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Exposing the Monster in Media: a study of Ducati’s product placement strategies

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Product placement, and brand placement, is a practice that is increasingly
used to expose both products and brands in cultural productions: film, TV,
video game etc. The aim of this is to construct associations between a
product, or brand, and what is exposed in the cultural production. The effect
is thus a transfer of values from the cultural production to the product.
Brands are pivotal aspects of any design venture. In order to construct a
coherent set of values, and consumer understanding, of a product the brand
and physical product need to communicate the same values. Brands thus
have a possibility to strengthen design. Using the morphology of the Russian
formalist of Vladimir Propp this paper aim to explore the effect of product
placements of Ducati motorcycles in films. Through the analysis of 15 film
published between 2010-2013 the presence of Ducati motorcycles are related
to narrative and characters in order to understand associations constructed
in product placement. The results in this paper show that while there is weak
relationships between narrative aspects of the films, there are strong
relationships between the Ducati motorcycle and the characters in the films.
This is most evident in the relationship between the ‘helper’ character and
the Ducati motorcycle as a tool for exploration and adventure.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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