Product Placement in TV shows: Assessing Product Placement Effectiveness and the Influence on Brand Equity

Aðalheiður Kjærnested & Tine Munkegaard Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate to what extent product placement in TV shows influences brand equity. The objective is to gain insights into the effectiveness of product placement by reviewing and exploring previous studies and relevant literature in order to identify factors that are considered to influence product placement effectiveness in relation to brand equity. Through this discovery, a conceptual model with relevant factors is created to demonstrate relationships set to investigate, consisting of hypotheses and research statements. The deduced hypotheses and statements are utilized to detect relationships between the identified factors and the consumer mindset. A cross‐sectional research design consisting of a quantitative questionnaire and qualitative focus group interviews empirically test the conceptual model. To achieve this, stimuli are provided with video clips from the TV shows Gossip Girl and The Big Bang Theory for participants to see. The findings revealed that modality, brand familiarity, placement fit, character liking, viewer character relationship, program involvement and attitudes toward placements in general affected brand equity at all levels, but to a different extent. Familiar brands and brands that fit well within the TV show generated greater attention among viewers, thus positively influenced brand equity. Associations and attitudes toward the brand were positively influenced with the leveraging of secondary brand associations from the characters to the brand, and the strong relationship between the viewer and the character aided in the influence on brand attachment. For product purchase to happen, all of the factors needed to be present, although viewer‐character relationship was considered to play a leading role in purchase decision making. Even though the research findings cannot be fully generalized, they provide useful insights for marketers in taking the right steps toward effective product placements. Since no clear theoretical foundation exist to guide marketers in evaluating the most optimal approach, decisions are often based on intuition due to lack of industry knowledge. Thus, future research on how to implement and integrate the already discovered factors into the product placement practice should be considered.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages149