Reverse product placement, fictional brands and purchase intention:Fancy a coffee with Friends in ‘Central Perk’?
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fictional brands are brands that exist only in the world of fiction and not the real physical ...
fictional brands are brands that exist only in the world of fiction and not the real physical
world.reverse product placement consists of transforming these fictional brands into products
and services in the real physical world.this paper posits that consumers,despite having no preexisting
experience of fictional brands in the real world, may develop positive attitudes towards
fictional brands; hence the fundamental managerial question is to ascertain whether these
positive attitudes can drive purchase intention to justify the investment into a real product or
service based on the fictional brand. using two fictional service brands, ‘Maclaren’s Pub’ and
‘Central Perk’, featured respectively in How I Met Your Mother and Friends, this study confirms
the existence of protobrands, and shows that attitudes towards a fictional brand are driven by
perceived service quality, identification with the brand and attitudes towards the television
programme. the study goes on to provide evidence that attitudes towards the fictional brand
can influence purchase intention of a future defictionalised brand in the real world.the paper
contributes to product placement and branding literature in a new emerging area.
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