The purpose of this elaborative and explorative thesis is to elucidate one aspect of the phenomenon known as Product Placement (PPL). PPL usually occurs in the fields of films and TV programmes, although over the years the strategy has spread in to other types of media such as books and music. One of the more peculiar contexts in which I have noticed PPL is TV commercials with the purpose of selling another product than the one placed, and I have been astonished by the very prominent character of some of these placements. In certain cases I have experienced that the product placed focuses almost all of my attention; effectively leaving me with a stronger recollection of the product placed than of the main product of the commercial. Therefore, I wished to investigate further this particular aspect of PPL in order to clarify the consequences with regard to explicit recollection on the part of the consumer in relation to the placed and the main brand in the format of the TV commercial. First of all, this thesis defines PPL as perceived from the consumer perspective in order to determine whether the incorporation of several brands in a TV commercial can in fact be categorised as PPL. It is concluded that this is the case; provided the consumer perceives the placed product as having a high degree of prominence. In relation hereto, this thesis discusses the factors that influence this prominence, with emphasis on the significance of subjectivity. Furthermore, this thesis discusses the benefits and disadvantages inherent in the use of PPL with the purpose of observing the advantages of the strategy in the context of the TV commercial. It is concluded that among the major benefits of PPL are its contribution to context portrayal and the existence of value transmission between the brands involved. One major disadvantage though, involves the risk of brand confusion. With the purpose of clarifying this risk further, an extended version of the Elaboration Likelihood Model by Petty & Cacioppo (1981(1996)) is developed in this thesis. According to this model, brand recollection on the part of the consumer seems to depend on consumer motivation, ability and opportunity of watching the commercial at time of exposure, degree of consumer attention dispersion, and the prominence of the placed product. Ultimately, this presents the theoretical possibility that exposure to a TV commercial featuring PPL can lead consumers to explicitly call to mind the brand placed. In some cases this can result in PPL brands with a high degree of perceived prominence negatively affecting explicit recollection of the main brand. To investigate the initial plausibility of these hypotheses, this thesis employs Qualitative Depth Interviews. In these interviews, ten respondents are exposed to six TV commercials displaying varying degrees of PPL. Subsequently, Recall and Recognition Tests are performed with the object of analyzing the resulting brand recollection. On the basis of the empirical material in this study, it seems highly probable that upon exposure, consumers are able to explicitly call placed brands to mind. The level of probability increases with the level of perceived prominence attributed by the consumer to the brand placed. Moreover, this study confirms that prominence is indeed governed by subjective valuation. According to the study, product placements with a high degree of perceived prominence seem to have an effect on explicit consumer recollection in relation to the main brand. Consequently, product placements with a low degree of perceived prominence do not appear to have an impact. Furthermore, the possibility remains that product placements with a high degree of prominence may cause the main brands not being recollected explicitly. In conclusion, it seems that PPL in TV commercials affect explicit consumer recollection with regard to brands dependent on the perceived degree of prominence of the placed brand. Thus there is basis for further studies in this area.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||112|