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Bruce Jeffers ::: Product Placement -- State of the Research, Annotated Bibliography (Spring 2008)
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Bruce Jeffers ::: Product Placement -- State of the Research, Annotated Bibliography (Spring 2008)



Preliminary White Paper / Annotated Bibliography for a research question in the Advertising field. ...

Preliminary White Paper / Annotated Bibliography for a research question in the Advertising field.

This research begins to explore if product placement of automobiles specifically with the protagonist affects consumer behaviors or purchase intents. This topic was further developed throughout the course of the Spring 2008 semester in a graduate-level Advertising Theories course.

by Bruce Jeffers, copyright 2008 via The University of Texas at Austin.



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Bruce Jeffers ::: Product Placement -- State of the Research, Annotated Bibliography (Spring 2008) Bruce Jeffers ::: Product Placement -- State of the Research, Annotated Bibliography (Spring 2008) Document Transcript

  • 1Bruce JeffersADV 382J, Spring 2008STATE OF THE RESEARCH — Annotated Bibliography Research QuestionDo automobile product placements in which a hero or protagonist is driving or using thevehicle in action movies lead to a greater purchase intention of the respective auto brandsin the minds of young men ages 18 to 34? Why Is Product Placement Important To Advertisers? Most pieces of traditional advertising (television, radio, print, billboards) are nolonger very effective. They are overdone, predictable, and boring. Advertising is insertedinto all facets of our entertainment, yet most ads themselves are not entertaining.Consumers have learned to ignore them, to tune them out, and with new technologies, evenavoid them altogether. Traditional marketing efforts are not speaking to consumersanymore. Why not? Part of this can be attributed to the technological advancements of the last fewyears, namely the Internet. With so much content available on the World Wide Web, manyconsumers are no longer watching as much television or reading newspapers andmagazines as often. Instead they are getting more news and information from theircomputer screens. Because of this, they are less exposed to traditional forms ofadvertising. Additionally, consumers are now even able to “skip” television ads: throughDigital Video Recording (DVR) technology, viewers can fast-forward through TVcommercials. On the Internet they can simply close them or browse right past them. With such obstacles in the way of advertising today, how can a company still deliveran effective message to its target? One new solution currently being explored is to givethem an experience: people always like to be entertained. Since most traditional
  • 2advertisements are tuned out or ignored, messages must be incorporated into forms of fun,enjoyable entertainment. The following research looks at studies and surveys that haveattempted to measure and quantify the effectiveness of this product placement technique. ResearchBalasubramanian, S. K., Karrh, J. A., & Patwardhan, H. (2006). Audience Response to Product Placements: An Integrative Framework and Future Research Agenda. Summary. A study of college students measured the effectiveness of product Journal of Advertising, 35 (3), 115–141. placements in several films in terms of brand attitude change, brand memory and recall, and brand choice. The findings show that various types of placement exposure (e.g. high level of conscious processing, low recognition of brand) produce varying degrees of consumer response. Relevance. These researchers did not attempt to measure purchase intention because they feel that brand placements alone do not significantly affect buying behavior. The authors agree that increasing consumers’ brand choice is the appropriate goal for which product placements should aim. Summary. Marketing representatives in the industry say it is difficult to specificallyBrennan, J. I. (2001). Movie magic is elusive. Advertising Age, 72 (15), 24. quantify actual car sales that result directly from product placement advertising alone. However, there have been several instances where sales of certain brands and models have spiked after being featured in Hollywood films, so car marketers are convinced that the product placement method of advertising can at least contribute to the increase of automobile sales.
  • 3 Relevance. Although very difficult to isolate and quantify, the sales of some automobiles have indeed been affected, at least in part, by product placements in big screen films.Furnham, A. & Price, M. (2006). Memory for televised advertisements as a function of program context, viewer-involvement, and gender. Communications: The Summary. Recall of female-oriented products versus male-oriented products was European Journal of Communication Research, 31 (2), 155–172. tested among groups of young men and women. A gender bias in recall was found: females remembered feminine products better than the males did, and males remembered masculine products better than the females did. Relevance. This study shows that men are more likely than women to be affected by masculine products (e.g. cars) that are advertised during movies and television programs. Therefore, it can be assumed that automobile product placements featured in masculine programming (i.e. action movies) are appropriately targeted.Galician, M., & Bourdeau, P. G. (2004). The Evolution of Product Placements in Hollywood Cinema: Embedding High-Involvement "Heroic" Brand Images. Summary. A content analysis study measured how frequently brands were placed in Journal of Promotion Management, 10 (1), p15–36. film scenes with "positive" tones (e.g. heroic, adventurous) versus "negative" tones (e.g. destructive, villainous) and surprisingly found that the number of negative placements was larger than the number of positive placements. Relevance. It would be assumed that brand managers would only want their brands associated with positive images, but these findings indicate that brands have been associated with a higher number of negative images over the time period measured,
  • 4 perhaps suggesting that advertisers consider any brand exposure, whether positive or negative, to be beneficial to their sales.Hosea, M. (2007). Reverse product placement: Fantasy brands on a reality check. Summary. Some automakers have begun featuring their cars in video games. Brand Strategy, 212, 24–29. Companies such as Mitsubishi and Nissan generate high levels of interest in their vehicles by placing them in popular racing games. A few examples are given of consumers who have actually bought certain sports cars after seeing and using them in virtual form. Relevance. Carmakers have found success, although limited, in placing some of their vehicles in video games. This new method advertising has led to automobile purchases among the gaming audience. If product placement in action-type video games can increase purchase intention, one might assume it will also have the same effect in action movies.Jin, C., & Villegas, J. (2007). The effect of the placement of the product in film: Consumers emotional responses to humorous stimuli and prior brand evaluation. Journal of Targeting, Measurement & Analysis for Marketing, 15 Summary. This study explores how humorous films that contained product (4), 244–255. placements affected viewers’ attitude and purchase intentions toward the brands. In several of the tests, respondents showed more positive attitude and higher reported purchase intentions toward the placed products and brands. Relevance. If humorous movies were able to increase viewers’ brand attitude and purchase intention, could we expect similar results from these same tests repeated with other movie genres, such as action films?
  • 5Patterson, N. (2006). Being in the right place at the right time. B&T Weekly, 56 Summary. This article reports on recent survey results from ACNielsen regarding (2593), 9. product placements in films. The survey revealed that not all product placements were effective in improving viewers’ brand impressions and attitudes — only brands that were placed in scenes relevant or appropriate to the product type did so consistently. Inappropriate placements did not always increase brand attitudes. Relevance. If certain automobiles are not considered relevant to action scenes, viewers’ impression of those respective brands may be negatively affected.Stratton, D. C. (1992). Product Placement in Motion Pictures: Measuring Its Impact Summary. A small study found that average consumer recall of products placed in as an Advertising Medium. (Dissertation, University of Texas, 1992). movies was considerably higher than the average recall of products seen in television commercials (83 percent of viewers compared to 30 percent, respectively). The research suggests that movie product placements are more effective than television commercials in terms of recall. This particular study also measured the effects of product placement on consumer purchase intentions and found no significant correlation. Relevance. While movie product placements may generate higher recall, this study has found that they do not significantly increase purchase intention.Yang, M., & Roskos-Ewoldsen, D. R. (2007). The Effectiveness of Brand Placements in the Movies: Levels of Placements, Explicit and Implicit Memory, and Brand- Summary. These researchers classified brand placements into three different types, Choice Behavior. Journal of Communication, 57 (3), 469–489. based on level of involvement — a background product, a product used by a
  • 6 character, and a product that is connected to the plot — and measured the effects of each on consumer attitudes, recall, and purchase behavior. They found that levels of brand placements do have varying affects on attitudes and recall. Relevance. Although not specifically linked to automobiles, this study has shown that higher levels of product involvement lead to greater attitude change among viewers. Specifically, when a product was used by a main character, the audience expressed more positive attitudes toward the brand than when the product was just in the background. Conclusions The initial question sought to determine if automobile product placements of aheroic quality in action movies could increase the respective brand’s purchase intention inyoung adult men. No research was found that directly answered this question. However,the sources detailed above are a good starting point and will guide future research of thisissue. We will examine what directions the listed sources have provided. Most of the research thus far has concluded that product placement alone does notincrease brand purchase intent or behavior. Especially with high-involvement purchases,such as automobiles, many factors are considered before buying a product. Researchershave not been able to strongly link movie product placement to purchase behavior, butsome say the exposure can be a minor contributing influence in a purchase. However, many researchers have agreed that appropriate and relevant placements(those scenes which fit the product’s or brand’s image) do consistently improve viewers’attitudes toward a brand. In other words, product placement works, but only as well as tochange attitudes and perceptions and not quite well enough to affect buying behavior.Later versions of this report will not be able to use purchase intention as a measure ofproduct placement effectiveness.
  • 7 No studies were available that studied solely automobiles’ affect in productplacement. The technique is most often studied as a whole, considering all ranges ofproducts rather than being limited to a certain product category. Further research shouldmeasure the effects of specific product types, such as automobiles, in product placementsurveys. Also, little data was available on product placement in only the action genre offilms. Later work in this research question may need to consider other genres or not be sospecific as to even select a genre. Revised Research Question Going ForwardWhat guidelines should advertisers follow for automobile product placements in moviescenes to produce the greatest increase in favorable attitude toward the respective autobrands in the minds of young men ages 18 to 34?