IELTS® Listening Practice 44

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Listening Script Vocabulary

(Section 4: You will hear a talk on the topic of product placement. First, you will have some time to look at questions 33 to 35 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 33 to 35.)


Good morning. In today's lecture we will be focusing on a particular aspect of advertising called 'product placement'. 

Product placement is a form of advertising in which branded goods and services are featured in a video production that targets a large audience. It is also known as 'embedded marketing' or 'embedded advertising'. Now, product placements are typically found in movies, television shows, personal videos, radio and — less commonly — live performances. In exchange for product placement rights, companies may pay a production company or studio in cash, goods or services.

Let's try to break down what product placement actually involves. Product placements are presented in ways that will generate positive feelings towards the advertised brand. The brand is shown, mentioned or discussed in the TV program or movie etc. but it is not an explicit advertisement. This method allows the audience to develop a stronger connection with the brand and provides justification for their purchase decision. When a brand appears in a movie, TV show or other performance it is most likely because an advertiser paid for that privilege. Some people believe that such advertising is inherently dishonest and deceptive to easily influence children.

Advertisers and producers have become more sophisticated in how they use product placements. For example, a product's appearance may be relatively obvious, such as if every car, shoe or drink featured in a show or movie is made by the same manufacturer. But another subtle tactic is to avoid showing a label or logo but featuring a product's distinctive colour or packaging, such as a curvy glass Coca-Cola bottle.

(Before you hear the rest of the conversation, you will have some time to look at questions 36 to 40 [20 seconds]. Now, listen and answer questions 36 to 40.)

Product placement creates explicit and implicit advertising effects. For example, viewers of a product placement are more able to name a brand after seeing it used in a TV show. It can also create and encourage positive attitudes toward brands, and push viewers to buy their products. Brands placed with attractive characters or settings tend to appeal to people more.

I'll give you some examples of product placement. The James Bond movie franchise provides many. While some advertisers change over the years, there are also those that appear in movie after movie. For example, in the franchise's reboot of Casino Royale, carmaker Ford paid $14 million to feature James Bond driving one of their models in about three minutes of screen time.

What about trends in product placement? Well, with the increase in ad blindness (that's the ability to ignore ads), and the spread of streaming, a gap has formed in traditional televised advertising. Filling that gap is a more sophisticated use of product placements. A recent trend is the sale to advertisers of entire story lines.

Nowadays, digital editing plays a key role in product placement. Editing technology has been used to introduce or even change product placements in post-production, sometimes going back to change branded items used in the shows long after they were filmed. On the other hand, if an advertiser objects to their brand being featured in a movie, the producers may engage in 'product displacement', when they remove logos digitally. Another option, known as 'greeking', sees recognisable labels edited out or taped over.

Hi, there!

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