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Product Placement

Foreign Language Content: More Barriers Fall To Audience Engagement

Apr 13, 2022 By BENlabs Product Placement Team
ben digital issue

Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” – Bong Joon Ho, Director Parasite

Only two years after Parasite won Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards, Bong Joon Ho’s words ring louder than ever. U.S. audiences are consuming foreign language content at levels that would have seemed unachievable just a short time ago. 45% of viewers now report watching foreign language content at least once a month. Brands looking to engage consumers in new ways to create preference and drive action now have a host of new opportunities as content in many languages brings English speaking audiences to their screens.

u.s. audiences watch foreign language content


watch foreign language content at least once a month
Source: BEN Consumer Research, February 2022

2021 was a pivotal year in overcoming the language barrier. 47% of viewers watched more foreign language content compared to the year prior, more than doubling the number of viewers who watched less. And among those foreign language content viewers, 55% said they preferred watching with subtitles.

engagement on the rise


of viewers watched more foreign language content


of viewers watched more or the same amount of foreign language content


of viewers prefer watching foreign language content with subtitles

Foreign language content offers brands the same opportunities as English language content to engage U.S. audiences while also adding new perspectives and a more diverse set of characters to align with. BEN is pleased to work with productions in the UK, EU, Latin America, and a growing list of regions to find the right moments for your brand to become a part of popular entertainment.

— Stephanie Dade
BEN Senior Vice President, Content & Integration

streamers drive foreign language viewing


of foreign language content viewers watch more since subscribing to a streaming service
Source: BEN Consumer Research, February 2022

The reason behind this shift appears to be a simple one: it’s all about access. 79% of those enjoying foreign content report watching more since subscribing to a streaming service. Once the content was easily accessible on their screen, audiences quickly made it a part of their viewing habits. Brands looking to capitalize on the popularity of these stories and characters on streaming can use product placement to reach the highly engaged audiences of foreign language content. Again, the answer here is a simple one: it’s all about access. Brands looking to integrate into foreign language shows need access to productions being filmed all over the world, and the logistics to get their product quickly onto sets and locations ranging from South America to the Middle East. The results of taking a global approach to product placement can be immense – as streamers focus more on growing out their global subscription base the opportunities for brands continue to grow as well.

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