They placed, I saw, I was conquered : evaluating the effects of persuasion knowledge and prominence of brand placement on viewers' attitudes and behavior
MetadataShow full item record
With the diminishing value of traditional television advertising – due to fragmented television audiences and the development of commercial skipping technologies such as TiVo – advertisers are looking at ways to integrate brands directly into mass media programming. This phenomenon has come to be known as brand placement, and this study examines the influence of such placements on viewers’ brand-related memory, attitude and behavior. The study proposes that viewers’ attitude towards the programming content, their desire to emulate the character associated with the placement, their awareness of the persuasive intent of brand placement, and the prominence of the placement itself - impact that influence. The study also proposes that low-involvement implicit measures may be more effective than traditional self-reported measures in uncovering the full effects of brand placement. Those proposals formed the basis of a three-study experimental research project. The first study evaluated the use of implicit measures, such as Strength-of-Association (SOA), in brand placement research. The second study evaluated how knowledge of the persuasive intent of brand placement affects viewers’ brand-related memory, attitudes and behavior. The third study evaluated whether the effects of brand placement differ, depending on the placement prominence among viewers with knowledge of persuasion intent. The initial investigation shows that though self-reported brand attitudes did not differ among the viewers exposed to brand placement and those who were not, their brand-related SOAs reflected significant differences. Further results reveal that memory effects are strongest when viewers are aware of the persuasive intent of brand placement. With regards to SOAs, when viewers are not aware of persuasion intent, their attitude towards the programming and desire to emulate the characters may be used to predict their brand-related SOAs. Such SOAs are also affected by the prominence of the placement. In terms of behavior effects, viewers with no knowledge of persuasive intent were more likely to choose a prominently placed brand over competitors’ brands, whereas viewers with such knowledge were more likely to choose subtly placed brands. This study concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and managerial contributions of the findings above, and suggestions for possible extensions of the research conducted.