More than half of consumers say they would be much more or somewhat more likely to purchase a product seen in a commercial rather than one featured in a product placement. The study, conducted by FIND/SVP, also found less than one in four Americans believe that a product seen in a show would motivate them to purchase.

Just 9 percent of consumers surveyed said brand cameos during programs would actually make them much or somewhat less likely to purchase the product compared to advertising at 6 percent.

“Even with the exponential growth of spending on branded entertainment, traditional TV commercials are still having an impact on consumers,” says Frank Dudley, vice president of marketing, FIND/SVP. “These findings speak to consumers’ familiarity with the traditional advertisement. However, using branded entertainment within a fully-integrated marketing campaign has the potential to deliver the measurable results marketers’ desire.”

Assuming all things equal, when consumers were asked the primary objective of various marketing activities, fewer than half (43 percent) agreed completely that a scene in a show featuring someone using a product was an attempt to influence purchase.  Not surprisingly, 73 percent of consumers surveyed said that the primary objective of TV commercials was to influence purchase. 

And TV commercials were deemed more acceptable across all types of programming. More than half of the respondents accepted TV commercials in shows of all genres, including dramas, situation comedies, talk shows and reality shows. However, consumers surveyed were much more likely to accept product placement in scripted shows (36 percent in dramas, 47 percent in sitcoms) than reality shows (25 percent). 

Very few consumers (15 percent) own a digital recording device like TiVo. However, this number continues to grow rapidly as cable companies have begun to offer DVRs to cable subscribers. When asked about the benefits of using digital recording devices like TiVo, 62 percent of consumers said not watching commercials and 55 percent felt they could watch their program faster by eliminating commercials.