Popular culture and persuasion: An investigation of product placements' effectiveness
AuthorRussell, Cristel Antonia
AdvisorLevy, Sidney J.
Puto, Christopher P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the psychological processes involved with the placement of real brands within television programming. While empirical evidence tells us that television images influence individuals, on the one hand, and that television programs contain references to specific forms of consumption, on the other hand, the psychological effect of specific references to brands has, to date, only been reasoned theoretically (e.g., Levy 1959; McCracken 1988). Because it focuses on individuals' responses to specific brands placed within a popular culture text, the technique of product placement provides an ideal context for studying the relationship between branded products and popular culture elements. Drawing from the psychology literature, I propose that the effectiveness of product placements varies depending on the specifics of the placement. Based on a Tripartite Typology of Product Placement, I make predictions regarding the processing and persuasive impact of each type and combination of placements. This conceptual framework was tested through a newly developed methodology called "the theatre methodology," which used a videotaped original screenplay as the setting for the presentation of stimuli. As predicted, the number of modalities and the degree of plot connection were shown to significantly improve memory. The study further revealed a significant interaction between plot connection and modality, caused by a stronger effect of plot connection on the visual placements than on the auditory placements. In terms of attitude, the results suggest two equally persuasive but dramatically different strategies. Indeed, product placements that were visually placed in the background were as persuasive as placements that relied on both audio and visual modalities and were highly connected to the plot. Contributions to marketing and cognitive and social psychology theory are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College