackie Shroff’s key chain! The blatant praise for Pass Pass the mouth freshener by the film leads also made audiences groan in their seats. The film sank at the box-office, but since Subhash Ghai leaned heavily towards placements it’s likely he covered part of his production costs.
Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this project was to investigate whether the strategies followed for brand placements within Mainstream films affect the memory for the brands and the attitude towards those brands. The opinion of advertising and branding professionals was also taken into account to arrive at a classification for the purpose of research, and the brand placement was grouped as:
A. Implicit: where brand is shown without verbal reference to brand name or benefits (no auditory support).
B. Used in Scene: where brand is used in a scene without verbal reference to name or benefits (no auditory support but with high plot connection due to character usage shown on screen).
C. Integrated Explicit Brand Placement: Where benefits/attributes of the brand/product are mentioned by a main star, along with hands-on use (both auditor and visual mode of presentation with plot connection).
The objective of the study includes consumer’s evaluation of the brand placement, as a strategy for providing brand communication and the reactions to the level of ethicality involved in brand placement which talks about commercialization of entertainment products and intrusion in the life of consumers.
Different variables are used in research for establishing the relationship between the level of information processing through exposure and elements of brand choice in the selected markets. Any exposure to the brand communication affects consumer response, which can be measured by analyzing variables like brand awareness in terms of recall and recognition, favorability, strength and uniqueness of the brand associations in the consumer memory.
The study evaluates the effectiveness of brand placements within Mainstream films on basis of recall, recognition and opinion about brand placement. Four Mainstream films were selected as case studies and hence part of consumer survey.
The films were selected on basis of two criteria:
- Popular appeal (whether the movie was a super hit, average run or a poor grosser depending on box office report).
- The release timings, i.e. two were recent releases (one a blockbuster hit, other a dud), one around six months old, and the last having been released almost a year back.
- The number of brands featured in these movies. All the selected movies had major associations and substantial number of brands featured in the movie.
- The variety of placement types (implicit, used in a scene, and integrated explicit brand placement) (Refer- Appendix)
The films selected: Om Shanti Om (November, 2007); Goal (December, 2007);Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Chak de! India (August, 2007); Lage Raho Munnabhai
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (September, 2006)
Considering that brand awareness is primary goal of advertisers in brand placement, memory based awareness measures such as recognition or recall is appropriate. Short term and long term memory as well as consumer’s evaluation of product placement are tested.
The respondents were approached randomly and verbal consent was sought before administering the survey.Â Once agreed, they were offered a structured questionnaire (Annexure) and requested to answer it. The interviewer cue was only provided in the questions where it was mentioned to provide ‘hint’ and the study objective was not mentioned in advance. A total of 50 responses (30 male and 20 female) were obtained. The average duration of the survey was 15 minutes.
Target Segment: The cine goers-
* Teens within the age group of 15-19.
-10 male and 8 female
* Adults within the age group of 20-35.
-20 male and 12 female
-12 students and 20 working professionals
These are the major target audience for the advertisers and the brands.
Geographical location: Bangalore
Research Instrument: Questionnaire
1.Om Shanti Om
No of Prints: 2000
Budget: 35 Crore
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade, Arjun Rampal, Kiron Kher
Box office status: Blockbuster Hit.
Director: Farah Khan
Producer: Gauri Khan
Brands featured in the movie: Nokia, Maybelline, Shopper’s Stop, Tag Heuer,
Om Shanti Om was the biggest hit in the year 2007. Trade analysts have even gone ahead and claimed that it is the biggest grosser in the history of Bollywood. With its stupendous success, it was one film which enabled the brand mangers of the brands featured in the film go laughing to the bank. The film featured some top brands of their category and needless to say, its super success benefited these brands immensely.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The most visible brand of the movie is Nokia. In the film, the lead character Om (Shahrukh Khan) not only uses cellular devices by Nokia, but also mentions them in his dialogues. Further there are significant close-ups of different Nokia devices in some very important scenes. Another interesting observation is that the Nokia devices used are all of different segments. While the character Om, who’s a superstar uses a high end mobile and Bluetooth set, Dolly, a wannabe actress, uses a middle segment cell phone and Pappu, a one time junior artist, uses a low end cell. Thus with one shot, Nokia manages to address its target audience who are spread across these wide segments.
Apart from having their product feature in the film, Nokia also tied up with the film for its promotion. Nokia offered exclusive videos, behind the scenes, ringtones and wallpapers of the movie to its customers. They also ran a contest where if one buys certain specific models like 6300, 5700, 5300, 6233 M, 3000 classic etc, they get a chance to enter a luck draw wherein the winner gets to meet superstar Shahrukh Khan for an exclusive dinner. They also introduced Crazy Mobisodes, which were animated versions of the characters of the film in different formats.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Speaking at occasion, Mr. Bob McDougall Director sales, Nokia India said, “Bollywood is the most popular downloads mobile content besides sports and fashion in India. We are confident that OSO crazy and the other exclusive OSO content will provide our consumer an enhanced media rich mobile experience’”
Apart from Nokia other key brands featured were Maybelline, Shopper’s Stop and Tag Heuer. Debutant Deepika Padukone is the brand ambassador of the cosmetic giant Maybelline and hence it provided a perfect platform for the brand to be featured in the film. The brand also boasts of close-ups of its various products and brand name in vital scenes.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Tag Heuer, SRK’s favorite watch, or as the watch company claims is the brand ambassador for the same. So it was not surprising to see the brand featuring in the movie. However it’s done very subtly as it appears as a background billboard in a scene when the reincarnated Om is in conversation with Pappu. What’s interesting is that the billboard is the exact replica of the Tag Heuer bill boards we see in life. (As seen in the picture in the left)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Shopper’s Stop majorly had its role in promotion where it launched an exclusive line of clothes and merchandise styled on the movie. It also displayed large banners and roof hangers of the film in its exclusive stores.
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Om Shanti Om is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
No of Prints: 600
Budget: 16.5 crore
Cast: John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani
Box office status: Dud.
Director: Vivek Agnihotri
Producer: Ronnie Screwvala
This much talked about movie proved to be a box office dud. Audiences seem not too impressed by either the story or the chemistry between the lead actors, John and Bipasha. According to critics, the movie failed to deliver on its promise of being a high voltage football drama and ended up being a boring discussion of racial tension in Britain.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â However what was interesting in the film was its association with sports brand Reebok. Apparently Reebok played a master stroke by being associated with the movie. Since the film is sports based, it provided ample opportunity for any sporting brand for maximum visibility. And that became true for Reebok. Since in majority of the film the actors are shown wearing football gear, on field or off it, Reebok, which provided the merchandise for the entire team boasts of visibility in almost 70% of the frames. Reebok also is visible in terms of their stores, their soccer kit being used by the team and their advertisings during the crucial matches featured in the film.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Apart from their humungous presence in the film, Reebok was also associated with the film for its promotion. Almost all Reebok Stores, both exclusive and multi brand, carried Goal inspired merchandise. They had huge displays of the movie posters in their stores and major malls, featuring Reebok logo prominently in them.Â They also used the mode of floor stickers in malls leading either to Reebok stores of the multiplex where the movie was running.
Apart from Reebok the brands which got associated with the film were Western Union Money Transfer, Gillette, ESPN Star sports. Western Union has prominent presence in the movie with not only it having an exclusive shot at its outlet but also the characters mentioning it in their dialogues as they discussesÂ when they will be able to earn enough to be able to send money to their families in Asian countries.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Gillette is used by the lead characters for their shaving habits and in one scene the lead actress is seen shaving off the hero’s beard using a Gillette razor.
ESPN Star Sports have been used as official broadcasters of the matches shown in the film. Apart from that, the channel participated in the film’s promotional activities by having John and Bipasha feature in their channel promoting English Premier League.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A major brand which indirectly got promoted through the film without having any tie up with the movie is English Premiership, the Football League of England. The movie features the sporting, specially the soccer season in England in its totality, starting from the passion for the game to the ambience, the effort, the significance, the madness and the big money riding in it. Further John and Bipasha’s appearance in ESPN strengthened its positioning in India.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Surprisingly, Goal proving a dud in box office did not affect Reebok adversely as many may think it has. Reebok provided a style statement to the team and the merchandise sold in Reebok stores attracted people more because of association with a established style icon like John Abraham and due to their individual novelty factor. Reebok stores, by record, have registered more footfall than they had before and after they were offering special Goal collection.
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Goal is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
Western Union Money Transfer
3. Chak De! India
No of Prints: 550
Budget: 15 crore
Cast: Shahrukh Khan and others
Box office status: Super Hit
Director: Shimit Amin
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Brands featured in the movie: Ultra tech cement, Puma, Mac Donalds, Bisleri, Aaj Tak, Times of India, Sports Brands Rakshak and Vijayanti.
Chak De! India is revered for its role in reviving Hockey in India. An unprecedented hit, this movie is the story of one man rising against the system to win back both his and national pride. And he does this through the medium of hockey. The fact that hockey formed the core of the film, provided ample opportunity for advertisers to lap it up and go for featuring their brands. The film provided various avenues wherein brands/products could gain visibility. The film featured Women’s National Hockey team. The brands could feature in as official sponsor of the team, as merchandise sponsor, sports equipment sponsor, hoardings and billboards during the matches, event sponsors, etc.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ultra tech cement lapped up this unique opportunity and is the most featured brand shown in the movie. It is the main sponser of the Women’s Hockey team and features prominently as sponsor logo in the front of the team’s official uniform. By getting such prominent placement, it has ensured that it is seen in almost every frame a match is played by the team, thus gaining maximum and crucial airtime.
What’s unique in this brand placement is that it’s a first time by any cement brand to be associated in in-film branding, and by doing so Ultra tech cement has scored a perfect ten. Even though there is no product relevance or synergy, the in-film placement initiative has been conducted quite uniquely without a single reference to the brand in the film and without being too obvious or blatant or in-the-face.Â
Ultra Tech Cement Ltd chief marketing officer O P Puranmalka stated, ” Since our brand is virtually seen in almost every frame when the World Cup matches are played, it has helped us reinforce the brand attributes such as ‘global winner’, ‘modern & youthful’, ‘tech-savvy’, and yet ‘intrinsically Indian’ amongst our core target groups across India.”Â
Another brand which caught a lot of eyeball was sporting brand Puma. Puma provides merchandise to the team before their final match. It had a perfect placement as it was associated with the success of the team. Puma won brownie points when its logo was prominently seen in the team uniform throughout the final match.
Others brands featuring in the movie were Mc Donald’s, Bisleri, Aaj Tak, Times of India. While Mcdonald’s featured in a scene where the girls bash up boys gor eve teasing one of them, Bisleri was seen in many scenes as the team and the players sipping water from bisleri bottles.
What was very interesting was placement of Aaj Tak and Times of India. Both of them were shown as the media generating and spreading negative news about the lead character. Its surprising to think why both the brands agreed to collaborate in such form when the situation does more bad than good to their brands. Both are seen as media houses who germinate and support wrong perceptions about the sportsmanship a player shows when he is on the loosing side.
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Chak de! India is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
Ultra Tech Cement
Times of India
4. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
No of Prints: 550
Budget: 17.3 crore
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Vidya Balan, Arshad Varsi, Boman Irani.
Box office status: Super Hit
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Brands featured in the Movie: Worldspace Satellite Radio, IOCL, Go Air, MSN, Goodday, Kurkure, Bright Outdoor and Reliance Communication.
After the successful prequel, this film came with lot of expectations, and not to mention the amazing brand placements. And true to its series, Lage Raho Munna Bhai rocked the box office with its stupendous success. Not only was it a super hit, it became a phenomenon by claiming the onus of re-launching father of nation. So it wasn’t surprising to see ‘Gandigiri’ flourish all round.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This was thus an ideal platform for hoards of brands to get their target audience in a big way. Lage Raho however carried a lot of brands as an extention of its prequel, Munna Bhai MBBS. These apart, some new brands too got associated with the movie and rode to success.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In the centre of the plot is the radio programme which ‘Munna Bhai’ never misses as he is in love with the voice of the Radio Jockey, played by Vidya Balan. Over the course of the film, Munna Bhai too is invited to host show on the radio and he goes on to solve people’s problems through the show, and ultimately gets reunited to his sweetheart via that media itself. Cleary this was a perfect opportunity for Worldspace Radio for brand placement. Nothing could be better than the fact that radio was the centre of the story. This was a guarantee for making the consumers notice its presence and also be ensured of future brand recalls whenever there is a mention of the movie or a broadcast of it subsequently in TV or DVD modes.
So Worldspace succeeded in getting the cherry of the pie. It succeeded in capturing the audiences’ attention to the maximum. Other brands too reaped in a lot through tactical airtime. MSN even ran its commercials in line of the film and participated in promotions as online partner. Reliance communications rode high on good network at cheaper rates proposition.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kurkure re-established it self as a no excuse snack, and Goodday as premium biscuits.
However, the movie is now almost a year n half old and this time lag has resulted in a lot of memory loss on behalf of the consumers. Worldspace however still commands a substantial recall by virtue of it being integrated in the story itself. A clear example of winning strategy by Worldspace brand managers!
The brand placements in the film were divided according to the earlier mentioned criteria. The classification of brand placement in Lage Raho Munna Bhai is as provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Type of Product Placement
Used in Scene
Worldspace Satellite Radio
Recall scores of Brands placed in the selected case studies:
1. Om Shanti Om
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
c. Shopper’s Stop
e. Sia Jewelry
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
h. Western Union money transfer
j. ESPN Star Sports
3. Chak de! India
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
a. UltraTech Cement
d. Aaj Tak
e. Times Of India
g. Hockey stick brands Vijyanti and Rakshak
4. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
Unaided Recall Score
Aided Recall Score
a. Worldspace radio
c. Go Air
e. Good Day
g. Bright Outdoor
h. Reliance Communications
From Product Placement Recall Exercise:
- Integrated explicit product placement has largest product recall. (Nokia, Worldspace, Reebok)
- With film getting older, the recall diminishes. (Lage Raho Munna Bhai)
- Well known brands are recalled more. (Nokia, Tag Heuer, Reebok). Thus brands familiar to the consumers life are recalled more.
- More air time does not necessitate greater recall. (For majority Ultra Tech couldn’t be recalled first but only after hint)
- Brand associated with promotion and merchandisings have greater recall.
- Interestingly, when probed, many consumers tended to associate brands with a particular movie by virtue of the stars in the movie. Example: many people when asked to recall brands in OSO came up with Airtel and Pepsi, because SRK is the brand ambassador for these brands.
Issue 1- Do you think Brand placement in movies is a good alternative to traditional advertising?
- Substantial number of ‘yes’ coupled with some grave ‘no’!
- While 70% thought brand placement is a good alternative, others differed in opinion.
- Those who think its good believe that it is seamless and catches audience’s interest and attention easily.
- However, those who didn’t like the concept complained that they are irritating and obtrusive in the movie.
- Some said they didn’t pay money to watch an extended advertising.
Issue 2- Do you think real brands should be used extensively in movies to make a scene more believable?
- 77.2% people believed that product placements make the movies more realistic.
- However, majority of them are of the opinion that it is so only in cases where the product placement is un-intrusive and not on your face. They believe that if used intelligently, these product placements help them relate to the movie better.
Issue 3- Does the way a brand is used in movies affect your feelings about the brand?
- 66% people believed that brand placement does affect their feelings in a positive way.
- The respondents believe that they relate to the brands better after watching their brands in movies.
- They feel happy when they see their favorite actors use the brands of their choice.
- However, they feel cheated when brands preferred by them are shown in negative situations in the movie. As examples they cited instances of Aaj Tak’s placement in Chak De. The fact that it was the channel which started the whole non-issue out of Kabir Khan’s sportsmanship in the movie did not go down well with the audience.
Issue 4- Does product placement in movies affect your buying decisions?
- Surprisingly, 59% of the respondents said that product placement does not affect their buying decisions.
- They say that they buy something based on their necessity and preference and not because a certain brand was shown in the film.
- The buying decisions also depend on consumer’s previous personal experience with the brand or his risk taking habits.
- However, the remaining 41% said that they buy products after seeing them in films as they feel that it’s more credible source and if their favorite actor uses it, it has to be good.
- Some also buy the products to look and feel like the actor endorsing it in the movie.
2. INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this essay is to know about the industry insights regarding:
- How the brands get associated with a particular film and at what stage does the involvement begin.
- What are the channels through which brands negotiate their placements in the movie.
- The importance and role of ad agencies in product placement.
- How product placement is measured?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And many more such issues.
1. The Process of Product Placement
In-film branding today is the biggest source of revenue after the revenues from film showing. This, together with music and satellite rights has opened up newer avenues for the industry to cover the production cost. He said that, any major film today generates Rs. 6-10 crore worth publicity through promotional tie-ups. Each effective tie-up involves hectic negotiations of around 3-6 months. Sometimes the brands approach the production houses, in other times it’s the production houses which approach the brands for such tie ups. This system depends upon the demand of the occasion.
There is no fixed formula but the factors that are taken into consideration during the negotiation stage are:
- Cast and credits
- Size of the project and the producers
- Timing of the release
- Brand impact
- Possibilities of brand associations through contests and promotions.
If the product is not clashing with the theme of the film, I see no harm in having it in the film. It helps in increasing the realism of the film and help audience connects to the film on a more personal level, as the film characters seem real, not from any far away land. Based on the content of the film and its story line, both, the film maker and the brand managers, can sketch a profile of viewers who would flock to see the movie. Depending on this, a 360 degrees plan is formulated for cross promotion during various stages of film making.
Payments are based on exposure, including the number of times the product is shown or mentioned, the duration of that exposure, and the degree of inclusion of the product in the story line. However sometimes product usage is negotiated rather than paid for.Some placements provide productions with below-the-line savings, with products such as props, clothes and cars being loaned for the production’s use, thereby saving them purchase or rental fees.
2. Role of Advertising Agencies and Their Importance
Recognizing the growing significance of branded entertainment concept in India, advertising majors are beefing up the operations in their respective entertainment wings. Major advertising agencies have created special wing to catch business. They are:
- WPP Group (Broadmind)
- Lowe (Lin Entertainment)
- Percept (P9)
- Leo Burnett (Leo Entertainment)
- Madisoon (MATES)
Apart from these there are some specialized agencies coming up, only dealing with in-film branding. Media e2e is one such agency.
These agencies fix up the deal between a producer and the brand for placement. And today almost all movies have product placement in some amount or other. However some brands go for tie-ups without the help of these agencies. Nokia had a direct tie-up in Om Shanti Om. On the other hand, Ultra tech Cement took the assistance of P9 Integrated for its crucial placement in Chak De.
3. How is product placement measured?
The ITVX tool offered by Media e2e is a product placement valuation metric service for media professionals in the branded entertainment industry. The system hinges on Q-Ratio. The quantitative metric known as a Q-Ratio reflects the quality of product placement or branded entertainment exposure. It is based on the simultaneous calculation of 50 variables. The tool will help advertisers, media planners, content producers & TV stations with valuation & quality of product placements & other forms of Branded Entertainment. The summary output at the end of a product placement is Q Ratio, a single metric that represents the quality of the product placement. This ratio can be applied in a number of ways to privy costs the client typically uses for media measurement to guide prognosis or diagnosis of what clients got for their money.
WHAT IS Q-RATIO? “Q” ratio is a global measure for quality of product placements. It is measured as a % of a 30 sec ad i.e. –
- Decimal fraction of a 30 sec ad or
- Number of commercials to which it is equivalent.
It creates placement standards & parameters for broadcasters, agencies & advertisers. It also hedges the risk in product placement deals.
Q RATIO SYSTEM CONSISTS OF 2 COMPONENTS
1. A psychological dimension, with 3 parts (and multiple levels) that simultaneously interact with each other.
- Impact factor- The backbone of per calculations
- Awareness factor- Measures of involvement
- Integration factor – Measures of engagement
2. A perpetual dimension e.g.: signal attributes
- The clarity of audio & video
- This is called a ‘threshold measure’ – below a certain point it can detract from the message & damage the impact.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In-film branding was present from a long time but it was caught our fancy in recent times. And it is a welcome phenomenon. Before year 2000, most of the money coming for funding of movies was from mafia and other illegal means. And if not them, there were a handful of financers who controlled the entire movie business. In the year 2000 Bollywood formally got the tag of industry. And this was possible thanks to increasing number of corporate wanting to have stake our movies either as plain financers or through in-film advertising of their products, brands, companies.
Â Â This a big boon to the industry because now with lesser sweat about acquiring finances, we can actually concentrate and experiment with better and relevant themes in our movies. It no longer needs to bend to the pressures of mafia or financer to cut out some parts of the story because it either does not match the views of mafia or is too heavy on the financer’s pocket. The brands coming in have given fresh air to our creative freedom.”
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In-film branding is the latest way of earning revenues, legally! Its the matter of money coming in via these in-film advertising. With increasingly ambitious budgets, it’s important to get these endorsements as they pay heavy money for the brands to be feature. And at the end of the day, money matters.”
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Both, Nokia and Ultra Tech cement managers talked about the theme of the film matching their image. In case of Nokia they identified with the versatility of SRK, the mood of second part of OSO being projected as both up-market (SRK as superstar) and humble (Pappu as lower income group representative), tech savvy, stylish, vibrant, being the in thing. Ultra tech cement identified with the integrity, the mental toughness, the determination, the zeal, the trust, being global winner, modern and youthful, tech savvy yet intrinsically Indian image of the film characters. Ultra tech pulled a coup of a sort by its placement in the movie Chak de as its unprecedented by any cement company. And they managed to be seen in virtually every frame the team was playing in its official gear, as it was the official sponsor.
There is also a fear in many corporate that if they associate with a film and it flops in box office, it may affect their brand adversely. So investing in in-film advertising is seen as having a risk factor of 50-50. Many thus refrain from such activities. Some however have no issues in promotional activities. They can mostly profitable and does not have that strong an association with the movie to be affected by its commercial success and failure.
The current research provides a foundation for increased understanding about the concept of product placement and its effectiveness in Mainstream films. The paper has highlighted a number of key issues within this research area. It is fairly evident that Bollywood movies have distinct nature and format which distinguishes them from western cinema, in particular Hollywood movies, so there needs to be a research agenda which focuses more extensively upon understanding specific placement strategies, which would then be able to link more closely with specific film themes and structures.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Future research could examine the attitude and interests of audience towards brands and branded goods, to understand individual’s propensity to get influenced by brand image. It can also identify additional variables to further segment the market on basis of behavioral intentions in accepting brand placements.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Future studies can also measure relative scores of product categories (FMCG goods versus consumer goods) and well known versus lesser known brands. The increasing use of brand placement in other media like television, books, regional language and art films, and computer games can also be studied.
Product Placement in Mainstream films is emerging as the most reliable and viable medium from brands today. If there is in-film branding in a movie, the 15,000 audience sitting in the theatre are going to look at it unlike a TV channel where they can browse through different channels. Hence its here that the brands catch and can hold on to consumers’ undivided attention. The power of celebrities, many with iconic and idol status, give greater credibility to brands and reinforce or establish positive associations
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The study indicates that brand placement in Hindi films are effective. The high recall, recognition and positive attitude scores suggest that brand managers are seriously looking at product placements in movies as a new vehicle for reaching to consumers.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â However, several issues need to be kept in mind. Relevance of products to the situation needs to be created- this is possible by incorporating the placement planning at a script level, as practiced in Hollywood. The brand managers also need to guard against the clutter in the scenes- other competing products of product category should not be incorporated. They need to look in the future where use of comparative brand placement will be a reality. The research suggests that explicit placement is more successful than implicit placement. The brand managers however, should pretest the placement to determine the exact level at which viewer irritation sets in. As success of brand placement is dependent on the success of the movie and consequently, its reach, it is not possible to evaluate placements from a sales generation perspective.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â As the Indian economy develops a global perspective, Bollywood needs to follow suit. More importantly, as Indian audiences become fragmented into class specific segments, marketers are faced with the more difficult task of communicating their brand messages. Effective and well thought of product placement appears to be some solution.
- Panda, Tapan K, (2004), “Consumer Response to Brand Placements In Films”, South Asian Journal of Management, Vol 11, Issue 4.
- Dwyer, R. and Patel, D. (2002), Cinema India: A Visual Culture of Hindi Films, London, Reaktion Book Ltd.
- Balasubramanian, S. K. (1994), “Beyond Advertising and Publicity: Hybrid Messages and Public Policy issues”, Journal of Advertising, 23(4), pp 29-47 Business World, May 2006.
- DLR van der Waldt, LS Du Toit and R Redelinghuys, (2007), “Does Branded Product Placement in Film Enhance Realism and Product recognition by Consumers?”, African Journal of Business Management, May 2007, pp 19-25.
- Sengupta. R., (1999), “Taalis for the Showmn” 8th July, The Times of India.
- Clark, Nicola (2008), “In the Eye of Storm”, 16th January, Brand Equity, The Economic Times.
- Kapoor, Jagdeep (2005) “In-film Branding is the In Thing”, 30th June, The Hindu Business Line.
- Arya, Swati (2007) “Ultra Tech Cement Tastes In-film Branding”, 23rd August, Media Newsline.
- FICCI and Ernst Young, (2004), “The Indian Entertainment Industry: Emerging Trends and Opportunities,” FRAMES 2004, Global Convention on the Business of Entertainment; Federal of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
Name :___________________________Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Age:___________
Sex: MÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â F
Occupation: WorkingÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â StudentÂ
Education: School PassÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Monthly Household Income
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Under GraduateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 10,000-20,000
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Post GraduateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 20,000-30,000
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Post Graduate(Special)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 30,000-40,000
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â OthersÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 40,000+
1. Do you watch movies?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
2. How often do you watch them?
a. once a monthÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
b. once a week
c. Two to five times a weekÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
3. Which movies have you watched recently?
4. Have you watched Om Shanti Om?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
5. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
6. Can you list them?______________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
c. Shopper’s Stop
e. Sia Jewelry
7. Have you watched Goal?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
8. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
9. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
l. Western Union money transfer
n. ESPN Star Sports
10.Have you watched Chak De?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
11. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
12. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
h. UltraTech Cement
k. Aaj Tak
l. Times Of India
n. Hockey stick brands Vijyanti and Rakshak
13.Have you watched Lage Raho Munna Bhai?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
14. Did you notice any brand featured in the movie?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
15. Can you list them?_____________________________________________________
TICK THE BRANDS THEY MENTION. FOR THE REMAINING GIVE HINTS AND MENTION ‘H’ IN FRONT OF THOSE BRANDS.
i. Worldspace radio
k. Go Air
m. Good Day
o. Bright Outdoor
p. Reliance Communications
16. Do you think Brand placement in movies is a good alternative to traditional advertising?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
17. Do you think real brands should be used extensively in movies to make a scene more believable?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
18. Does the way a brand is used in movies affect your feelings about the brand?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
19. Does product placement in movies affect your buying decisions?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No
20. Do you think the idea of placing a brand in a movie is unethical because the movie goers do not want to watch paid advertising?
YesÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â No