TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRODUCT PLACEMENT EFFECT: CONSIDERING THE IMPACT OF BRANDED ARTIFACTS IN MEDIA
Gillespie, Brian Christopher
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This dissertation is an effort to further understand the impact of product placement advertising on consumers in three essays. Essay 1, presents a meta-analysis of the product placement domain in effort to better understand the impact of product placement on consumers' brand recall/recognition, brand attitudes, and behaviors. Analyses reveal a significant positive effect of exposure to product placement for all three response types, indicating cognitive elaboration, para-social relationships between consumers and characters, and mimicry as the theoretical foundations for cognitive, affective, and conative effects, respectively. Analyses further indicate that product placement advertising is less effective for cognitive responses, but more effective for affective and conative responses compared to traditional advertisements. In addition, exposure to blatant product placements results in a larger positive effect than exposure to subtle product placements across all three outcome variables. Lastly, compared to adults, children are less likely to recognize, but hold more favorable attitudes and behaviors toward placed brands.Essay 2, explores consumers' perceptions of product placement through the introduction of the Consumer-Schematic Taxonomy of Product Placement, defined as the knowledge structures consumers develop in order to understand and cope with product placement advertising. This taxonomy is investigated through the development of the Assent to Branded Artifacts in Media construct--defined as a consumer's general receptiveness to product placement as an effective and helpful guide in consumption decisions--and empirically concludes that adults possess the ability to simultaneously consume narrative and evaluate placements, indicating that product placement advertising may not be a form of covert marketing.The third and final essay considers the role of product placement in narrative by proposing that placements can offer benefits to consumers through proper product placement fit. Results indicate that consumers report more favorable brand evaluations when their narrative consumption goals (i.e., goal attainment and enjoyment) are met through exposure to product placement advertising, compared to when their goals are not met through exposure to product placement advertising. Taken together, I argue these essays provide a greater understanding of the product placement effect and validate product placement advertising as a viable promotional method.