Covert Product Placements in TV Shows Increase Consumers’ Memories and Brand Attitudes

Consumers who watch television sitcoms and see product placements through covert marketing have better memories of the products and better attitudes toward the brands, according to three joint studies led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

“Frankly, we were a bit surprised at the power of covert marketing across a variety of studies,” said Margaret C. Campbell, professor of marketing at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business and lead author of the article appearing online this month in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. “Even though most U.S. consumers know that marketers pay to surreptitiously get their brands in front of consumers, consumers are still influenced by covert marketing efforts.”

However, the studies also found that the disclosure of paid product placements in a sitcom decreased the influential effects, especially when the disclosure occurred after the consumer was exposed to the marketing.

In one of the studies, people watched a sitcom including a few seconds of exposure to a breakfast cereal. Later, when asked to list the first cereals that came to mind, people who had seen a brand name cereal during the sitcom were more than three times as likely to include that cereal in their top three, as compared with those who had seen a fictitious cereal. They also reported a much higher preference for the brand.

However, if prior to watching the show people saw a disclosure that sponsored product placements were included, they were not more likely to list the brand in their top three, although they still reported a higher liking for the brand.

If people saw a disclosure after the show that sponsored product placements were included, they also were not more likely to list the brand in their top three. But they did not report more favorable attitudes toward the brand, compared with a time when they had not been exposed to the product placement.

“Disclosures after the placement appear to alert people to the impact that covert marketing efforts can have, in which case they are less likely to be influenced,” Campbell said. There have been calls to require disclosure of covert marketing in the U.S. to be consistent with other requirements for disclosure of sponsorship. Other countries, such as the Netherlands, home country of study co-author Peeter Verlegh of the University of Amsterdam, already require some disclosure.

Gina Mohr of Colorado State University who is also a co-author, said, “In the U.S. there has been some reluctance to incorporate disclosures for fear that it may interfere with creative content. This research suggests that product placement disclosures need not occur at the time of product placement to be effective.”

According to the authors, the findings provide support for the idea that requiring disclosure after exposure to covert marketing would offer consumers information to help them choose how to navigate the marketplace.

“Consumers should get to know when they are being exposed to commercial persuasion so they can decide how they want to respond,” said Campbell.

To view the study visit http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057740812001337.

Follow the Magazine:

https://businessleadershipmanagement.wordpress.com/subscribe-follow-the-magazine/

(After you have filled in your email address in the column at the right hand side of the screen, a confirmation email will sent to your email address. You will have to confirm it before subscription begins)

Follow us on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BusinessLeaders

Like us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BusinessLeadershipManagement

**As part of the Magazine’s drive to reward subscribers/followers, we will be providing subscribers/followers special access to exclusive content which will not be otherwise available to normal visitors. Please be sure to subscribe to the Magazine. Many visitors have given us positive comments that they will be bookmarking the site, but as the system is unable to capture a working email address to which the passcodes for exclusive content will be sent, they will miss out on this content. Do note that passcodes are locked to each exclusive content, not a one-for-all access, so do provide a working email address that you check regularly so as not to miss out on them!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s