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Effectiveness of Product Placement: The Role of Plot Connection, Viewer Involvement, and Prior Brand Evaluation


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EFFECTIVENESS OF PRODUCT PL ACEMENT: THE ROLE OF PLOT CONNECTION, VIEWER INVOLVEM ENT, AND PRIOR BRAND EVALUATION By SEOYOON CHOI A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVERTISING UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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Copyright 2007 by Seoyoon Choi

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To my parents, DukSoon Choi and MiOk Kim

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The successful completion of this study coul d not have been realized without the assistance of some important people. First of al l, I am sincerely grateful to my chair, Dr. Michael Weigold, for his support and guidance in carrying out this thesis. I am also thankful to Dr. Chang-Hoan Cho and Dr. Jorge Villegas for serving as my committee members and for their invaluable advice and caring. I extend my special gratitude to my pa rents, DukSoon Choi and MiOk Kim, my best consultants and pillars of support throughout my life. My accomplishments are the culmination of their life-long belief in me. They have stood behind me and never doubted anything I have done. Without their unwavering love and gui dance, I would not have completed this thesis. I also want to give my special thanks to my brother, JaeSeo Choi, for his caring and advice. Id like to thank the Korean Gators in journalism and communications, who always motivated and encouraged me thorough my years at the University of Florida. Also my gratitude goes to all the people who cared for and prayed for me.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................4 Definition of Product Placement..................................................................................4 Product Placement Market............................................................................................6 Product Placement History...........................................................................................7 New Territory for Product Placements.........................................................................9 How Product Placement Works: The Psychological Process.....................................11 Attitudes toward the Product Placement.....................................................................12 Cross-Cultural Analysis of Attit udes toward Product Placement...............................13 Effectiveness of Product Placement...........................................................................14 Memoryand Attitude-Based Effectiveness.......................................................14 Behavioral Intention Based Effectiveness...........................................................16 Plot Connection: Degree of Brand Integration into Plot............................................17 How Involvement Influences Product Placement Effectiveness................................18 Hypotheses..................................................................................................................20 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................24 Pilot Study..................................................................................................................24 Procedure.............................................................................................................24 Pilot Test Results.................................................................................................24 Main Study..................................................................................................................25 Sample Selection.................................................................................................25 Stimuli Development...........................................................................................26 Procedure.............................................................................................................27

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vi Independent Variables.........................................................................................27 Dependent Variables...........................................................................................28 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................31 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................32 Descriptive Statistics..................................................................................................32 Test of Hypothesis......................................................................................................32 Plot Connection...................................................................................................32 Level of Involvement..........................................................................................33 Prior Brand Evaluation........................................................................................33 Research Question: Interaction Effects of Plot Connection, Product Involvement, and Prior Brand Evaluation....................................................................................34 5 CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION........................................................................41 Summary of Results....................................................................................................41 Managerial Implications.............................................................................................43 Limitations and Future Research................................................................................45 APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE......................................................................................47 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................58

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vii LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Experimental Design................................................................................................20 4-1 Mean difference of Product Involvement.................................................................35 4-2 Mean Difference of Prior Brand Evaluation............................................................36 4-3 Means and Standard Deviations of All Items...........................................................36 4-4 Univariate Results of Plot Connect ion, Product Involvement, and Prior Brand Evaluation on Placement Effectiveness Variables...................................................37 4-5 Means and Standard Deviations by Different Treatment Condition........................38 4-6 Multivariate Results.................................................................................................38

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viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Self Assessment Manikin.........................................................................................29 4-1 Significant 3-way Interactions on Attitude toward Placement.................................39 4-2 Significant 3-way Interacti ons on Purchase Intention..............................................40

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ix Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Advertising EFFECTIVENESS OF PRODUCT PL ACEMENT: THE ROLE OF PLOT CONNECTION, VIEWER INVOLVEM ENT, AND PRIOR BRAND EVALUATION By Seoyoon Choi May 2007 Chair: Michael F. Weigold Major Department: Advertising Severe audience fragmentation and message clutter in traditional media outlets have led marketers and advertisers to c onsider alternative tools and means of communication. Among these new marketi ng communication approaches, product placement has been utilized frequently. The purpose of this study is to explor e how different variables impact the effectiveness of product placement in order to provide marketers with insights into planning product placement strategies. To test the proposed hypotheses, a 2 (plo t connection: high vs. low) x 2 (product involvement: high vs. low) x 2 (previous at titude toward the brand: favorable vs. unfavorable) mixed factorial design was implemented. Results showed that the high plot-connec tion group exhibited higher arousal levels and more positive attitudes toward the targ et brand than did the low plot connection group. Also, when compared to the low product-involvement group, the high product-

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x involvement group exhibited higher pleasure le vels, higher arousal levels, more positive attitudes toward placements, more positive at titudes towards the target brand, and higher purchase intention. In terms of prior bra nd evaluations, the favorable prior brand evaluation group exhibited more positive attit udes toward the target brand and higher purchase intentions than did the unfavorab le prior brand evaluation. Furthermore, a significant three-way interaction effect was found for two dependent variables: consumers attitudes toward the pro duct placement and pur chase intention. The results of this study will provide ma rketers and advertising agencies with useful insights into using product placemen t strategies as a marketing communication tool. In addition, the results suggest that many factors should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of a placement

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The more severe audience fragmentation a nd message clutter beco me in traditional media outlets, the more marketers and advertisers must consider alternative ways to advertise products or services. Among the new marketing communica tion tools, product placement has been utilized frequently. Pr oduct placement is attract ive to manufacturers because their brands are placed in a realisti c dramatic setting in which the viewer is already emotionally involved (Maslin, 1982). As a result, audiences are exposed to products in less distracted environments a nd become familiar with the brands over a longer period of time (Turcotte, 1995). Pr oduct placement has been utilized for over 100 years, but grew sharply in use betwee n 1978 and 1981 when movie producers became aware of the commercial value of product pl acement (Brennan et al., 1999; Segrave, 2004). After the legendary placement of Reeses Pieces candy in the 1982 film E.T. marketers understanding of product placement changed. Thereafter, product placement expanded to become a highly prevalent marke ting tactic featured not only on television and in movies but also in books, songs, video games, and web blogs. Previous research on product placement has focused on consumer perceptions and acceptance of product placements, or the pl acement of ethically charged products (dAstous & Sguin, 1999; Gupta & Goul d, 1997; Morton & Freedman, 2002). The effectiveness of product placement has also been analyzed in terms of recognition, recall, and consumer attitudes (Babin & Carder, 1996; Brennan, Dubas, & Babin, 1999). However, few studies measure the effectiv eness of product placements in terms of

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2 purchase intentions (Gould, Gupta, & Krabne r-Krauter, 2000; Karrh, Frith, & Callison, 2001). Therefore, this study examined the effects of product placement in terms of consumers purchase intentions, emotional re sponses, attitudes toward placement, and attitude toward the target brand. Researchers have manipulated a variety of variables in an effort to understand the effectiveness of product placements. Those va riables contain prominence and mode (i.e., audio, visual, and audiovisual) (Gupta & Lo rd, 1998); product ca tegory (Gupta & Gould, 1997); sponsor image (i.e., positive, negativ e, or neutral); program genre (i.e., quiz/variety, mini-series/drama, and informa tion/service); and spons or-program congruity (dAstous & Sguin, 1999). Gupta and Gould ( 1997) studied the impact of individual differences, such as gender and movie-view ing frequency, on the accep tability of product placements. Audience involvement also influences th e effectiveness of a product placement. Higher product involvement in the plot of a television program tends to reduce viewer involvement with the commercial (Park & McClung, 1986). One might expect a product that is highly involved in th e storyline to enhance the eff ects of product placement, since the audiences involvement in the story w ould translate to their involvement with a product that is important to the plot (McC arty, 2003). Therefore, product involvement was examined in this study to identify its moderating effect on product placement. Limited research has analyzed how cons umer attitudes toward brands affect product placements. However, researchers in th e advertising field have studied how prior consumer attitudes towards brands impact the effectiveness of advertising. For instance, Chattopadhyay and Basu (1990a) studied the relationship between vi ewers prior brand

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3 evaluations and the use of humor in advert ising. The results revealed that when a consumers prior brand evaluation is favorab le, a humorous ad is more effective in enhancing brand attitude and choice behavior as compared to a non-humorous ad. When a consumers prior brand evaluation is unfa vorable, however, humorous ads were less likely to enhance brand attitude and choice behavior. Likewise, consumers prior brand evaluations seem to impact the e ffectiveness of product placements. Marketers focus on finding the best vehicle to feature products or brands that will ensure a high return on investment. Thus it is important for marketers to know how audience responses to products differ dependi ng on movie genre, the duration of product exposure, the modality of product placement (audio/visual), and varying degrees of product connection to the plot. Mo re variables are likely to affect audience responses to product placements, such as product involve ment, viewers moods while watching the movie, and whether or not the viewer saw the film in a theater or at home. Among these variables, the degree of a pr oducts integration into a stor yline, audience involvement, and prior brand evaluations were selected to understand the eff ectiveness of product placements. Thus, the purpose of this study is to id entify a) how the degree of product-plot connection affects consumer reactions to product placements b) how product involvement affects viewer reactions to product placements c) how viewers previous brand evaluations influence their reactions to placements.

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4 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Definition of Product Placement Product placement is defined as a paid product message aimed at influencing movie (or television) audiences via the pl anned and unobtrusive entry of a branded product into a movie (or television pr ogram) (Balasubramanian, 1994, p. 29). The advertising encyclopedia AdAge defines product or brand placement as a form of advertising in which brand-name products, packages, signs and corporate names are intentionally positioned in motion pictures and TV programs. Karrh (1998) broadened the territory of product placemen ts to include all forms of mass media when he defined product placements as a paid in clusion of branded products or brand identifiers, through audio and/or visual means, within mass media programming. Though integrated or branded entertainmen t is used interchangeably with product placements, some researchers distinguish one from the other. According to CaraciolliDavis (2005), product placement is mere product exposure via a simple visual/audio presence in a program, while brand integr ation involves product participation in a program's story as a device to enhance plot or character interactions or provide a sense of realism. Ultimately, brands are irreplaceably woven into entertaining contentacross any number of contact pointsand are invite d by audiences as welcome components of media consumption and interaction in br anded entertainment (Caraciolli-Davis, 2005, p.11).

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5 Some researchers have compared product placements to conv entional advertising methods (Balausbramanian, 1994; DeLorme & Reid, 1999; Wasko & Phillips, 1993), but product placements differ from traditional adve rtising in that they do not interrupt the consumers media experience (Balasubramania n, 1994), are not always paid for (Wasko & Phillips, 1993), and may not be percei ved by consumers as commercial messages (DeLorme & Reid, 1999). Acco rding to Nebenzahl and Jaffe (1998), product placement is different from conventional advertising in two ways: a) the extent to which the sponsor of the message is disguised and b) the ex tent to which the persuasive message is secondary to the main message. In traditional modes of adver tising, the sponsor is clear to the audience and the persuasive message is primary to the co mmunication. In product placement, a product is presented in the context of a story without an explicit attempt to persuade the audience and the persuasive effort is secondary to communication. The three types of product placementsgrat is arrangements, barter arrangements, and paid placementsare distinguished by fi nancial compensation. Gr atis arrangements refer to product placements that strengthen character images or in crease the level of credibility or realism in a na rrative. An example of a gra tis arrangement can be found in the use of Raid, an ant killer brand by SC Johnson Company, in the HBO series The Sopranos (Neer, 2003). According to Therese Van Ryne, a spokesperson for SC Johnson, the company did not arrange for the use of their product on the s how (McCarty, 2002). This arrangement differs from the traditio nal definition of a product placement which typically requires marketers to organize such an agreement. Because the manufacturer cannot control how the product is featured or when and where the placement will occur, the product could be portrayed negatively.

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6 In barter or trade agreements, the product itself serves as compensation for brand placement. This kind of trade-off is found in the film The Terminal in which United Airlines plays a supporting role in the movie. The airline provided the use of their brand and advice on how to make airport announcem ents and uniforms more realistic. This provided the airline with exposure and the f ilmmakers saved on production costs (Kirsner, 2006) In paid placements, product integration is arranged in advance by marketers and financial compensation is provided. Prices can vary depending on the nature and the prominence of the products placement in the movie (McCarthy, 1994). More prominent placements, such as the inclus ion of Reeses chocolate in E.T. and the use of Ray-Ban sunglasses in Top Gun are examples of paid placem ents. Among the three types of product placements, paid placements increased from 18% in 1974 to 29.2% in 2004, while the share of gratis placements decr eased from 24.3% to 6.6% during same period. The share of trade arrangements increased fr om 57.7% to 64.2 %, representing the most frequently used form of product placement since 1974 (PQ Media, 2005). Product Placement Market Although product placements have existe d for 100 years, their popularity and attractively to marketers as a marketing tactic has soared in recent years. A series in Business Week titled Product Placement Hall of Fa me reflects the fact that product placements have been perceived as a major marketing tool since 1998. According to a report by PQ Media (2005), wh ich investigates the historical trends of product placements from 1974 to 2004 in th e U.S., the value of product placements grew at a compound annual rate of 10.5%. The total value of product placements climbed 30% in 2004 to reach $3.46 billion. Specifica lly, television placements soared 46.4% to

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7 $1.87 billion and film placements grew 14.6% to $1.25 billion. Furthermore, the product placements market is projected to expand mo re in the future. PQ Media projects the 14.9% compound growth rate to reach $6.94 billion between 2004 and 2009. Placements in the food and beverage, house and home, and health and beauty categories account for more than half of all product placements. Th ese categories will continue to be the leading marketing categories over the ne xt 5 years (PQ Media, 2005). There are three explanations for this ra pid growth in product placements: a) the growing popularity of ad-ski pping technologies; b) the de velopment of interactive television; and c) audience fragmentation. As ad-skipping technologies or personal video recorders (PVRs) such as TiVo and Sky +, became more prevalent, television ads became less effective at reaching target audiences. Th ese devices are expected to be in 55 million homes in the U.S. by 2010. In contrast, intera ctive television made it easier to integrate product placements into programs by allowing ma rketers to feature di fferent products at different times and for different regions (P Q Media, 2005). Finally, the development of new media like the Internet has led to clut tered media environments and skepticism of traditional advertising among marketers. As a result, advertisers began questioning the effectiveness of television spot ads, which became harder to feature prominently within cluttered media environments or feature at all due to digital video re corders. This forced more advertisers to turn to alternative means of reaching audiences, such as product placements. Product Placement History The history of product placements can be divided into three phases (DeLorme, 1998; Brennan et al., 1999). The first phase is the period between the 1920s and mid 1970s, when product placement was not yet a major industry. The product placement

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8 process in this early stage was informal a nd mostly consisted of barter arrangements (DeLorme, 1998). This barter arrangement illust rates the original motivation for product placements, which was to add a greater level of reality to movies by featuring real brands (Brennan et al., 1999). Product placement has become more prevalent since the mid 1970s when the concept of brand manageme nt developed and mo tion picture producers became aware of the commercial value of these placement opportunities (Brennan et al., 1999; Moser, Bryant, & Sylvester, 2004). The second phase of product placement hist ory is the period between the late 1980s and the early 1990s. This phase included the famous placement of Reeses Pieces candy in the movie E.T. The success of this placement in the 1982 film changed marketers views of product placement and became a milestone in product placement history. Following the success of E.T ., the placement of Ray-Ban sunglasses in the 1983 film Risky Business resulted in a major sales increase after the films release (Fournier & Dolan, 1997). However, consumer advocate groups perceived the product placement as a deceptive practice and raised concerns (DeL orme, 1998). In response to these concerns, the product placement industry founded the En tertainment Resources and Marketing Association, which plays an important role in the self-regulati on and preemption of government regulations (Moser et al., 2004). The third phase, which includes the mid 1990s through today, marks the period where product placement became a huge industry. Today, marketers develop joint advertising and promotion programs along with product placements to enlarge the impact of placements. For example, television adve rtising for Sprint, which featured alien characters from the movie Men in Black II ran during the movies opening week. Burger

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9 King products also appeared in Men in Black II and at the movie's release, Burger King introduced a special burger tied to the movi e's theme (Karrh, 1998). Furthermore, product placements are now featured in songs, books, and video games. These new frontiers in the product placement industry will be explaine d in more detail in the next chapter. New Territory for Product Placements Product placements are no longer exclusiv e to film and television, now appearing in video games, books, and music. USA Today reports that product placements in video games began in the 1980s, and the potential of video games as marketing tools continues to grow. Advertisers now have three differe nt approaches to marketing products through video games. The first is a traditional product placement in the form of signs or billboard ads that appear in games and cannot be modified. For instance, a Marlboro banner appears in Segas auto-racing game from the late 80s, while Segas newer game, Super Monkey Ball features Dole bananas. The downfall to this approach is that advertisers have to commit to video game publishers months before the games are released to the public. The second approach is the dyna mic advertisement, a new technology with online capability that allows publishers to insert new ads into games at anytime. The third advertising approach is advergames, or games produced for the sole purpose of promoting a product. An example of an adve rgame is an online game made by Unilever's Axe deodorant business division (Yi, 2005). Inserting songs in video games is another popular form of product placement, as the repe tition involved in mastering a video game provides an effective means for launching new songs. Product placements in books are not as common as other media, but a famous example of this form of placement can be seen in the book The Bulgari Connection. The titular Bulgari company paid British author Faye Weldon to write a novel about their

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10 products in 2001. During the summer of 2004, Ca role Matthews, another popular British author, made a deal with Ford a nd integrated the Ford Fiesta into her latest work, The Sweetest Taboo Aside from these examples, one of the largest book genres to feature product placements is childrens learning books. A textbook used in the mathematics department of the University of Texas in Ar lington features the re staurant Waffle House on its cover and in problems within the book. However, it was reporte d that the publisher did not receive financial compensation from Waffle House for this placement (Marsilio, 2004). Examples like these are becoming more and more frequent, as companies like Nike and Oreo make their way into te xtbooks even at the high school level. According to Agenda Inc., which tracked all brand references in the Billboard Top 20 singles chart since 2003, 35% of songs (37 out of 106) mentioned at least one brand in their lyrics in 2005. Altogether, 64 different brands have been mentioned a total of 1129 times, which represents a tremendous number. Most of these references are of high-end designer brands, such as Gucci, Mercedes, a nd Cartier as well as alcohol brands like Hennessy and Seagrams that represent the luxury lifestyles of hip-hop artists (Agenda Inc., 2005). An article in AdAge reports that In almost all cases, a brand has found its way into a rap song because of artist pr eference or through an organic, creative predilection and not because of a record label dictate to appease an advertiser. The fast food restaurant chain McDonalds also began using music placements in 2005 (Wasserman, 2005), paying hip-hop musicians a nywhere from $1 to $5 each time their songs featuring the McDonalds Big Mac played on the radio. Most recently, blogs have entered th e product placement market. Marqui, a marketing communication firm, launched their "Blogosphere Program" on December 1,

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11 2004 which contracts individual bl oggers to mention Marqui a nd link to their site once a week in their blogs for $800 a month in compensation. Starting in October 2005, the company is expanding its blogging module to corporate bloggers (Jesdanun, 2005). How Product Placement Works: The Psychological Process Sales of Reeses Pieces candy jumped 65% within one month of the release of E.T. (Reed, 1989) and placements of Jaguars Shaguar model in Austin Powers: Goldmember resulted in a 70% increase in its sales in the U.S. (Diamond, 2002). Likewise, Red Stripe beer sale s in the U.S increased by more than 50% within one month of the release of the film The Firm (Buss, 1998). The apparent success of product placements in films has led researchers to investigate why this marketing method is so effective. Sutherland (1981) associated the mechanism of product placement with agendasetting theory. According to Su therland, if something appears frequently in the media, it is raised up on our agenda of th ings to think about. In e ffect, consumers infer what is popular from movies, television programs, an d pop songs without the media explicitly calling attention to specific products. Furthermore, product placements render brands more instantly accessible in memory, which is a key component of brand development (Sutherland, 2005). McCarty (2003) noted three levels in the psychological process of product placement. At the most basic level, the pr ocess may be akin to affective classical conditioning, especially when a product placem ent is merely seen or mentioned in a story. Affective classical c onditioning is pairing an unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus so that good feelings associ ated with the scene are transferred to the brand (Baker, 1999). A second explanation is the mere exposure theory. Mere exposure

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12 suggests that viewers will develop favorable fe elings toward a brand simply because they are repeatedly exposed to the brand (Baker, 1999). This seems especially true for brands presented as props in several movie scenes (McCarty, 2003). The transformational process is another, higher-order process which may explain how consumers process product placements. Tr ansformation advertising is advertising that transforms or changes the experience of using a product so th at the product becomes richer, warmer, more exciting, and/or more enjoyable (Puto & Wells, 1984, p.638). Likewise, product experiences may be infl uenced by product placements, because the product is not merely seen in a functional sens e but becomes part of the story context and is endowed with character istics associated with th e movie (McCarty, 2003). Another approach to explaining the mech anism of product placement is Friestad and Wrights (1994) persua sion knowledge model. The persuasion knowledge model posits that when users recognize and identify a message as a pers uasive communication attempt, they process it differently than they would if they were unaware of its commercial intent. Compared to classical adve rtising, product placement is less likely to be recognized as persuasive, and thus prev ents viewers from count erarguing, scrutinizing, or rejecting the message (Grigorovici & Constantin, 2004). Attitudes toward the Product Placement Several researchers have studied the ethi cal issues involved in product placements (Gupta & Gould, 1997; Morton & Friedman, 2002; Nebenzahl & Secunda, 1993; Ong & Meri, 1994). Results from Nebenzahl a nd Secundas (1993) study showed that respondents generally do not object to produc t placements in film and tend to prefer product placements to overt forms of in-c inema advertising. Only 25% of respondents indicated that placements should be banned or strongly restricted on ethical grounds. Ong

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13 and Meri (1994) conducted exit surveys in th eaters to gather view er perceptions on the ethics of product placements. Respondents generally disagreed with the statements product placement is unethical and I am opposed to product placement. Gupta and Gould (1997) studied audience attitudes towa rd product placements for different product types and found that audiences generally ex hibit positive attitudes toward placements, with the exception of ethically charge d products like alcohol, guns, and tobacco. Cross-Cultural Analysis of Attitudes toward Product Placement Although Karrh (1998) asserted a lower likeliho od of cross-cultural differences with respect to attitudes toward product pl acements, other research indicates attitude differences across cultures. Gould, Gupta, a nd Grabner-Kruter (2000) were the first to study product placements on a cross-nationa l basis by studying consumer attitudes toward product placements in the U.S., Austria, and France. Though some variables remained consistent, such as the fact that women were generally less positive than men and that most respondents were less accepting of ethically-charged product placements, attitudes were generally diffe rent in each country. For example, U.S. viewers are more likely to accept and purchase products shown in movies than consumers in Austria and France. Karrh, Frith, and Callisons (2001) study al so supported cross-national differences in consumer attitudes. When compared to American respondents, Singaporean respondents were less likely to report self-monitoring activity less likely to perceive brand appearances as paid advertising, had gr eater concerns about the ethics of brand placements, and were more supportive of gove rnment restrictions on placements. Both American and Singaporean respond ents, however, reported that they paid attention to

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14 featured brands and that their purchasing patterns were simila rly affected by product placements in films and television programs. McKechnie and Zhou (2003) also compar ed Chinese and American consumer attitudes toward produc t placements in movies. Their results were consistent with previous research in that Chinese consum ers were generally le ss accepting of product placements than American consumers. Yous (2005) study of South Korean and American consumer attitudes toward product placements and usage behavior was also consistent with previous research. South Ko rean respondents were more concerned about the ethics of product placements, were less likely to accept product placements, and were less supportive of featuring ethically-charged pr oducts in movies than U.S. consumers. Likewise, Brennan, Rosenberger, and Hementeras (2004) study compared Australian consumer attitudes with those identified previously in Gupta, Gould, and Grabner-Kruters research ( 2000) and found similar evidence of cross-cultural attitude differences. Effectiveness of Product Placement Since product placements became a highly popular marketing tool in the late 1990s, much research has focused on the eff ectiveness of produc t placements. Prior results on the effectiveness of product pla cements were mixed, especially regarding attitude changes and behavioral influences. Memoryand Attitude-Based Effectiveness Free and aided recall are the most co mmon measures of product placement effectiveness (Babin & Carder, 1995; dAs tous & Sguin, 1999; Gupta & Lord 1998; Karrh, 1995; Nelson, 2002), followed by recogniti on (Babin & Carder, 1996; dAstous & Chartier, 2000; Law & Braun, 2000). Ong and Me ris (1994) study on th e recall of placed

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15 products showed that most placements generate weak recall. Babin and Carder (1996a) investigated viewer recogniti on of brands and found that pe ople generally recognized the brands they saw in films. Another Babin and Carder study (1996b) showed that product placements do not affect consumer attitudes toward brands. Vollmers and Mizerskis (1994) study reflected similar results, illust rating that product placements affect brand recall but do not influence brand evaluation. McCarty (2003) concluded that these results were due to a failure to consider the mu ltidimensional nature of product placements. Gupta and Lord (1998) distinguished differe nt levels of prominence and mode in evaluating the effectiveness of product placements on audience recall. Their results showed that audience recall was highest in prominent placements, followed by traditional advertising and subtle placements. In terms of modality, audio presentations generated higher recall than purely visual presentations. Brennan, Dubas, and Babin (1999) investigat ed the impact of different placements and exposure times on brand recognition and fou nd that placements integral to a storyline are remembered more frequently than others. Exposure time did not a ffect recognition for background placements but did influence recognition when the product placements were central to the story. DAstous and Sguin (1999) studied the effects of placement type, sponsor image, sponsor-program congruity, and program genr e on evaluative and et hical reactions to product placements. Implicit and explicit placemen ts did not generate different evaluation results, but high congruity lead to better ev aluations and ethical judgments than lower congruity, with the exception of mini-series/dramas. Furtherm ore, sponsor image had no significant impact on consumers eval uative and ethical judgments.

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16 According to dAstous and Chartier (2000) consumer memory is enhanced when the principal actor is present and the produc t placement is positively evaluated. When the placement is visible and well integrated in the movie scene, consumer evaluations of placements are generally more positive. Russell (2002) investigated the congruency effect of modality and plot connection on brand memory and attitude. According to Russell, congruent placements would be auditory placements with hi gh plot connection or visual placements with low plot connection, because spoken information is typically more significant to story development than visual information. The resu lts of the study showed that viewers were more likely to remember incongruent placements over congruent placements, but that congruent placements had a greater influence on attitude changes. Nelson (2002) studied the effectiveness of brand placements in racing games, measuring the free-recall of brands featured in games directly after game-play and after a five-month period. Respondents re called about 25-30% of feat ured brands over the shortterm period and 10-15% after the five-month delay. Brand recall was enhanced when the brands played a major role in the game, were relevant to the consum er, or were local or new brands. In sum, the various characteristics of produc t placements can garner either negative or positive effects on memory and consumer ev aluations of placed brands. Therefore, the effectiveness of the product placement as a communication strategy must be measured by specific objectives. Behavioral Intention Based Effectiveness Previous studies investigated the imp act of product placements on consumer purchase intentions, with few studies noting limited usage behavior (Baker & Crawford

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17 1995; Gould et al. 2000; Karrh et al. 2001; Morton & Fr iedman 2002; Nelson et al., 2004). Baker and Crawford (1995) found that co nsumers exhibited higher levels of shortterm purchase intention for products embedde d in movies. Gould, Gupta, and GrabnerKruter (2000) and Karrh, Frith, and Callis on (2001) also supported the result that product placements positively in fluenced purchase intentions. Morton and Friedman (2002) explored the relationship between audience beliefs towards product placements and reported usage behavior. Their findings indicated a correlation between consumer evaluations and purchase intentions, while ethical beliefs were less likely to affect consumer beha viors. Nelson, Keum, and Yaros (2004) noted that attitudes toward product placements in games were found to have significant positive effects on the perceived influence of purchase intentions. Plot Connection: Degree of Brand Integration into Plot Russell (1998) developed a three-dime nsional framework for characterizing product placements: a) the level of visual placem ent, b) the level of auditory or verbal placement, and c) plot connection. The visual dimension, or screen placements, refers to the on-screen appearance of a brand, such as a corporate logo feat ured on a vehicle or billboard, the use of a brand as a set decoration, or even the appearance of real television commercials in the movie. The auditory or verbal dimension includes the mention of brands in a characters dialog. Auditory pl acements can range from no mention at all several references within the dialog. The third dimension is plot connection, or the degree to which the brand is integrated in the plot of the story. While lower plot placements do not contribute much to the story, higher plot placements play an important role in the storyline (Holbrook & Grayson 1986). Examples of higher plot placem ent are the use of AOL in the film Youve Got Mail, which was intimately tied to the plot and closely

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18 connected to the characters, much like us e of BMWs in James Bond films (Russell, 1998). Russell also studied plot connection in re lation to other variables. When high plot connection is combined with auditory placem ents, the effect is a higher level of persuasion. However, the effect is more me morable but less persua sive when high plot connections are combined with visual placem ents. Thus, the level of plot connection determines the significance of product pla cement in a narrative (Russell, 2002). How Involvement Influences Product Placement Effectiveness The concept of involvement has been expl ored by many scholars. Involvement is defined as a consumers perceived relevance of an object based on his/her inherent needs, values, and interests (Zaichokowsky, 1985); the psychological experiences of the motivated consumer (Celsi & Olson, 1988); or the consumers feelings of interest, enthusiasm, and excitement a bout specific product categories (Bloch, 1986). People may be involved with product categories (Zai chkowsky, 1985; Laurent & Kapferer, 1985), brands, ads (Andrews, Akhter, Durvasul a, & Muehling, 1992; Muehling & Laczniak, 1991), media (Feltham & Arnold, 1994; Tava ssoli, Shultz, & F itzsimons, 1995), and purchase decisions (Houst on & Rothschild, 1978). Involvement has been divided into three categories: a) personal involvement, including inherent in terests and values; b) physical involvemen t, such as object characteristics that increase interest; and c) situational involvement, or something that temporarily increases relevance or interest in the object (Bloch & Richins, 1983; Houston & Rothschild, 1978; Zaichkowsky, 1985). Krugman (1965) was the first to distingui sh between high and low involvement and propose that individuals may process inform ation differently under each condition. As the

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19 level of involvement increased, consumers pr oduced more elaborations and inferences and pay closer attention and exhibit a greater degree of in terest (Celsi & Olson, 1988). Researchers support the view that different variables a ffect persuasion under high and low involvement conditions. For example, when recipients have the motivation and ability to evaluate a message, they respond to the quality of the arguments presented (Petty & Cacioppo, 1979). This pr ocess is considered the cent ral route of persuasion. In contrast, if consumers are motivated but lack the ability to evaluate a message, they are likely to respond to the cues associated with messages, such as expe rtise or attractiveness of a message source (Petty, Cacioppo, & Goldman, 1981). This form of persuasion is called the peripheral route (Cacioppo & Pe tty, 1985). Weak messages are more persuasive in high-involvement conditions, wh ile strong messages are more persuasive in low-involvement conditions (Anand & Ster nthal, 1992). Similarly, strong arguments were found to be more persuasive and weak arguments less persuasive under moderate levels of physiological arousal (Sanbonmatsu & Kardes, 1988). The reasoning is that high involvement or arousal reduces the ability to think, thereby inhibi ting the formation of counterarguments for weak messages as opposed to inhibiting supporting arguments for strong messages (Cacioppo & Petty, 1985). Researchers have examined how the cont ext in which an advertisement appears affects consumer perceptions. Soldow and Principe (1981) studied the effect of the audience involvement with programs on their response to the commercials and found that ads aired during a high involvement program we re less effective than those aired during low involvement programs. Park and McClung (1986) identified the curvilinear relationship between program involvement and advertising involvement. However, as the

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20 viewer's degree of involvement with the program increased beyond a certain point, the degree of ad involvement decreased. In low to medium program involvement conditions, higher viewer involvement with commercials was reported. However, as the viewer's degree of involvement with the program incr eased beyond a certain point, the degree of ad involvement decreased. On the other hand, Feltham and Arnold (1994) found that greater program involvement correlate d with greater ad involvement. Hypotheses Table 2-1 shows the factoria l design of the experiment. As noted before, plot connection is defined as the degree to which a br and is integrated into the plot of a story. Table2-1. Experimental Design Involvement (Y1 & Y2) Higher Lower Plot Connection (X1 & X2) Prior Brand Evaluation Favorable Unfavorable Prior Brand Evaluation Favorable Unfavorable Main Effects for Plot Connection Higher (Cellular) A B C D X1> Lower (Kangaroo Jack) E F G H X2 Main Effects for Involvement Y1 > Y2 Main Effects for Previous Brand Evaluation Z1>Z2 Z1>Z2 Previous research asserted that the level of plot connection determines the role and significance of a product placement within a narrative (Russell, 2002). Product placements that are seamlessly integrated in to movie scenes yield positive consumer evaluations (dAstous & Chartier, 2000) and consumers better evaluate product

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21 placements within television programs when the product is clearly related to the contents of the program (dAstous and Sguin, 1999). Nelson (2002) re ported that brand placement recall was high for computer game s, and that recall was enhanced when featured brands were a major part of the game. The following hypothesis was developed based on the existing literature: H1: Subjects exposed to product placements with higher plot connection (X1) would exhibit more positive reactions to th e placed products than those exposed to product placements with lower plot connection (X2). H1a: Pleasure is higher in subjects exposed to higher plot connection placements. H1b: Arousal is higher in subjects exposed to higher plot connection placements. H1c: Attitude toward the placement is more positive in subjects exposed to higher plot connection placements. H1d: Attitude toward the target brand is more positive in subjects exposed to higher plot connection placements. H1e: Purchase intention is higher in subjec ts exposed to higher plot connection placements. Previous research has hypothesized th at high involvement leads to positive consumer evaluations of advertising. Involve d consumers feel that the products are especially relevant to thei r lives (Flynn & Goldsmith, 1993), and participants pay greater attention to and show greater interest in ads under high involvement conditions. Higher levels of involvement produce more elaborati on, and led to positive attitudes toward the advertisement and the brand (Celsi & Olson, 1988). When applied to product placements, highl y involved with consumers are more likely to pay attention to movi e scenes featuring a target pr oduct and tend to exhibit more

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22 positive reactions to the target brand than consumers with low product involvement. Thus, the following hypothesis was made. H2: Subjects with high product involveme nt (Y1) would exhi bit more positive reactions to the placed products than th ose with low product involvement (Y2). H2a: Pleasure is higher in subjects with relatively high involvement conditions. H2b: Arousal is higher in subjects with relatively high involvement conditions. H2c: Attitude toward the placement is more positive in subjects with relatively high involvement conditions. H2d: Attitude toward the target brand is more positive in subjects with relatively high involvement conditions. H2e: Purchase intention is higher in subj ects with relatively high involvement conditions. Chattopadhyay and Basu (1990) studied th e relationship between viewers prior brand evaluations and the effect s of humor in advertising. Th e results showed that when prior brand evaluations are favorable, a humorou s ad is more effective at enhancing brand attitude and choice behavior than a non-humorous ad. Howe ver, a non-humorous ad is more effective than a humorous ad when pr ior brand evaluations are unfavorable. In the same context, prior brand evaluation seem s to impact the eff ectiveness of product placements. H3: Subjects who expressed previously favorable attitudes toward the target brand (Z1) would exhibit more positive react ions to the placed products than those with previously unfavorable attitudes toward the target brand (Z2). H3a: Pleasure is higher in subjects with favor able attitudes toward the target brand. H3b: Arousal is higher in subjects with favor able attitudes toward the target brand.

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23 H3c: Attitude toward the placement is more positive in subjects with favorable attitudes toward the target brand. H3d: Attitude toward the target brand is more positive in subjects with favorable attitudes toward the target brand. H3e: Purchase intention is higher in subjec ts with favorable attitudes toward the target brand. RQ1: How do plot connection, co nsumer involvement, and prior brand evaluation interact to influence the effectiveness of product placement? Few results are available on the interac tive effects of plot connection, product involvement, and prior brand evaluation. Since it is difficult to find lo cate research or any theoretical accounts that might explain the interaction eff ect of those variables, the research question was proposed.

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24 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY To test the proposed hypotheses, a 2 (plo t connection: high vs. low) x 2 (product involvement: high vs. low) x 2 (previous at titude toward the brand: favorable vs. unfavorable) one betweenand two within-sub ject factorial design was implemented. Plot connection was manipulated by se lecting two movies that featured the same brand. In a higher plot connection condition, brands were fully integrated into the storyline and played a significant role in the plot, while lower plot connection c onditions consisted of mere background brand exposure. Pilot Study Procedure A total of 36 college students from the University of Florida participated in a pilot test to ensure that the plot connec tions worked successfully. Four movies, Kangaroo Jack, Cellular, Panic Room, and Heartbreaker were selected as stimuli. All movies included a scene in which the cell phone brand Nokia was us ed by an actor or exposed. Exposure times of the target brand were not si gnificantly different, and the total length of each movie scene was 90 seconds. Participants completed surveys that asked them to identify the degree of brand in tegration into the movie. Pilot Test Results Because scales measuring plot connecti on have not yet been established, three seven-point Likert-type item s anchored by strongly agre e and strongly disagree responses were invented: 1) Placed brand in the movie scene plays an important role in

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25 the movie plot; 2) Placed brand in the movie s cene is well integrated into the storyline; and 3) Placed brand in the movie scene const itutes a major thematic element. These items were invented based on the definition of plot connection, or the degree to which the brand is integrated into the plot (Russell, 1998). Mean scores for each movie were computed (Cronbachs alpha = .89) and are as follows: Cellular (M= 6.23), Heartbreaker (M= 3.65), Panic Room (M= 4.92), and Kangaroo Jack (M=3.23). One-way ANOVA was conducted to see if the mean di fference of four movies is si gnificant and significant result has been found [F (3, 144) = 11.75, p < .001]. The movie with the highest mean score, Cellular was identified as havi ng a high product-plot connec tion while the movie with the lowest score, Kangaroo Jack was identified as having a low product-plot connection. Main Study A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial experiment was desi gned with one betweenand two withinsubject variables: plot conn ection (high vs. low), product i nvolvement (high vs. low), and previous brand evaluation (fa vorable vs. unfavorable). The five key dependent variables were: a) arousal, b) pleasure, c) attitude toward the brand (AB), d) attitude toward the placements (APPL) and, e) purchase intention (PI). Sample Selection The experiment was conducted with undergra duates enrolled in advertising classes at the University of Florida. As an accessible and large popu lation, students are considered appropriate subjects. Furthermor e, they are a target market that watches between 20 and 36 movies a year, according to SMRB data. A total of 221 students (165 females and 56 males) participated in the study. Participants completed the experiment during their class session and received extra credit as compensation for their participation.

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26 Stimuli Development The cell phone brand Nokia was selected as the target brand because students in the subject pool were familiar with this product category and college students frequently use and show more interest in cell phones than any other group. High and low plot connection movies were selected from a pilo t study and a series of pretests. The films Cellular and Kangaroo Jack, were identified as high and low product-plot connections respectively. Total exposure time to both movie scenes was limited to 90 seconds. In the selected 90-second scene from the movie Cellular the main actor uses his cell phone to view a video clip of his girlfrie nd that he had previously recorded using the phone. While he is watching the image, he receives a call from a kidnapped woman who says she is in danger and asks for his help. Because she made a phone call from a scattered phone after many hours of attempting to reach anyone, neither she nor he can hang up the phone. This situation combined w ith the tense atmosphere implies that the cell phone will play an important role in the wh ole storyline of the movie. While the actor is watching the video clip and receiving a phone call, the Nokia br and name is clearly shown. In the movie clip from Kangaroo Jack, the two main actors have found the phone number of a pilot who will play an important role in solving their problems and saving their lives. While they are making a phone call to the pilot, a drunken man passes by them and falls to the ground. While they ar e making fun of the drunkard, they hear a ringing from the mans pocket and discover that he is the pilot they are trying to call. When one of the main actors pulls the cel l phone out of a drunken pilots pocket, the Nokia brand is displayed.

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27 Procedure Students were informed in a previous cla ss session that there would be an extra credit opportunity if they completed the st udy. To ensure the consistency of testing procedures in all the sessions, proctors follo wed detailed written directions. To measure participants prior attitudes toward the ta rget brand, the first proctor explained the purpose of the study and then distributed the su rvey including semantic differential scales of 20 brands including the ta rget brand. To ensure that the first and second study were totally different, a second proctor explained the procedures of th e study after the first proctor collected the survey, and randomly assigned students into two groups according to last digit of their student ID numbers Students with odd numbers were placed in Group 1 and shown the high product-plot connection film Cellular, and students with even numbers were placed in Group 2 and s hown the low product-plot connection movie Kangaroo Jack. A total of 221 subjects (110 viewing th e high product-plot connection movie and 111 viewing the low product-plot connection m ovie) participated in this study. Students were given the dependent measures booklet upon arriving for the film screenings. After completing the consent forms, the proctor showed them the selected 90 second movie scene. After watching the movie scene, subj ects began an emoti onal response task, and then described their attitude s toward the product placement, attitudes toward the target brand, and purchase intentions. After comp leting the questionnaire, subjects were debriefed and thanked for their participation. Independent Variables Product involvement. Viewers product involvement was used as a measured variable in this experiment. Five seven-point semantic diffe rential items were used to

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28 measure audience involvement (usele ss/useful, unintere sted/interested, worthless/valuable, unwanted/wanted undesirable/desirable) and a mean score was computed (Cronbachs alpha = .93). Scal es are adapted from Zaichkowskys (1985) Personal Involvement Inventory (PII) a nd McQauarrie and Munsons (1986) Revised Personal Involvement Inventory (RPII). S ubjects in the upper scale of the median (5.00/7) were categorized as the high involvement group and those in the lower scale of the median were categorized as the low involvement group. Prior brand evaluation. Previous brand attitudes were measured using four Likert-type scale items (I thi nk the quality of the product is good; I think the price of the product is satisfactory; I think the design of the product is excellent; My evaluation of Nokia is favorable.) which we re obtained from a different questionnaire administrated by a different investigator be fore the experiment. A mean score was computed (Cronbachs alpha = .81) and th en identified as favorable/unfavorable according to the upper/lower scale (Median=5.22/7). Dependent Variables The measurement tools used in this study ar e based on the literatu re review related to brand evaluation and plot connection as independent variables. The research used previously-developed scales, modified wh en necessary, to measure the following variables in the study: emotional response, at titude toward the placement, attitude toward the target brand, and purchase intention. Emotional response. To measure emotional response, both the verbal emotional scale suggested by Mehrabian and Russell (1974) and the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) developed by Lang (1984) were used. Th e measure consists of three different scales: a) Pleasure (measures the positive/negative aspect of the feeling), b) Arousal

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29 (measures the level of intensity or involvement in the feeling), and c) Dominance (measures the degree of empowerment the resp ondent feels). The PAD is composed of 18 semantic differential items representing 6 items in each dimension (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974). In this study, 3 items in each dimension were selected: happy/unhappy, pleased/annoyed, and satisfied/uns atisfied in the Pleasure di mension; stimulated/relaxed, excited/calm, and aroused/unaroused in the Arousal dimension; and controlling/controlled, influenced/influential, and cared-for/in control in the Dominance dimension. The SAM (Lang, 1984) is a graphic char acter used to represent the three dimensions of PAD (Figure 31). Initially, SAM was compared to verbal PAD employed by Mehrabian and Russell (1974) to standard ize the three PAD dimensions. The results indicated that SAM generated a similar pattern of scale values for these situations as was obtained for the semantic differential (Lang, 1980). Figure 3-1. Self Assessment Manikin

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30 Significant correlation for pl easure (.94), arousal (.93), and dominance (.83) were found between ratings generated by SAM and by th e semantic differential scales used by Mehrabian and Russell (1974). Therefore, onl y SAM scores were used in this study. Much of the attention given to the PAD fr amework has centered on the importance of the pleasure and arousal dimensions. This is becau se most advertising primarily affects these dimensions. Therefore, only pleasure and arousal scores were considered. Attitude toward the brand. Attitudes toward the target brand were measured using four nine-point semantic different ial scales (good/bad, beneficial/harmful, desirable/undesirable, and nice/awful) deve loped by Ahluwalia et al (2000). The brand attitude scale was consolidated into a si ngle measure by computing a mean (Cronbachs alpha = .93). Attitude toward the placement. Attitudes toward the product placements were measured using four seven-point semantic differential scales ( unfavorable/favorable, unlikable/likable, bad/good, a nd unpleasant/pleasant). A mean score was computed using these four items (Cronbachs alpha = .95). Purchase intention. Purchase intent was measured using Haley and Cases (1979) Verbal Purchase Intent Scale. The scale is a three-item Likert-type scale (unlikely/likely, impossible/possible, and improbable/probable). In the analysis the average score will be used (Cronbachs alpha = .93).

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31 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Independent sample t-tests were conducte d to ensure that subjects in the two groups categorized by their leve ls of product involvement (h igh/low) are significantly different. The results indicated that high and low involvement groups are different. Also, t-tests showed that favorable and unfavor able prior brand evaluation groups are significantly different. Therefore, product involvement and prior brand evaluation functioned as intended independent variables. Group Differences Product Involvement Table 4-1 shows that the mean scores for the high and low involvement groups were significantly different ( M low = 4.09, SD = .97; M high = 5.93, SD = .56; t = -15.67, df = 219, p < .001). Prior Brand Evaluation Table 4-2 shows that the mean scores for the favorable and unfavorable brand attitude groups were si gnificantly different ( M unfavorable = 4.64, SD = .70; M favorable = 6.07, SD = .51; t = -16.86, df = 219, p < .001). The number of subjects in the unfavor able prior brand evaluation group ( n = 122) was higher than the number of people in the favorable prior brand evaluation group ( n =99). This suggests that subjec ts in this study held generally favorable attitudes toward the Nokia brand.

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32 Data Analysis Our purpose was to see how plot connec tion, consumer product involvement, and prior brand evaluations impact the effec tiveness of product pl acement in terms of emotional response, attitudes toward the pla cement, attitude toward the target brand, and purchase intentions. Descriptive Statistics Table 4-3 shows descriptive st atistics of all items in questionnaires. The descriptive results provide a summary of variables th at are important in later analyses. Test of Hypothesis Plot Connection Hypothesis 1: Subjects exposed to product placeme nts with higher plot connection would exhibit more positive reactions to the placed produc ts than those exposed to product placements with lower plot connection. Based on the literature review, it was assu med that plot connection would affect emotional response, attitudes toward the placement, attitude changes, and purchase intentions. ANOVA was conducted to test the effect of pl ot connection on dependent variables. As Table 4-4 shows, statistical differences in pl ot connection between high and low plot connection groups were found for ar ousal (p <.001) and at titude toward the target brand (p <.001). As shown in Table 4-5, the high plot connection group exhibited higher arousal levels than the low plot connection group ( Mhigh = 6.28, SD = 1.75, Mlow = 4.59, SD = 1.68) and more positive attitude s toward the target brand ( Mhigh = 4.97, SD = 1.07, Mlow = 4.23, SD = 1.19). Therefore, Hypotheses 1b a nd 1d were supported. These results

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33 illustrate that regardless of a brand's level of integration into the plot, viewer attitudes toward product placement and purchas e intentions were not affected. Level of Involvement Hypothesis 2: Subjects in high involvement conditions would exhibit more positive reactions to the placed products th an those in low involvement conditions. To test Hypothesis 2, ANOVA test wa s run to measure the influence of involvement on emotional response, attitudes to ward the placement, attitude change, and purchase intentions. As Table 4-4 demonstrates, statistical differences between high and a low involvement groups were found for pleasure ( p <.001), arousal ( p <.01), attitudes toward placements ( p <.001), attitude toward the target brand ( p <.001), and purchase intentions ( p <.001). As shown in Table 4-5, the high product involvement group exhibited higher pleasure levels than the low product involvement group ( Mhigh = 6.16, SD = 1.67, Mlow = 5.04, SD = 1.59), as well as higher arousal levels ( Mhigh = 5.97, SD = 1.85, Mlow = 4.87, SD = 1.80), more positive attitudes toward placements ( Mhigh = 5.33, SD = .98, Mlow = 3.97, SD = 1.18), more positive attitude towards the target brand ( Mhigh = 5.29, SD = .95, Mlow = 3.89, SD = .98), and higher purchase intentions ( Mhigh = 4.53, SD = 1.29, Mlow = 3.18, SD = 1.28). Thus, Hypothesis 2 was supported. These results indicate that the level of consumers product involvement influences the effectiveness of product placement. Prior Brand Evaluation Hypothesis 3: Subjects who previously expresse d favorable attitudes toward the target brand would exhibit more positive reactions to the pl aced products than those with previously unfavorable attit udes toward the target brand.

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34 In this experiment, only stat istically significant differences in attitude toward the target brand ( p <.001) and purchase intentions ( p <.001) were found between the favorable and unfavorable groups. As shown in Table 4-5, the favorable prior brand evaluation group exhibited more positive attitudes toward the target brand than the unfavorable prior br and evaluation group ( Mfavorable = 4.81, SD = 1.23, Munfavorable = 4.34, SD = 1.10) and higher purchase intentions ( Mfavorable = 4.17, SD = 1.43, Mlow = 3.48, SD = 1.39). Thus, Hypotheses 3d and 3e were supporte d. These results showed that regardless of participant attitudes toward brands prior to product placement exposure, viewers are likely to exhibit the same amount of emotional response and attitude toward the product. Research Question: Interaction Effects of Plot Connection, Product Involvement, and Prior Brand Evaluation Limited previous research on the effec tiveness of product placement empirically tested the three-way in teraction effects of plot connec tion, involvement level, and prior brand evaluation. Therefore, a re search question was proposed. RQ1: How do plot connection, consumer product involvement, and prior brand evaluation interact to influence the effectiveness of product placement? To answer this research question, a MANOVA test using emotional response, attitudes toward the pl acement, attitude toward the targ et brand, and purchase intentions as dependent variables was conducted (Table 4-6). As the results in Table 4-5 show, a significant three-way interacti on effect was found for two depe ndent variables: attitude toward the placement ( F = 4.95, p < .05), and purchase intention ( F = 3.94, p <.05). Figures 4-1 and 4-2 provide a graphical re presentation of the three-way interaction effects.

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35 For those under the high-involvement c ondition who had favorable prior brand evaluations, the high plot connection placemen t yielded more positive attitudes toward placements than the low plot connection placement. Under the low involvement condition, however, low plot connection pl acements generated more positive attitudes toward placements (Figure 4-1). The results di ffered for those who had unfavorable prior brand evaluations. Under the high invol vement condition, the high and low plot connection placements do not lead to differe nces in product placement attitudes. Under the low involvement condition, however, high plot connection placements generate more positive attitudes toward the product placemen t than low plot connection placements. There is an interaction effect on purchas e intention. For thos e who had favorable prior brand evaluations, the high plot conn ection placement generated higher purchase intentions than low plot connection pl acements under both high and low involvement condition. The mean differences between high and low plot connection were very small (Figure 4-2). Results differ ed, however, for those who had unfavorable prior brand evaluations. In other words, under the high involvement condition, the high plot connection placement generated higher purchase intentions than the low plot connection placement; but under the low involvement c ondition, the low plot connection placement generated higher purchase intentions than the high plot connection placement. Table 4-1. Mean difference of Product Involvement Measure Treatment N Mean SD t df Low 112 4.09 .97 Product Involvement High 109 5.93 .56 -15.67*** 219 Note. Items in the involvement scale were measure d on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 7 (very much). *** p < .001

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36 Table 4-2. Mean Difference of Prior Brand Evaluation Measure Treatment N Mean SD t df Unfavorable 122 4.64 .70 Prior Brand Evaluation Favorable 99 6.07 .51 -16.86*** 219 Note. Items in the brand evaluation scale were measured on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). *** p < .001 Table 4-3. Means and Standard Deviations of All Items Items Variables M SD I think the quality of Nokia is good 5.50 1.05 I think the price of Nokia is satisfactory 4.84 1.25 I think the design of Nokia is excellent 5.30 1.28 My evaluation of Nokia is favorable Prior Brand Evaluation 5.39 1.13 Pleasure 5.61 1.72 Arousal 5.43 1.90 Dominance Emotional Response 5.05 1.49 Useless/Useful 5.11 1.29 Uniterested/Interested 4.74 1.35 Worthless/Valuable 4.89 1.39 Unwanted/Wanted 4.52 1.45 Irrelevant/Relevant Product Involvement 4.61 1.45 Unfavorable/Favorable 4.77 1.42 Unlikable/Likable 4.64 1.38 Bad/Good 4.66 1.36 Unpleasant/Pleasant Attitude toward Placements 4.57 1.30 Unattractive/Attractive 4.63 1.32 Unlikable/Likable 4.67 1.24 Bad/Good 4.63 1.25 Boring/Interesting Attitude toward the Target Brand 4.47 1.44 Unlikely/Likely 3.70 1.57 Impossible/Possible 4.21 1.52 Improbable/Probable Purchase Intentions 3.68 1.57 Note: Scales for mean scores for Emotional R esponse are from 1 to 9 with 9 being most positive. All other mean scores are from 1 to 7 with 7 being most positive. n =221.

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37 Table 4-4. Univariate Results of Plot Conn ection, Product Involvement, and Prior Brand Evaluation on Placement Effectiveness Variables Independent Variables Dependent Variables MS d.f F Main Effects Pleasure 0.07 1 0.02 Arousal 116.32 1 40.70*** APPL 1.15 1 1.01 AB 6.713 1 7.815** Level of Plot Connection PI 0.53 1 0.34 Pleasure 61.12 1 22.67*** Arousal 24.51 1 8.58** APPL 84.21 1 73.96*** AB 80.67 1 93.91*** Level of Involvement PI 85.24 1 55.59*** Pleasure 2.40 1 0.89 Arousal 0.72 1 0.25 APPL 0.47 1 0.42 AB 8.42 1 9.81*** Prior Brand Evaluation PI 16.66 1 10.87*** 3-way Interaction Effects Pleasure 4.14 1 1.54 Arousal 1.18 1 0.41 APPL 5.64 1 4.95* AB 0.12 1 0.14 Level of Plot Connection X Level of Involvement X Prior Brand Evaluation PI 6.04 1 3.94* Note: Scales for mean scores for Pleasure and Arou sal are from 1 to 9 with 9 being most positive. All other mean scores are from 1 to 7 with 7 being most positive. n =221. *** p <.001, ** p <.01, p <.05

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38 Table 4-5. Means and Standard Deviat ions by Different Treatment Condition Dependent Variables Mean (SD) Treatment Pleasure Arousal APPL AB PI High 5.77(1.96) 6.28 (1.75) 4.94(1.32) 4.97 (1.07) 4.10(1.41) Plot connection Low 5.44(1.44) 4.59 (1.68) 4.39(1.18) 4.23 (1.19) 3.63(1.45) High 6.16 (1.67) 5.97 (1.85) 5.33 (0.98) 5.29 (0.95) 4.53 (1.29) Involvement Low 5.04 (1.59) 4.87 (1.80) 3.97 (1.18) 3.89 (0.98) 3.18 (1.28) Favora ble 5.68(1.80) 5.40(1.90) 4.77(1.42) 4.81 (1.23) 4.17 (1.43) Previous Brand Evaluation Unfavo rable 5.52(1.62) 5.46(1.92) 4.52(1.07) 4.34 (1.10) 3.48 (1.39) Note: Scales for mean scores for Arousal and Pleasu re are from 1 to 9 with 9 being most positive. All other mean scores are from 1 to 7 with 7 being most positive. n =221. Table 4-6. Multivariate Results Treatments Dependent Variables Wilks Lambda F d.f Level of Plot Connection .790 9.24*** Level of Involvement .614 21.81*** Prior Brand Evaluation .888 4.38*** Level of Plot Connection X Level of Involvement X Prior Brand Evaluation Pleasure, Arousal, Dominance, APPL, AB, and PI .896 4.02*** (6,208) Note: *** p <.001

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39 Figure 4-1. Significant 3-way Interactions on Attitude toward Placement. A) Attitude toward the targeted brand at prior brand evaluation is favorable. B) Attitude toward the targeted brand at prio r brand evaluation is unfavorable. Low High Level of Involvement 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 Estimated Marginal Means Low HighLevel of Plot Connection A Low High Level of Involvement 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 Estimated Marginal Means Low HighLevel of Plot Connection B

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40 Figure 4-2. Significant 3-way Inte ractions on Purchase Intenti on. A) Purchase intention at prior brand evaluation is favorable. B) Purchase intention at prior brand evaluation is unfavorable. Low High Level of Involvement 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 Estimated Marginal Means Low HighLevel of Plot Connection Low High Level of Involvement 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 Estimated Marginal Means Low HighLevel of Plot Connection A B

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41 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION Summary of Results This study was designed to identify the imp act that various conditions and variables have on the effectiveness of product placemen ts. The results identify the effect that product placement variables have on consumer emotional response, attitude toward placements, attitude toward the target brand, and purchase intentions. First, the effects of plot connection were only significant for two dependent variables-arousal and attitude toward the ta rget brand. These results indicated that the brand's level of integration into the plot do not affect viewer attitudes toward the placement and purchase intentions. It seems that high level of plot connection might affect some parts of viewers emotions and brand evaluations, but it has limited power in influencing attitude toward the placement or altering their purchase intentions. Second, statistical differences between the high and low involvement groups were noted for the all dependent variables: pleasur e, arousal, attitudes toward the placement, attitude toward the target brand, and purchase intentions. These results show that a consumer's level of involvement does influe nce the effectiveness of product placement and has more power than other variables in determining the effectiveness of product placements. Third, statistically significant differences were found in attitude toward the target brand and purchase intentions between th e favorable and unfavorable groups. These results indicate that regardless of participant attitudes toward brands prior to exposure to

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42 the placement, viewers were likely to exhibi t the same emotional responses and attitudes toward the product placement. The product placeme nt seems to play a role as reinforcing evaluations and purchase inten tions of consumers who already have positive attitude toward the target brand not generate new emo tions or change attitudes of consumers who had unfavorable attitude toward the brand. Forth, the test identified significant three-wa y interaction effects on attitude toward the placement and purchase intentions. For subjects who had a favorable attitude toward the target brand prior to the exposure a nd high product involvement, the high plot connection generated more positive effects in terms of both attitudes toward the placement and purchase intentions. For those who had unfavorable prior brand evaluation and high product involvement, however, the degree of plot connec tion either did not result in any differences or a low plot c onnection generated more positive effects. Also, for those who have low product i nvolvement, whether they demonstrate favorable or unfavorable prio r brand evaluations, the degree of plot connection did not show many differences or low plot connecti on generated more posi tive attitudes toward the placement. These results are consistent with prev ious research dealing with product involvement (Zaichkowsky, 1985; Laurent & Kapf erer, 1985) that indi cate that personal involvement or relevance of the object in th e communication is necessary before there is active attention to the co mmunication (Zaichkowsky, 1985). In order for viewers to positively respond to the placement and also fo r the high plot connection to be more effective, viewers high involvement should be previously established.

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43 Managerial Implications The results of this study will offer mark eters and advertising agencies useful insights into using product pl acement strategies as a marketing communication tool. The results of this study suggest that many factors should be accounted for when evaluating the effectiveness of a placement. The most common measure of product placement effectiveness has been consumer memory (B abin & Carder, 1996; dAstous & Sguin, 1999; Gupta & Lord 1998; Karrh, 1995; Ne lson, 2002; Vollmers & Mizerski, 1994). This study investigated the effectiveness of product placements on attitude toward the target brand and purchase intentions, and the re sults provided some significant findings. This study showed that the level of product involvement plays an important role in determining the effectiveness of product pl acement under all circ umstances (high/low plot connection and favorable/unfavorable prior brand evaluations) studied in this research. In other words, a high plot connection does not in fluence the effectiveness of product placement if consumers po ssess low product involvement. Results from previous research concer ning the influence of plot connection on viewers arousal level and attitudes toward the target brand indicate that product placements that are highly integrated in to movie scenes yield positive consumer evaluations (dAstous & Chartier, 2000). However, this study did not find any distinctive correlation between plot connection and view ers attitudes toward the placement and purchase intentions. This result conflicts with dAstous and Sguins (1999) stance that consumers more positively evaluate product pl acements within television programs when the product is highly related to the contents of the program. These conflicting results can be attributed to the confounding variables su ch as viewers prior exposure to the movie scenes or attitude toward the movi e itself or actors/actresses.

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44 In addition, viewers prior brand evaluation did not seem to affect arousal and pleasure levels and attitude toward placements. The fact that subjects previously had favorable attitude towards the target brand generated more positive attitude toward the brand and purchase intentions imply that th e product placement strategies were more effective to enhance brand evaluations and purchase inte ntions for those who with positive attitude toward the target brand. It is plausible since product placement is an unobtrusive and non-persuasive manner of communication tool, placement seems to reinforce evaluation and purchase intentions of consumers who already have favorable brand evaluation rather create or change attitudes of viewer s who have negative attitude toward the target brand. Therefore, when developing product pl acement strategies and evaluating the results, marketing practitioners must id entify and understand the target audience, including their psychographic and behavioral characteristics such as brand loyalty, product involvement, and at titude toward the brand (Russell & Belch, 2005). Furthermore, practitioners should examine the synergetic relationship between product placements and other types of ma rketing communication tools and integrate product placements into overall communicati on strategies and medi a plans (DeLorme & Reid, 1999; Russell & Belch, 2005) Like other media, the effectiveness of product placements should be assessed against the object ives set, whether it is brand awareness, or building brand image. Theref ore, it seems that standards to measure the effectiveness of product placement other than mere exposure must be established. The overall implications of this study fo r advertisers and marketing communication researchers and practitioners are that, when attempting to evalua ting effectiveness of

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45 product placements and planning product pla cement strategies, they would need to consider viewers differences includi ng consumer involvement and prior brand evaluations. In addition, when planning produc t placement strategies, it would be useful to consider the key role of degree of plot connection. Limitations and Future Research The limitations of this study suggest a numbe r of issues for future research. The first limitation involves the study participants, who were restricted to college students. Although this sample was appropriate for a study on product placement, the results may differ for other subjects. One criticism of us ing students as respondent s is that they are often unfamiliar with the task required (G augler & Thornton, 1989). In addition, students from the Southern region of the U.S. may be different from students in other geographic locations. Thus, future research should investigate a wider demographic base to generalize the results across segments. Furthermore, viewers prior exposure to the movie was not measured, and people who were previously exposed to the movie we re not excluded. The pa rticipants who were previously exposed to the movie and know the whole storyline might have different reactions to the clip than those who watch the clip for the first time. Also there was not an item that asks participants in they presen tly own a Nokia cell phone. Nokia users might have different purchase intentions. Even t hough they positively reacted to the placement and demonstrated a positive attitude toward the brand, they might show lower purchase intentions. The second limitation of the study is associ ated with the artificial environment of the experiment. The classroom atmosphere c oupled with viewers short exposure to the

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46 scenes could have led respondents to pay clos er attention to the placements than they would have in a natural ho me or theater setting. The third study limitation is related to selection of stimuli. In the pretest, only the degree of plot connection was measured. Ot her confounding variables such as viewers attitude toward the movie itself, attitude to ward the main actor/actress, or pleasure and arousal level to the movie were not controlled. Yet another limitation of this study relate s to the product category. Cell phones are a relatively high involvement pr oduct category and results could vary with the use of a low involvement product category. Finally, the method of measuring depende nt variables in the study could be improved. Because all the dependent variables in this study were measured right after the placements were shown to the respondents, im portant long-term effects went unanalyzed. DeLorme and Reid (1999) mentioned the long-term effects of product placement on memory. Therefore, future re search should consider evalua ting the long-term effects of product placement. Also, assessing viewers attitude changes after exposure to the product placement might genera te interesting results.

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47 APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE Dear Participant, I am a Master student at the University of Fl orida. Under the supe rvision of Dr. Weigold, I am exploring product placement in the movie for my thesis. The information from you will not be released to anybody. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. You have the right to withdraw consent fo r participation at any time without consequence. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants of this study. If you have any questions a bout this research pr otocol, please contact SeoYoon Choi at 846-1060 Description: You are invited to evaluate the product placemen t in the movie. Procedures: First, you will be watched the vide o clip. Next, you will be asked to evaluate the placed product in the video presentation. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: Seoyoon Choi, master student, G035 Weimer Hall, College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Phone number: 35 2-846-1060, E-mail: arashys@ufl.edu UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250, 3920433 I have read and understand the above informati on. I agree to participate in the research. I have received a copy of this description. __________________________ _____________ _______ Print Name of Participant UF ID Date Gender: __________Female ____________ Male

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48 You will watch the video clip. Movie Scene: Cellular Q1: It is your first impressions, the immediate feelings about the item s that we want. On the other hand, please do not be careless, becau se we want your true impressions. How do you feel about the Movie Scene? Q: Pleasure p-1). Happy :_____:_ ____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Unhappy +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 p-2). Pleased :_____:_ ____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Annoyed +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 p-3). Satisfied :_____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____: Unsatisfied +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 Q: Arousal a-1). Stimulated :_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Relaxed +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 a-2). Excited : _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Calm +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 a-3). Aroused :_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Unaroused +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3

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49 Q: Dominance d-1) Controlled :_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Controlling +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 d-2) Influenced :_____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____: Influential +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 d-3) Cared-for :_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____: In Control +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 Q2. Product Involvement Work at fairly high speed through this que stionnaire. Do not wo rry or puzzle over individual items. Please place a checkmark to the number what thoughts and feelings went through your mind about cell phones. 1) Useless :____: ____:____:____:____:____:____: Useful -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 2) Uninterested :____:____:____:____:____:____:____: Interested -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 3) Worthless :____:_ ___:____:____:____:____:____: Valuable -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 4) Unwanted :____:_ ___:____:____:____:____:____: Wanted -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 5) Irrelevant :____: ____:____:____:____:____:____: Relevant -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 Q3: Evaluation of the Product Placement strategy in the Movie On the scales below, Please place a checkma rk above the number between the adjectives which best represents your view about th e movie including product placement. Product placement in the movie would be --------- 1) Unfavorable :_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____: Favorable -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 2) Unlikable :_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Likable -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 3) Bad :_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Good -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 4) Unpleasant :_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Pleasant -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3

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50 Q4: Evaluation of the Placed Brand (Nokia) How much the placed brand through the movie scene affects you to remember it in future? I felt about the placed brand in the movie scene is ------- 1) Unattractive :_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____: Attractive -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 2) Unlikable :_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Likable -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 3) Bad :_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Good -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 4) Boring :_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Interesting -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 Q5: Purchase Intention All things considered, if you are planning to purchase this placed product (Nokias product) in the movie scene on one of your next trips to a store, what are the chances that you would purchase this advertised product if it can be available? 1) Unlikely : _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Likely -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 2) Impossible :_____:_ ____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Possible -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 3) Improbable :_____:_ ____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: Probable -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 Thank you so much!

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58 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Seoyoon Choi was born in South Korea in 1981. She double majored at ChungAng University in Seoul, Korea, earning both a Bachelor of Adver tising and a B.A. in psychology. She came to the University of Flor ida in August 2004 to pur sue a Master of Advertising. She plans to start her doctoral studies at the University of South Carolina starting in the Fall of 200 6.


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EFFECTIVENESS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT: THE ROLE OF PLOT
CONNECTION, VIEWER INVOLVEMENT, AND PRIOR BRAND EVALUATION

















By

SEOYOON CHOI


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ADVERTISING

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2007



























Copyright 2007

by

Seoyoon Choi

































To my parents, DukSoon Choi and MiOk Kim















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The successful completion of this study could not have been realized without the

assistance of some important people. First of all, I am sincerely grateful to my chair, Dr.

Michael Weigold, for his support and guidance in carrying out this thesis. I am also

thankful to Dr. Chang-Hoan Cho and Dr. Jorge Villegas for serving as my committee

members and for their invaluable advice and caring.

I extend my special gratitude to my parents, DukSoon Choi and MiOk Kim, my

best consultants and pillars of support throughout my life. My accomplishments are the

culmination of their life-long belief in me. They have stood behind me and never doubted

anything I have done. Without their unwavering love and guidance, I would not have

completed this thesis. I also want to give my special thanks to my brother, JaeSeo Choi,

for his caring and advice.

I'd like to thank the Korean Gators in journalism and communications, who always

motivated and encouraged me thorough my years at the University of Florida. Also my

gratitude goes to all the people who cared for and prayed for me.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES .......................... ......... ........... ................. vii

LIST O F FIG U R E S ......................................................... ......... .. ............. viii

ABSTRACT .............. ......................................... ix

CHAPTER

1 IN TRODU CTION ................................................. ...... .................

2 L ITER A TU R E R E V IEW .................................................................. .....................4

Definition of Product Placem ent ............................................................. ............4
Product Placem ent M arket......................................... .................................. 6
Product Placem ent H history .................................................. .............. ............... 7
New Territory for Product Placements....................................................................9
How Product Placement Works: The Psychological Process............... ..................11
Attitudes tow ard the Product Placem ent................................................... ............... 12
Cross-Cultural Analysis of Attitudes toward Product Placement.............................13
Effectiveness of Product Placem ent .................................... ..................................... 14
Memory- and Attitude-Based Effectiveness ........................................... 14
Behavioral Intention Based Effectiveness.....................................16
Plot Connection: Degree of Brand Integration into Plot ...........................................17
How Involvement Influences Product Placement Effectiveness..............................18
H ypotheses ................................................. 20

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 24

P ilo t S tu d y ................................................................2 4
P procedure .................................................................................................. ........24
Pilot Test R results ............................................. ........ ..... ...............24
M ain Stu dy .......................................................................................... 2 5
S am ple S election .............................. ......................... ... ...... .... ..... ...... 2 5
Stim uli D evelopm ent.......... ..... ................................................ .... ...... 26
P ro c e d u re ................................................................................. 2 7




v









Independent V ariables ............................................................ ............... 27
D ep en d ent V ariab les ........................................ .............................................2 8

4 R E S U L T S ....................................................................................... 3 1

D ata A nalysis................................................... 32
D descriptive Statistics ............................................................. 32
Test of Hypothesis ....................................................................... ... .......... ..... .......... 32
P lo t C o n n e ctio n ............................................................................................. 3 2
Level of Involvem ent ............................................................. 33
Prior Brand Evaluation ............ ............... ............ ................33
Research Question: Interaction Effects of Plot Connection, Product Involvement,
and Prior Brand Evaluation.............................. ...............34

5 CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION ...........................................41

Sum m ary of Results.............................................. 41
M an ag erial Im plication s ....................................................................................... 4 3
Limitations and Future Research ..................... .............. .......... 45

APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE.................................. .......... 47

LIST OF REFERENCES .................................................................... .... ......... ..................51

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .................................... ........................ .... 58
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

2-1 Experim mental D design ........................................................................... 20

4-1 Mean difference of Product Involvement................ ......................................35

4-2 Mean Difference of Prior Brand Evaluation .........................................................36

4-3 Means and Standard Deviations of All Items...................................................36

4-4 Univariate Results of Plot Connection, Product Involvement, and Prior Brand
Evaluation on Placement Effectiveness Variables............................................37

4-5 Means and Standard Deviations by Different Treatment Condition......................38

4-6 M ultivariate R results ....................... .. ........................ .. ....... ........ ........... 38
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure p

3-1 Self Assessment M anikin ....... .... .... .......... ................. ............... 29

4-1 Significant 3-way Interactions on Attitude toward Placement..............................39

4-2 Significant 3-way Interactions on Purchase Intention..............................40















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Advertising

EFFECTIVENESS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT: THE ROLE OF PLOT
CONNECTION, VIEWER INVOLVEMENT, AND PRIOR BRAND EVALUATION

By

Seoyoon Choi

May 2007

Chair: Michael F. Weigold
Major Department: Advertising

Severe audience fragmentation and message clutter in traditional media outlets

have led marketers and advertisers to consider alternative tools and means of

communication. Among these new marketing communication approaches, product

placement has been utilized frequently.

The purpose of this study is to explore how different variables impact the

effectiveness of product placement in order to provide marketers with insights into

planning product placement strategies.

To test the proposed hypotheses, a 2 (plot connection: high vs. low) x 2 (product

involvement: high vs. low) x 2 (previous attitude toward the brand: favorable vs.

unfavorable) mixed factorial design was implemented.

Results showed that the high plot-connection group exhibited higher arousal levels

and more positive attitudes toward the target brand than did the low plot connection

group. Also, when compared to the low product-involvement group, the high product-









involvement group exhibited higher pleasure levels, higher arousal levels, more positive

attitudes toward placements, more positive attitudes towards the target brand, and higher

purchase intention. In terms of prior brand evaluations, the favorable prior brand

evaluation group exhibited more positive attitudes toward the target brand and higher

purchase intentions than did the unfavorable prior brand evaluation. Furthermore, a

significant three-way interaction effect was found for two dependent variables:

consumers' attitudes toward the product placement and purchase intention.

The results of this study will provide marketers and advertising agencies with

useful insights into using product placement strategies as a marketing communication

tool. In addition, the results suggest that many factors should be considered when

evaluating the effectiveness of a placement














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The more severe audience fragmentation and message clutter become in traditional

media outlets, the more marketers and advertisers must consider alternative ways to

advertise products or services. Among the new marketing communication tools, product

placement has been utilized frequently. Product placement is attractive to manufacturers

because their brands are placed "in a realistic dramatic setting in which the viewer is

already emotionally involved" (Maslin, 1982). As a result, audiences are exposed to

products in less distracted environments and become familiar with the brands over a

longer period of time (Turcotte, 1995). Product placement has been utilized for over 100

years, but grew sharply in use between 1978 and 1981 when movie producers became

aware of the commercial value of product placement (Brennan et al., 1999; Segrave,

2004). After the legendary placement of Reese's Pieces candy in the 1982 film E. T.,

marketers' understanding of product placement changed. Thereafter, product placement

expanded to become a highly prevalent marketing tactic featured not only on television

and in movies but also in books, songs, video games, and web blogs.

Previous research on product placement has focused on consumer perceptions and

acceptance of product placements, or the placement of ethically charged products

(d'Astous & Seguin, 1999; Gupta & Gould, 1997; Morton & Freedman, 2002). The

effectiveness of product placement has also been analyzed in terms of recognition, recall,

and consumer attitudes (Babin & Carder, 1996; Brennan, Dubas, & Babin, 1999).

However, few studies measure the effectiveness of product placements in terms of









purchase intentions (Gould, Gupta, & Krabner-Krauter, 2000; Karrh, Frith, & Callison,

2001). Therefore, this study examined the effects of product placement in terms of

consumers' purchase intentions, emotional responses, attitudes toward placement, and

attitude toward the target brand.

Researchers have manipulated a variety of variables in an effort to understand the

effectiveness of product placements. Those variables contain prominence and mode (i.e.,

audio, visual, and audiovisual) (Gupta & Lord, 1998); product category (Gupta & Gould,

1997); sponsor image (i.e., positive, negative, or neutral); program genre (i.e.,

quiz/variety, mini-series/drama, and information/service); and sponsor-program congruity

(d'Astous & Seguin, 1999). Gupta and Gould (1997) studied the impact of individual

differences, such as gender and movie-viewing frequency, on the acceptability of product

placements.

Audience involvement also influences the effectiveness of a product placement.

Higher product involvement in the plot of a television program tends to reduce viewer

involvement with the commercial (Park & McClung, 1986). One might expect a product

that is highly involved in the storyline to enhance the effects of product placement, since

the audience's involvement in the story would translate to their involvement with a

product that is important to the plot (McCarty, 2003). Therefore, product involvement

was examined in this study to identify its moderating effect on product placement.

Limited research has analyzed how consumer attitudes toward brands affect

product placements. However, researchers in the advertising field have studied how prior

consumer attitudes towards brands impact the effectiveness of advertising. For instance,

Chattopadhyay and Basu (1990a) studied the relationship between viewers' prior brand









evaluations and the use of humor in advertising. The results revealed that when a

consumer's prior brand evaluation is favorable, a humorous ad is more effective in

enhancing brand attitude and choice behavior as compared to a non-humorous ad. When

a consumer's prior brand evaluation is unfavorable, however, humorous ads were less

likely to enhance brand attitude and choice behavior. Likewise, consumers' prior brand

evaluations seem to impact the effectiveness of product placements.

Marketers focus on finding the best vehicle to feature products or brands that will

ensure a high return on investment. Thus, it is important for marketers to know how

audience responses to products differ depending on movie genre, the duration of product

exposure, the modality of product placement (audio/visual), and varying degrees of

product connection to the plot. More variables are likely to affect audience responses to

product placements, such as product involvement, viewers' moods while watching the

movie, and whether or not the viewer saw the film in a theater or at home. Among these

variables, the degree of a product's integration into a storyline, audience involvement,

and prior brand evaluations were selected to understand the effectiveness of product

placements.

Thus, the purpose of this study is to identify a) how the degree of product-plot

connection affects consumer reactions to product placements b) how product involvement

affects viewer reactions to product placements c) how viewers' previous brand

evaluations influence their reactions to placements.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Definition of Product Placement

Product placement is defined as "a paid product message aimed at influencing

movie (or television) audiences via the planned and unobtrusive entry of a branded

product into a movie (or television program)" (Balasubramanian, 1994, p. 29). The

advertising encyclopedia AdAge defines product or brand placement as a "form of

advertising in which brand-name products, packages, signs and corporate names are

intentionally positioned in motion pictures and TV programs." Karrh (1998) broadened

the territory of product placements to include all forms of mass media when he defined

product placements as a "paid inclusion of branded products or brand identifiers, through

audio and/or visual means, within mass media programming."

Though integrated or branded entertainment is used interchangeably with product

placements, some researchers distinguish one from the other. According to Caraciolli-

Davis (2005), product placement is mere product exposure via a simple visual/audio

presence in a program, while brand integration involves product participation in a

program's story as a device to enhance plot or character interactions or provide a sense of

realism. Ultimately, "brands are irreplaceably woven into entertaining content-across

any number of contact points-and are invited by audiences as welcome components of

media consumption and interaction" in branded entertainment (Caraciolli-Davis, 2005,

p.11).









Some researchers have compared product placements to conventional advertising

methods (Balausbramanian, 1994; DeLorme & Reid, 1999; Wasko & Phillips, 1993), but

product placements differ from traditional advertising in that they do not interrupt the

consumer's media experience (Balasubramanian, 1994), are not always paid for (Wasko

& Phillips, 1993), and may not be perceived by consumers as commercial messages

(DeLorme & Reid, 1999). According to Nebenzahl and Jaffe (1998), product placement

is different from conventional advertising in two ways: a) the extent to which the sponsor

of the message is disguised and b) the extent to which the persuasive message is

secondary to the main message. In traditional modes of advertising, the sponsor is clear to

the audience and the persuasive message is primary to the communication. In product

placement, a product is presented in the context of a story without an explicit attempt to

persuade the audience and the persuasive effort is secondary to communication.

The three types of product placements-gratis arrangements, barter arrangements,

and paid placements-are distinguished by financial compensation. Gratis arrangements

refer to product placements that strengthen character images or increase the level of

credibility or realism in a narrative. An example of a gratis arrangement can be found in

the use of Raid, an ant killer brand by SC Johnson Company, in the HBO series The

Sopranos (Neer, 2003). According to Therese Van Ryne, a spokesperson for SC Johnson,

the company did not arrange for the use of their product on the show (McCarty, 2002).

This arrangement differs from the traditional definition of a product placement which

typically requires marketers to organize such an agreement. Because the manufacturer

cannot control how the product is featured or when and where the placement will occur,

the product could be portrayed negatively.









In barter or trade agreements, the product itself serves as compensation for brand

placement. This kind of trade-off is found in the film The Terminal, in which United

Airlines plays a supporting role in the movie. The airline provided the use of their brand

and advice on how to make airport announcements and uniforms more realistic. This

provided the airline with exposure and the filmmakers saved on production costs (Kirsner,

2006)

In paid placements, product integration is arranged in advance by marketers and

financial compensation is provided. Prices can vary depending on the nature and the

prominence of the product's placement in the movie (McCarthy, 1994). More prominent

placements, such as the inclusion of Reese's chocolate in E. T and the use of Ray-Ban

sunglasses in Top Gun, are examples of paid placements. Among the three types of

product placements, paid placements increased from 18% in 1974 to 29.2% in 2004,

while the share of gratis placements decreased from 24.3% to 6.6% during same period.

The share of trade arrangements increased from 57.7% to 64.2 %, representing the most

frequently used form of product placement since 1974 (PQ Media, 2005).

Product Placement Market

Although product placements have existed for 100 years, their popularity and

attractively to marketers as a marketing tactic has soared in recent years. A series in

Business Week titled "Product Placement Hall of Fame" reflects the fact that product

placements have been perceived as a major marketing tool since 1998.

According to a report by PQ Media (2005), which investigates the historical trends

of product placements from 1974 to 2004 in the U.S., the value of product placements

grew at a compound annual rate of 10.5%. The total value of product placements climbed

30% in 2004 to reach $3.46 billion. Specifically, television placements soared 46.4% to









$1.87 billion and film placements grew 14.6% to $1.25 billion. Furthermore, the product

placements market is projected to expand more in the future. PQ Media projects the

14.9% compound growth rate to reach $6.94 billion between 2004 and 2009. Placements

in the food and beverage, house and home, and health and beauty categories account for

more than half of all product placements. These categories will continue to be the leading

marketing categories over the next 5 years (PQ Media, 2005).

There are three explanations for this rapid growth in product placements: a) the

growing popularity of ad-skipping technologies; b) the development of interactive

television; and c) audience fragmentation. As ad-skipping technologies, or personal video

recorders (PVRs) such as TiVo and Sky +, became more prevalent, television ads became

less effective at reaching target audiences. These devices are expected to be in 55 million

homes in the U.S. by 2010. In contrast, interactive television made it easier to integrate

product placements into programs by allowing marketers to feature different products at

different times and for different regions (PQ Media, 2005). Finally, the development of

new media like the Internet has led to cluttered media environments and skepticism of

traditional advertising among marketers. As a result, advertisers began questioning the

effectiveness of television spot ads, which became harder to feature prominently within

cluttered media environments or feature at all due to digital video recorders. This forced

more advertisers to turn to alternative means of reaching audiences, such as product

placements.

Product Placement History

The history of product placements can be divided into three phases (DeLorme,

1998; Brennan et al., 1999). The first phase is the period between the 1920s and mid

1970s, when product placement was not yet a major industry. The product placement









process in this early stage was informal and mostly consisted of barter arrangements

(DeLorme, 1998). This barter arrangement illustrates the original motivation for product

placements, which was to add a greater level of reality to movies by featuring real brands

(Brennan et al., 1999). Product placement has become more prevalent since the mid

1970s when the concept of brand management developed and motion picture producers

became aware of the commercial value of these placement opportunities (Brennan et al.,

1999; Moser, Bryant, & Sylvester, 2004).

The second phase of product placement history is the period between the late 1980s

and the early 1990s. This phase included the famous placement of Reese's Pieces candy

in the movie E.T. The success of this placement in the 1982 film changed marketers'

views of product placement and became a milestone in product placement history.

Following the success of E. T., the placement of Ray-Ban sunglasses in the 1983 film

Risky Business resulted in a major sales increase after the film's release (Fournier &

Dolan, 1997). However, consumer advocate groups perceived the product placement as a

deceptive practice and raised concerns (DeLorme, 1998). In response to these concerns,

the product placement industry founded the Entertainment Resources and Marketing

Association, which plays an important role in the self-regulation and preemption of

government regulations (Moser et al., 2004).

The third phase, which includes the mid 1990s through today, marks the period

where product placement became a huge industry. Today, marketers develop joint

advertising and promotion programs along with product placements to enlarge the impact

of placements. For example, television advertising for Sprint, which featured alien

characters from the movie Men in Black II, ran during the movie's opening week. Burger









King products also appeared in Men in Black II and at the movie's release, Burger King

introduced a special burger tied to the movie's theme (Karrh, 1998). Furthermore, product

placements are now featured in songs, books, and video games. These new frontiers in

the product placement industry will be explained in more detail in the next chapter.

New Territory for Product Placements

Product placements are no longer exclusive to film and television, now appearing

in video games, books, and music. USA Today reports that product placements in video

games began in the 1980s, and the potential of video games as marketing tools continues

to grow. Advertisers now have three different approaches to marketing products through

video games. The first is a traditional product placement in the form of signs or billboard

ads that appear in games and cannot be modified. For instance, a Marlboro banner

appears in Sega's auto-racing game from the late 80s, while Sega's newer game, Super

Monkey Ball, features Dole bananas. The downfall to this approach is that advertisers

have to commit to video game publishers months before the games are released to the

public. The second approach is the dynamic advertisement, a new technology with

online capability that allows publishers to insert new ads into games at anytime. The third

advertising approach is advergames, or games produced for the sole purpose of

promoting a product. An example of an advergame is an online game made by Unilever's

Axe deodorant business division (Yi, 2005). Inserting songs in video games is another

popular form of product placement, as the repetition involved in mastering a video game

provides an effective means for launching new songs.

Product placements in books are not as common as other media, but a famous

example of this form of placement can be seen in the book The Bulgari Connection. The

titular Bulgari company paid British author Faye Weldon to write a novel about their









products in 2001. During the summer of 2004, Carole Matthews, another popular British

author, made a deal with Ford and integrated the Ford Fiesta into her latest work, The

Sweetest Taboo. Aside from these examples, one of the largest book genres to feature

product placements is children's learning books. A textbook used in the mathematics

department of the University of Texas in Arlington features the restaurant Waffle House

on its cover and in problems within the book. However, it was reported that the publisher

did not receive financial compensation from Waffle House for this placement (Marsilio,

2004). Examples like these are becoming more and more frequent, as companies like

Nike and Oreo make their way into textbooks even at the high school level.

According to Agenda Inc., which tracked all brand references in the Billboard Top

20 singles chart since 2003, 35% of songs (37 out of 106) mentioned at least one brand in

their lyrics in 2005. Altogether, 64 different brands have been mentioned a total of 1129

times, which represents a tremendous number. Most of these references are of high-end

designer brands, such as Gucci, Mercedes, and Cartier as well as alcohol brands like

Hennessy and Seagram's that represent the luxury lifestyles of hip-hop artists (Agenda

Inc., 2005). An article in AdAge reports that "In almost all cases, a brand has found its

way into a rap song because of artist preference or through an organic, creative

predilection and not because of a record label dictate to appease an advertiser." The fast

food restaurant chain McDonald's also began using music placements in 2005

(Wasserman, 2005), paying hip-hop musicians anywhere from $1 to $5 each time their

songs featuring the McDonald's Big Mac played on the radio.

Most recently, blogs have entered the product placement market. Marqui, a

marketing communication firm, launched their "Blogosphere Program" on December 1,









2004 which contracts individual bloggers to mention Marqui and link to their site once a

week in their blogs for $800 a month in compensation. Starting in October 2005, the

company is expanding its blogging module to corporate bloggers (Jesdanun, 2005).

How Product Placement Works: The Psychological Process

Sales of Reese's Pieces candy jumped 65% within one month of the release of E. T.

(Reed, 1989) and placements of Jaguar's "Shaguar" model in Austin Powers:

Goldmember resulted in a 70% increase in its sales in the U.S. (Diamond, 2002).

Likewise, Red Stripe beer sales in the U.S increased by more than 50% within one month

of the release of the film The Firm (Buss, 1998). The apparent success of product

placements in films has led researchers to investigate why this marketing method is so

effective.

Sutherland (1981) associated the mechanism of product placement with agenda-

setting theory. According to Sutherland, "if something appears frequently in the media, it

is raised up on our agenda of things to think about." In effect, consumers infer what is

popular from movies, television programs, and pop songs without the media explicitly

calling attention to specific products. Furthermore, product placements render brands

more instantly accessible in memory, which is a key component of brand development

(Sutherland, 2005).

McCarty (2003) noted three levels in the psychological process of product

placement. At the most basic level, the process may be akin to affective classical

conditioning, especially when a product placement is merely seen or mentioned in a

story. Affective classical conditioning is pairing an unconditioned stimulus with a

conditioned stimulus so that good feelings associated with the scene are transferred to the

brand (Baker, 1999). A second explanation is the mere exposure theory. Mere exposure









suggests that viewers will develop favorable feelings toward a brand simply because they

are repeatedly exposed to the brand (Baker, 1999). This seems especially true for brands

presented as props in several movie scenes (McCarty, 2003).

The transformational process is another, higher-order process which may explain

how consumers process product placements. Transformation advertising is advertising

that transforms or changes the experience of using a product so that the product becomes

"richer, warmer, more exciting, and/or more enjoyable" (Puto & Wells, 1984, p.638).

Likewise, product experiences may be influenced by product placements, because the

product is not merely seen in a functional sense but becomes part of the story context and

is endowed with characteristics associated with the movie (McCarty, 2003).

Another approach to explaining the mechanism of product placement is Friestad

and Wright's (1994) persuasion knowledge model. The persuasion knowledge model

posits that when users recognize and identify a message as a persuasive communication

attempt, they process it differently than they would if they were unaware of its

commercial intent. Compared to classical advertising, product placement is less likely to

be recognized as persuasive, and thus prevents viewers from counterarguing, scrutinizing,

or rejecting the message (Grigorovici & Constantin, 2004).

Attitudes toward the Product Placement

Several researchers have studied the ethical issues involved in product placements

(Gupta & Gould, 1997; Morton & Friedman, 2002; Nebenzahl & Secunda, 1993; Ong &

Meri, 1994). Results from Nebenzahl and Secunda's (1993) study showed that

respondents generally do not object to product placements in film and tend to prefer

product placements to overt forms of in-cinema advertising. Only 25% of respondents

indicated that placements should be banned or strongly restricted on ethical grounds. Ong









and Meri (1994) conducted exit surveys in theaters to gather viewer perceptions on the

ethics of product placements. Respondents generally disagreed with the statements

"product placement is unethical" and "I am opposed to product placement". Gupta and

Gould (1997) studied audience attitudes toward product placements for different product

types and found that audiences generally exhibit positive attitudes toward placements,

with the exception of ethically charged products like alcohol, guns, and tobacco.

Cross-Cultural Analysis of Attitudes toward Product Placement

Although Karrh (1998) asserted a lower likelihood of cross-cultural differences

with respect to attitudes toward product placements, other research indicates attitude

differences across cultures. Gould, Gupta, and Grabner-Krauter (2000) were the first to

study product placements on a cross-national basis by studying consumer attitudes

toward product placements in the U.S., Austria, and France. Though some variables

remained consistent, such as the fact that women were generally less positive than men

and that most respondents were less accepting of ethically-charged product placements,

attitudes were generally different in each country. For example, U.S. viewers are more

likely to accept and purchase products shown in movies than consumers in Austria and

France.

Karrh, Frith, and Callison's (2001) study also supported cross-national differences

in consumer attitudes. When compared to American respondents, Singaporean

respondents were less likely to report self-monitoring activity, less likely to perceive

brand appearances as paid advertising, had greater concerns about the ethics of brand

placements, and were more supportive of government restrictions on placements. Both

American and Singaporean respondents, however, reported that they paid attention to









featured brands and that their purchasing patterns were similarly affected by product

placements in films and television programs.

McKechnie and Zhou (2003) also compared Chinese and American consumer

attitudes toward product placements in movies. Their results were consistent with

previous research in that Chinese consumers were generally less accepting of product

placements than American consumers. You's (2005) study of South Korean and

American consumer attitudes toward product placements and usage behavior was also

consistent with previous research. South Korean respondents were more concerned about

the ethics of product placements, were less likely to accept product placements, and were

less supportive of featuring ethically-charged products in movies than U.S. consumers.

Likewise, Brennan, Rosenberger, and Hementera's (2004) study compared

Australian consumer attitudes with those identified previously in Gupta, Gould, and

Grabner-Krauter's research (2000) and found similar evidence of cross-cultural attitude

differences.

Effectiveness of Product Placement

Since product placements became a highly popular marketing tool in the late

1990s, much research has focused on the effectiveness of product placements. Prior

results on the effectiveness of product placements were mixed, especially regarding

attitude changes and behavioral influences.

Memory- and Attitude-Based Effectiveness

Free and aided recall are the most common measures of product placement

effectiveness (Babin & Carder, 1995; d'Astous & Seguin, 1999; Gupta & Lord 1998;

Karrh, 1995; Nelson, 2002), followed by recognition (Babin & Carder, 1996; d'Astous &

Chartier, 2000; Law & Braun, 2000). Ong and Meri's (1994) study on the recall of placed









products showed that most placements generate weak recall. Babin and Carder (1996a)

investigated viewer recognition of brands and found that people generally recognized the

brands they saw in films. Another Babin and Carder study (1996b) showed that product

placements do not affect consumer attitudes toward brands. Vollmers and Mizerski's

(1994) study reflected similar results, illustrating that product placements affect brand

recall but do not influence brand evaluation. McCarty (2003) concluded that these results

were due to a failure to consider the multidimensional nature of product placements.

Gupta and Lord (1998) distinguished different levels of prominence and mode in

evaluating the effectiveness of product placements on audience recall. Their results

showed that audience recall was highest in prominent placements, followed by traditional

advertising and subtle placements. In terms of modality, audio presentations generated

higher recall than purely visual presentations.

Brennan, Dubas, and Babin (1999) investigated the impact of different placements

and exposure times on brand recognition and found that placements integral to a storyline

are remembered more frequently than others. Exposure time did not affect recognition for

background placements but did influence recognition when the product placements were

central to the story.

D'Astous and Seguin (1999) studied the effects of placement type, sponsor image,

sponsor-program congruity, and program genre on evaluative and ethical reactions to

product placements. Implicit and explicit placements did not generate different evaluation

results, but high congruity lead to better evaluations and ethical judgments than lower

congruity, with the exception of mini-series/dramas. Furthermore, sponsor image had no

significant impact on consumers' evaluative and ethical judgments.









According to d'Astous and Chartier (2000), consumer memory is enhanced when

the principal actor is present and the product placement is positively evaluated. When the

placement is visible and well integrated in the movie scene, consumer evaluations of

placements are generally more positive.

Russell (2002) investigated the congruency effect of modality and plot connection

on brand memory and attitude. According to Russell, congruent placements would be

auditory placements with high plot connection or visual placements with low plot

connection, because spoken information is typically more significant to story

development than visual information. The results of the study showed that viewers were

more likely to remember incongruent placements over congruent placements, but that

congruent placements had a greater influence on attitude changes.

Nelson (2002) studied the effectiveness of brand placements in racing games,

measuring the free-recall of brands featured in games directly after game-play and after a

five-month period. Respondents recalled about 25-30% of featured brands over the short-

term period and 10-15% after the five-month delay. Brand recall was enhanced when the

brands played a major role in the game, were relevant to the consumer, or were local or

new brands.

In sum, the various characteristics of product placements can garner either negative

or positive effects on memory and consumer evaluations of placed brands. Therefore, the

effectiveness of the product placement as a communication strategy must be measured by

specific objectives.

Behavioral Intention Based Effectiveness

Previous studies investigated the impact of product placements on consumer

purchase intentions, with few studies noting limited usage behavior (Baker & Crawford









1995; Gould et al. 2000; Karrh et al. 2001; Morton & Friedman 2002; Nelson et al.,

2004). Baker and Crawford (1995) found that consumers exhibited higher levels of short-

term purchase intention for products embedded in movies. Gould, Gupta, and Grabner-

Krauter (2000) and Karrh, Frith, and Callison (2001) also supported the result that

product placements positively influenced purchase intentions.

Morton and Friedman (2002) explored the relationship between audience beliefs

towards product placements and reported usage behavior. Their findings indicated a

correlation between consumer evaluations and purchase intentions, while ethical beliefs

were less likely to affect consumer behaviors. Nelson, Keum, and Yaros (2004) noted

that attitudes toward product placements in games were found to have significant positive

effects on the perceived influence of purchase intentions.

Plot Connection: Degree of Brand Integration into Plot

Russell (1998) developed a three-dimensional framework for characterizing

product placements: a) the level of visual placement, b) the level of auditory or verbal

placement, and c) plot connection. The visual dimension, or screen placements, refers to

the on-screen appearance of a brand, such as a corporate logo featured on a vehicle or

billboard, the use of a brand as a set decoration, or even the appearance of real television

commercials in the movie. The auditory or verbal dimension includes the mention of

brands in a character's dialog. Auditory placements can range from no mention at all

several references within the dialog. The third dimension is plot connection, or the degree

to which the brand is integrated in the plot of the story. While lower plot placements do

not contribute much to the story, higher plot placements play an important role in the

storyline (Holbrook & Grayson 1986). Examples of higher plot placement are the use of

AOL in the film You've GotMail, which was intimately tied to the plot and closely









connected to the characters, much like use of BMWs in James Bond films (Russell,

1998). Russell also studied plot connection in relation to other variables. When high plot

connection is combined with auditory placements, the effect is a higher level of

persuasion. However, the effect is more memorable but less persuasive when high plot

connections are combined with visual placements. Thus, the level of plot connection

determines the significance of product placement in a narrative (Russell, 2002).

How Involvement Influences Product Placement Effectiveness

The concept of involvement has been explored by many scholars. Involvement is

defined as a consumer's perceived relevance of an object based on his/her inherent needs,

values, and interests (Zaichokowsky, 1985); the psychological experiences of the

motivated consumer (Celsi & Olson, 1988); or the consumer's feelings of interest,

enthusiasm, and excitement about specific product categories (Bloch, 1986). People may

be involved with product categories (Zaichkowsky, 1985; Laurent & Kapferer, 1985),

brands, ads (Andrews, Akhter, Durvasula, & Muehling, 1992; Muehling & Laczniak,

1991), media (Feltham & Arnold, 1994; Tavassoli, Shultz, & Fitzsimons, 1995), and

purchase decisions (Houston & Rothschild, 1978).

Involvement has been divided into three categories: a) personal involvement,

including inherent interests and values; b) physical involvement, such as object

characteristics that increase interest; and c) situational involvement, or something that

temporarily increases relevance or interest in the object (Bloch & Richins, 1983; Houston

& Rothschild, 1978; Zaichkowsky, 1985).

Krugman (1965) was the first to distinguish between high and low involvement and

propose that individuals may process information differently under each condition. As the









level of involvement increased, consumers produced more elaborations and inferences

and pay closer attention and exhibit a greater degree of interest (Celsi & Olson, 1988).

Researchers support the view that different variables affect persuasion under high

and low involvement conditions. For example, when recipients have the motivation and

ability to evaluate a message, they respond to the quality of the arguments presented

(Petty & Cacioppo, 1979). This process is considered the central route of persuasion. In

contrast, if consumers are motivated but lack the ability to evaluate a message, they are

likely to respond to the cues associated with messages, such as expertise or attractiveness

of a message source (Petty, Cacioppo, & Goldman, 1981). This form of persuasion is

called the peripheral route (Cacioppo & Petty, 1985). Weak messages are more

persuasive in high-involvement conditions, while strong messages are more persuasive in

low-involvement conditions (Anand & Sternthal, 1992). Similarly, strong arguments

were found to be more persuasive and weak arguments less persuasive under moderate

levels of physiological arousal (Sanbonmatsu & Kardes, 1988). The reasoning is that high

involvement or arousal reduces the ability to think, thereby inhibiting the formation of

counterarguments for weak messages as opposed to inhibiting supporting arguments for

strong messages (Cacioppo & Petty, 1985).

Researchers have examined how the context in which an advertisement appears

affects consumer perceptions. Soldow and Principe (1981) studied the effect of the

audience involvement with programs on their response to the commercials and found that

ads aired during a high involvement program were less effective than those aired during

low involvement programs. Park and McClung (1986) identified the curvilinear

relationship between program involvement and advertising involvement. However, as the









viewer's degree of involvement with the program increased beyond a certain point, the

degree of ad involvement decreased. In low to medium program involvement conditions,

higher viewer involvement with commercials was reported. However, as the viewer's

degree of involvement with the program increased beyond a certain point, the degree of

ad involvement decreased. On the other hand, Feltham and Arnold (1994) found that

greater program involvement correlated with greater ad involvement.

Hypotheses

Table 2-1 shows the factorial design of the experiment. As noted before, plot

connection is defined as the degree to which a brand is integrated into the plot of a story.

Table2-1. Experimental Design
Involvement (Y1 & Y2)

Higher Lower
Plot Connection Prior Brand Prior Brand
(XI & X2) Evaluation Evaluation Main Effects
for Plot
Favorable Favorable Connection
Unfavorable Unfavorable
Higher A B C D Xl>
(Cellular)
Lower
L E F G H X2
(Kangaroo Jack) E F
Main Effects for
Y1 > Y2
Involvement
Main Effects for
Previous Brand Z1>Z2 Z1>Z2
Evaluation


Previous research asserted that the level of plot connection determines the role and

significance of a product placement within a narrative (Russell, 2002). Product

placements that are seamlessly integrated into movie scenes yield positive consumer

evaluations (d'Astous & Chartier, 2000) and consumers better evaluate product









placements within television programs when the product is clearly related to the contents

of the program (d'Astous and Seguin, 1999). Nelson (2002) reported that brand

placement recall was high for computer games, and that recall was enhanced when

featured brands were a major part of the game. The following hypothesis was developed

based on the existing literature:

HI: Subjects exposed to product placements with higher plot connection (X1)

would exhibit more positive reactions to the placed products than those exposed to

product placements with lower plot connection (X2).

* Hla: Pleasure is higher in subjects exposed to higher plot connection placements.

* Hlb: Arousal is higher in subjects exposed to higher plot connection placements.

* H1c: Attitude toward the placement is more positive in subjects exposed to higher
plot connection placements.

* Hid: Attitude toward the target brand is more positive in subjects exposed to
higher plot connection placements.

* Hie: Purchase intention is higher in subjects exposed to higher plot connection
placements.

Previous research has hypothesized that high involvement leads to positive

consumer evaluations of advertising. Involved consumers feel that the products are

especially relevant to their lives (Flynn & Goldsmith, 1993), and participants pay greater

attention to and show greater interest in ads under high involvement conditions. Higher

levels of involvement produce more elaboration, and led to positive attitudes toward the

advertisement and the brand (Celsi & Olson, 1988).

When applied to product placements, highly involved with consumers are more

likely to pay attention to movie scenes featuring a target product and tend to exhibit more









positive reactions to the target brand than consumers with low product involvement.

Thus, the following hypothesis was made.

H2: Subjects with high product involvement (Y1) would exhibit more positive

reactions to the placed products than those with low product involvement (Y2).

* H2a: Pleasure is higher in subjects with relatively high involvement conditions.

* H2b: Arousal is higher in subjects with relatively high involvement conditions.

* H2c: Attitude toward the placement is more positive in subjects with relatively
high involvement conditions.

* H2d: Attitude toward the target brand is more positive in subjects with relatively
high involvement conditions.

* H2e: Purchase intention is higher in subjects with relatively high involvement
conditions.


Chattopadhyay and Basu (1990) studied the relationship between viewers' prior

brand evaluations and the effects of humor in advertising. The results showed that when

prior brand evaluations are favorable, a humorous ad is more effective at enhancing brand

attitude and choice behavior than a non-humorous ad. However, a non-humorous ad is

more effective than a humorous ad when prior brand evaluations are unfavorable. In the

same context, prior brand evaluation seems to impact the effectiveness of product

placements.

H3: Subjects who expressed previously favorable attitudes toward the target

brand (Z1) would exhibit more positive reactions to the placed products than those

with previously unfavorable attitudes toward the target brand (Z2).

* H3a: Pleasure is higher in subjects with favorable attitudes toward the target brand.

* H3b: Arousal is higher in subjects with favorable attitudes toward the target brand.









* H3c: Attitude toward the placement is more positive in subjects with favorable
attitudes toward the target brand.

* H3d: Attitude toward the target brand is more positive in subjects with favorable
attitudes toward the target brand.

* H3e: Purchase intention is higher in subjects with favorable attitudes toward the
target brand.


RQ1: How do plot connection, consumer involvement, and prior brand

evaluation interact to influence the effectiveness of product placement?

Few results are available on the interactive effects of plot connection, product

involvement, and prior brand evaluation. Since it is difficult to find locate research or any

theoretical accounts that might explain the interaction effect of those variables, the

research question was proposed.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

To test the proposed hypotheses, a 2 (plot connection: high vs. low) x 2 (product

involvement: high vs. low) x 2 (previous attitude toward the brand: favorable vs.

unfavorable) one between- and two within-subject factorial design was implemented. Plot

connection was manipulated by selecting two movies that featured the same brand. In a

higher plot connection condition, brands were fully integrated into the storyline and

played a significant role in the plot, while lower plot connection conditions consisted of

mere background brand exposure.

Pilot Study

Procedure

A total of 36 college students from the University of Florida participated in a pilot

test to ensure that the plot connections worked successfully. Four movies, Kangaroo

Jack, Cellular, Panic Room, and Heartbreaker, were selected as stimuli. All movies

included a scene in which the cell phone brand Nokia was used by an actor or exposed.

Exposure times of the target brand were not significantly different, and the total length of

each movie scene was 90 seconds. Participants completed surveys that asked them to

identify the degree of brand integration into the movie.

Pilot Test Results

Because scales measuring plot connection have not yet been established, three

seven-point Likert-type items anchored by "strongly agree" and "strongly disagree"

responses were invented: 1) Placed brand in the movie scene plays an important role in









the movie plot; 2) Placed brand in the movie scene is well integrated into the storyline;

and 3) Placed brand in the movie scene constitutes a major thematic element. These items

were invented based on the definition of plot connection, or the degree to which the brand

is integrated into the plot (Russell, 1998). Mean scores for each movie were computed

(Cronbach's alpha= .89) and are as follows: Cellular (M= 6.23), Heartbreaker (M=

3.65), Panic Room (M= 4.92), and Kangaroo Jack (M=3.23). One-way ANOVA was

conducted to see if the mean difference of four movies is significant and significant result

has been found [F (3, 144) = 11.75, p < .001]. The movie with the highest mean score,

Cellular, was identified as having a high product-plot connection while the movie with

the lowest score, Kangaroo Jack, was identified as having a low product-plot connection.

Main Study

A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial experiment was designed with one between- and two within-

subject variables: plot connection (high vs. low), product involvement (high vs. low), and

previous brand evaluation (favorable vs. unfavorable). The five key dependent variables

were: a) arousal, b) pleasure, c) attitude toward the brand (AB), d) attitude toward the

placements (AppL) and, e) purchase intention (PI).

Sample Selection

The experiment was conducted with undergraduates enrolled in advertising classes

at the University of Florida. As an accessible and large population, students are

considered appropriate subjects. Furthermore, they are a target market that watches

between 20 and 36 movies a year, according to SMRB data. A total of 221 students (165

females and 56 males) participated in the study. Participants completed the experiment

during their class session and received extra credit as compensation for their

participation.









Stimuli Development

The cell phone brand Nokia was selected as the target brand because students in the

subject pool were familiar with this product category and college students frequently use

and show more interest in cell phones than any other group. High and low plot

connection movies were selected from a pilot study and a series of protests. The films

Cellular and Kangaroo Jack, were identified as high and low product-plot connections

respectively. Total exposure time to both movie scenes was limited to 90 seconds.

In the selected 90-second scene from the movie Cellular, the main actor uses his

cell phone to view a video clip of his girlfriend that he had previously recorded using the

phone. While he is watching the image, he receives a call from a kidnapped woman who

says she is in danger and asks for his help. Because she made a phone call from a

scattered phone after many hours of attempting to reach anyone, neither she nor he can

hang up the phone. This situation combined with the tense atmosphere implies that the

cell phone will play an important role in the whole storyline of the movie. While the actor

is watching the video clip and receiving a phone call, the Nokia brand name is clearly

shown.

In the movie clip from Kangaroo Jack, the two main actors have found the phone

number of a pilot who will play an important role in solving their problems and saving

their lives. While they are making a phone call to the pilot, a drunken man passes by

them and falls to the ground. While they are making fun of the drunkard, they hear a

ringing from the man's pocket and discover that he is the pilot they are trying to call.

When one of the main actors pulls the cell phone out of a drunken pilot's pocket, the

Nokia brand is displayed.









Procedure

Students were informed in a previous class session that there would be an extra

credit opportunity if they completed the study. To ensure the consistency of testing

procedures in all the sessions, proctors followed detailed written directions. To measure

participants' prior attitudes toward the target brand, the first proctor explained the

purpose of the study and then distributed the survey including semantic differential scales

of 20 brands including the target brand. To ensure that the first and second study were

totally different, a second proctor explained the procedures of the study after the first

proctor collected the survey, and randomly assigned students into two groups according

to last digit of their student ID numbers. Students with odd numbers were placed in

Group 1 and shown the high product-plot connection film Cellular, and students with

even numbers were placed in Group 2 and shown the low product-plot connection movie

Kangaroo Jack.

A total of 221 subjects (110 viewing the high product-plot connection movie and

111 viewing the low product-plot connection movie) participated in this study. Students

were given the dependent measures booklet upon arriving for the film screenings. After

completing the consent forms, the proctor showed them the selected 90 second movie

scene. After watching the movie scene, subjects began an emotional response task, and

then described their attitudes toward the product placement, attitudes toward the target

brand, and purchase intentions. After completing the questionnaire, subjects were

debriefed and thanked for their participation.

Independent Variables

Product involvement. Viewers' product involvement was used as a measured

variable in this experiment. Five seven-point semantic differential items were used to









measure audience involvement (useless/useful, uninterested/interested,

worthless/valuable, unwanted/wanted, undesirable/desirable) and a mean score was

computed (Cronbach's alpha= .93). Scales are adapted from Zaichkowsky's (1985)

Personal Involvement Inventory (PII) and McQauarrie and Munson's (1986) Revised

Personal Involvement Inventory (RPII). Subjects in the upper scale of the median

(5.00/7) were categorized as the high involvement group and those in the lower scale of

the median were categorized as the low involvement group.

Prior brand evaluation. Previous brand attitudes were measured using four

Likert-type scale items ("I think the quality of the product is good;" "I think the price of

the product is satisfactory;" "I think the design of the product is excellent;" "My

evaluation of Nokia is favorable.") which were obtained from a different questionnaire

administrated by a different investigator before the experiment. A mean score was

computed (Cronbach's alpha = .81) and then identified as favorable/unfavorable

according to the upper/lower scale (Median=5.22/7).

Dependent Variables

The measurement tools used in this study are based on the literature review related

to brand evaluation and plot connection as independent variables. The research used

previously-developed scales, modified when necessary, to measure the following

variables in the study: emotional response, attitude toward the placement, attitude toward

the target brand, and purchase intention.

Emotional response. To measure emotional response, both the verbal emotional

scale suggested by Mehrabian and Russell (1974) and the Self-Assessment Manikin

(SAM) developed by Lang (1984) were used. The measure consists of three different

scales: a) Pleasure (measures the positive/negative aspect of the feeling), b) Arousal









(measures the level of intensity or involvement in the feeling), and c) Dominance

(measures the degree of empowerment the respondent feels). The PAD is composed of 18

semantic differential items representing 6 items in each dimension (Mehrabian & Russell,

1974). In this study, 3 items in each dimension were selected: happy/unhappy,

pleased/annoyed, and satisfied/unsatisfied in the Pleasure dimension; stimulated/relaxed,

excited/calm, and aroused/unaroused in the Arousal dimension; and

controlling/controlled, influenced/influential, and cared-for/in control in the Dominance

dimension.

The SAM (Lang, 1984) is a graphic character used to represent the three

dimensions of PAD (Figure 3-1). Initially, SAM was compared to verbal PAD employed

by Mehrabian and Russell (1974) to standardize the three PAD dimensions. The results

indicated that SAM "generated a similar pattern of scale values for these situations as was

obtained for the semantic differential" (Lang, 1980).


Figure 3-1. Self Assessment Manikin









Significant correlation for pleasure (.94), arousal (.93), and dominance (.83) were

found between ratings generated by SAM and by the semantic differential scales used by

Mehrabian and Russell (1974). Therefore, only SAM scores were used in this study.

Much of the attention given to the PAD framework has centered on the importance of the

pleasure and arousal dimensions. This is because most advertising primarily affects these

dimensions. Therefore, only pleasure and arousal scores were considered.

Attitude toward the brand. Attitudes toward the target brand were measured

using four nine-point semantic differential scales (good/bad, beneficial/harmful,

desirable/undesirable, and nice/awful) developed by Ahluwalia et al (2000). The brand

attitude scale was consolidated into a single measure by computing a mean (Cronbach's

alpha = .93).

Attitude toward the placement. Attitudes toward the product placements were

measured using four seven-point semantic differential scales (unfavorable/favorable,

unlikable/likable, bad/good, and unpleasant/pleasant). A mean score was computed using

these four items (Cronbach's alpha = .95).

Purchase intention. Purchase intent was measured using Haley and Case's (1979)

Verbal Purchase Intent Scale. The scale is a three-item Likert-type scale (unlikely/likely,

impossible/possible, and improbable/probable). In the analysis the average score will be

used (Cronbach's alpha = .93).














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Independent sample t-tests were conducted to ensure that subjects in the two

groups categorized by their levels of product involvement (high/low) are significantly

different. The results indicated that high and low involvement groups are different. Also,

t-tests showed that favorable and unfavorable prior brand evaluation groups are

significantly different. Therefore, product involvement and prior brand evaluation

functioned as intended independent variables.

Group Differences

Product Involvement

Table 4-1 shows that the mean scores for the high and low involvement groups

were significantly different (Miow = 4.09, SD = .97; Mhigh = 5.93, SD = .56; t = -15.67, df

= 219,p< .001).

Prior Brand Evaluation

Table 4-2 shows that the mean scores for the favorable and unfavorable brand

attitude groups were significantly different (Munfavorable = 4.64, SD = .70; Mfavorable

6.07, SD = .51; t= -16.86, df= 219, p < .001).

The number of subjects in the unfavorable prior brand evaluation group (n= 122)

was higher than the number of people in the favorable prior brand evaluation group

(n=99). This suggests that subjects in this study held generally favorable attitudes toward

the Nokia brand.









Data Analysis

Our purpose was to see how plot connection, consumer product involvement, and

prior brand evaluations impact the effectiveness of product placement in terms of

emotional response, attitudes toward the placement, attitude toward the target brand, and

purchase intentions.

Descriptive Statistics

Table 4-3 shows descriptive statistics of all items in questionnaires. The descriptive

results provide a summary of variables that are important in later analyses.

Test of Hypothesis

Plot Connection

Hypothesis 1: Subjects exposed to product placements with higher plot connection

would exhibit more positive reactions to the placed products than those exposed to

product placements with lower plot connection.

Based on the literature review, it was assumed that plot connection would affect

emotional response, attitudes toward the placement, attitude changes, and purchase

intentions. ANOVA was conducted to test the effect of plot connection on dependent

variables. As Table 4-4 shows, statistical differences in plot connection between high and

low plot connection groups were found for arousal (p <.001) and attitude toward the

target brand (p <.001).

As shown in Table 4-5, the high plot connection group exhibited higher arousal

levels than the low plot connection group (Mhigh = 6.28, SD = 1.75, Miow = 4.59, SD =

1.68) and more positive attitudes toward the target brand (Mhigh = 4.97, SD = 1.07, Miow =

4.23, SD = 1.19). Therefore, Hypotheses lb and Id were supported. These results









illustrate that regardless of a brand's level of integration into the plot, viewer attitudes

toward product placement and purchase intentions were not affected.

Level of Involvement

Hypothesis 2: Subjects in high involvement conditions would exhibit more

positive reactions to the placed products than those in low involvement conditions.

To test Hypothesis 2, ANOVA test was run to measure the influence of

involvement on emotional response, attitudes toward the placement, attitude change, and

purchase intentions. As Table 4-4 demonstrates, statistical differences between high and a

low involvement groups were found for pleasure (p <.001), arousal (p <.01), attitudes

toward placements (p <.001), attitude toward the target brand (p <.001), and purchase

intentions (p <.001). As shown in Table 4-5, the high product involvement group

exhibited higher pleasure levels than the low product involvement group (Mhigh = 6.16,

SD = 1.67, Mow = 5.04, SD = 1.59), as well as higher arousal levels (Mhigh = 5.97, SD =

1.85, Mow = 4.87, SD = 1.80), more positive attitudes toward placements (Mhigh = 5.33,

SD = .98, Mow = 3.97, SD = 1.18), more positive attitude towards the target brand (Mhigh

= 5.29, SD = .95, Mow = 3.89, SD = .98), and higher purchase intentions (Mhigh = 4.53,

SD = 1.29, Mow = 3.18, SD = 1.28). Thus, Hypothesis 2 was supported. These results

indicate that the level of consumers' product involvement influences the effectiveness of

product placement.

Prior Brand Evaluation

Hypothesis 3: Subjects who previously expressed favorable attitudes toward the

target brand would exhibit more positive reactions to the placed products than those with

previously unfavorable attitudes toward the target brand.









In this experiment, only statistically significant differences in attitude toward the

target brand (p <.001) and purchase intentions (p <.001) were found between the

favorable and unfavorable groups. As shown in Table 4-5, the favorable prior brand

evaluation group exhibited more positive attitudes toward the target brand than the

unfavorable prior brand evaluation group (Mfavorable = 4.81, SD = 1.23, Munfavorable = 4.34,

SD = 1.10) and higher purchase intentions (Mfavorable = 4.17, SD = 1.43, Miow = 3.48, SD

1.39). Thus, Hypotheses 3d and 3e were supported. These results showed that regardless

of participant attitudes toward brands prior to product placement exposure, viewers are

likely to exhibit the same amount of emotional response and attitude toward the product.

Research Question: Interaction Effects of Plot Connection, Product Involvement,
and Prior Brand Evaluation

Limited previous research on the effectiveness of product placement empirically

tested the three-way interaction effects of plot connection, involvement level, and prior

brand evaluation. Therefore, a research question was proposed.

RQ1: How do plot connection, consumer product involvement, and prior brand

evaluation interact to influence the effectiveness of product placement?

To answer this research question, a MANOVA test using emotional response,

attitudes toward the placement, attitude toward the target brand, and purchase intentions

as dependent variables was conducted (Table 4-6). As the results in Table 4-5 show, a

significant three-way interaction effect was found for two dependent variables: attitude

toward the placement (F = 4.95, p< .05), and purchase intention (F = 3.94, p<.05).

Figures 4-1 and 4-2 provide a graphical representation of the three-way interaction

effects.









For those under the high-involvement condition who had favorable prior brand

evaluations, the high plot connection placement yielded more positive attitudes toward

placements than the low plot connection placement. Under the low involvement

condition, however, low plot connection placements generated more positive attitudes

toward placements (Figure 4-1). The results differed for those who had unfavorable prior

brand evaluations. Under the high involvement condition, the high and low plot

connection placements do not lead to differences in product placement attitudes. Under

the low involvement condition, however, high plot connection placements generate more

positive attitudes toward the product placement than low plot connection placements.

There is an interaction effect on purchase intention. For those who had favorable

prior brand evaluations, the high plot connection placement generated higher purchase

intentions than low plot connection placements under both high and low involvement

condition. The mean differences between high and low plot connection were very small

(Figure 4-2). Results differed, however, for those who had unfavorable prior brand

evaluations. In other words, under the high involvement condition, the high plot

connection placement generated higher purchase intentions than the low plot connection

placement; but under the low involvement condition, the low plot connection placement

generated higher purchase intentions than the high plot connection placement.

Table 4-1. Mean difference of Product Involvement
Measure Treatment N Mean SD t df
Low 112 4.09 .97
Product Involvement -Lw 1 4 15.67*** 219
High 109 5.93 .56
Note. Items in the involvement scale were measured on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (not at all)
to 7 (very much). *** p < .001










Table 4-2. Mean Difference of Prior Brand Evaluation
Measure Treatment N Mean SD t df
S Unfavorable 122 4.64 .70
Prior Brand Evaluation Unfavorabl-16.86*** 219
Favorable 99 6.07 .51
Note. Items in the brand evaluation scale were measured on a 7-point scale ranging from 1
(strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). *** p < .001

Table 4-3. Means and Standard Deviations of All Items
Items Variables M SD
I think the quality of Nokia is good 5.50 1.05
I think the price of Nokia is satisfactory Prior Brand 4.84 1.25
I think the design of Nokia is excellent Evaluation 5.30 1.28
My evaluation of Nokia is favorable 5.39 1.13
Pleasure E l 5.61 1.72
Emotional
Arousal eone 5.43 1.90
Response
Dominance 5.05 1.49
Useless/Useful 5.11 1.29
Uniterested/Interested Product 4.74 1.35
Worthless/Valuable Involvement 4.89 1.39
Involvement
Unwanted/Wanted 4.52 1.45
Irrelevant/Relevant 4.61 1.45
Unfavorable/Favorable 4.77 1.42
Unlikable/Likable Attitude 4.64 1.38
toward
Bad/Good Placements 4.66 1.36
Unpleasant/Pleasant 4.57 1.30
Unattractive/Attractive At e 4.63 1.32
Attitude
Unlikable/Likable toward the 4.67 1.24
toward the
Bad/Good Target Brand 4.63 1.25
Boring/Interesting 4.47 1.44
Unlikely/Likely Purchase 3.70 1.57
Purchase
Impossible/Possible Intentions 4.21 1.52
-- t------------------------In ten tio n s ----------
Improbable/Probable 3.68 1.57
Note: Scales for mean scores for Emotional Response are from 1 to 9 with 9 being most
positive. All other mean scores are from 1 to 7 with 7 being most positive. n=221.










Table 4-4. Univariate Results of Plot Connection, Product Involvement, and Prior Brand
Evaluation on Placement Effectiveness Variables
Independent Dependent MS d.f F
Variables Variables
Main Effects
Pleasure 0.07 1 0.02
Arousal 116.32 1 40.70***
Level of Plot Connection AppL 1.15 1 1.01
AB 6.713 1 7.815**
PI 0.53 1 0.34
Pleasure 61.12 1 22.67***
Arousal 24.51 1 8.58**
Level of Involvement AppL 84.21 1 73.96***
AB 80.67 1 93.91***
PI 85.24 1 55.59***
Pleasure 2.40 1 0.89
Arousal 0.72 1 0.25
Prior Brand Evaluation AppL 0.47 1 0.42
AB 8.42 1 9.81***
PI 16.66 1 10.87***
3-way Interaction Effects
Pleasure 4.14 1 1.54
Level of Plot Connection Pleasure 4.14 1 1.54
X Arousal 1.18 1 0.41
Level of Involvement AppL 5.64 1 4.95*
x AB 0.12 1 0.14
Prior Brand Evaluation 1 .4
PI 6.04 1 3.94*
Note: Scales for mean scores for Pleasure and Arousal are from 1 to 9 with 9 being most positive.
All other mean scores are from 1 to 7 with 7 being most positive. n=221.
***p <001, **p <.01, *p <.05










Table 4-5. Means and Standard Deviations by Different Treatment Condition

Dependent Variables Mean (SD)

Treatment
Pleasure Arousal AppL AB PI


Plot High 5.77(1.96) 6.28(1.75) 4.94(1.32) 4.97(1.07) 4.10(1.41)
connection Low 5.44(1.44) 4.59(1.68) 4.39(1.18) 4.23(1.19) 3.63(1.45)

Involvement High 6.16(1.67) 5.97(1.85) 5.33(0.98) 5.29(0.95) 4.53(1.29)
Low 5.04(1.59) 4.87(1.80) 3.97(1.18) 3.89(0.98) 3.18(1.28)
Favora
Previous ble 5.68(1.80) 5.40(1.90) 4.77(1.42) 4.81(1.23) 4.17(1.43)
Brand e
Evaluation Unfavo
Evaluation a 5.52(1.62) 5.46(1.92) 4.52(1.07) 4.34(1.10) 3.48(1.39)
rable
Note: Scales for mean scores for Arousal and Pleasure are from 1 to 9 with 9 being most positive.
All other mean scores are from 1 to 7 with 7 being most positive. n=221.

Table 4-6. Multivariate Results
Treatments Dependent Wilk's
Treatments .
Variables Lambda F d.f
Level of Plot Connection .790 9.24***
Pleasure, .2*
Level of Involvement Arousal, .614 21.81***
Dominance,
Prior Brand Evaluation APPL, .888 4.38***
Level of Plot Connection AB,
X and PI
Level of Involvement .896 4.02***
X
Prior Brand Evaluation
Note: ***p<.001












7.00- Level of Plot
Connection
High
6.00-
S60 Low


5.00-


5 4.00-


S3.00-
E

W 2.00-


1.00- A
I I
High Low

Level of Involvement





7.00- Level of Plot
Connection
U) 6.00 igh
C Low


5.00-


S4.00


3.00-
E

W 2.00-


1.oo- B

High Low

Level of Involvement


Figure 4-1. Significant 3-way Interactions on Attitude toward Placement. A) Attitude
toward the targeted brand at prior brand evaluation is favorable. B) Attitude
toward the targeted brand at prior brand evaluation is unfavorable.







40



7.00- Level of Plot
Connection
--High
6.00-
S- Low


5.00


S4.00-


S3.00-
E

W 2.00-


1.00- A
I I
High Low
Level of Involvement




7.00- Level of Plot
Connection
--High
6.00-
S6- Low


5.00-
C

4.00-



E
3.00- -


W 2.00-


1.00- B
I I
High Low
Level of Involvement


Figure 4-2. Significant 3-way Interactions on Purchase Intention. A) Purchase intention at
prior brand evaluation is favorable. B) Purchase intention at prior brand
evaluation is unfavorable.














CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION

Summary of Results

This study was designed to identify the impact that various conditions and variables

have on the effectiveness of product placements. The results identify the effect that

product placement variables have on consumer emotional response, attitude toward

placements, attitude toward the target brand, and purchase intentions.

First, the effects of plot connection were only significant for two dependent

variables-- arousal and attitude toward the target brand. These results indicated that the

brand's level of integration into the plot do not affect viewer attitudes toward the

placement and purchase intentions. It seems that high level of plot connection might

affect some parts of viewers' emotions and brand evaluations, but it has limited power in

influencing attitude toward the placement or altering their purchase intentions.

Second, statistical differences between the high and low involvement groups were

noted for the all dependent variables: pleasure, arousal, attitudes toward the placement,

attitude toward the target brand, and purchase intentions. These results show that a

consumer's level of involvement does influence the effectiveness of product placement

and has more power than other variables in determining the effectiveness of product

placements.

Third, statistically significant differences were found in attitude toward the target

brand and purchase intentions between the favorable and unfavorable groups. These

results indicate that regardless of participant attitudes toward brands prior to exposure to









the placement, viewers were likely to exhibit the same emotional responses and attitudes

toward the product placement. The product placement seems to play a role as reinforcing

evaluations and purchase intentions of consumers who already have positive attitude

toward the target brand not generate new emotions or change attitudes of consumers who

had unfavorable attitude toward the brand.

Forth, the test identified significant three-way interaction effects on attitude toward

the placement and purchase intentions. For subjects who had a favorable attitude toward

the target brand prior to the exposure and high product involvement, the high plot

connection generated more positive effects in terms of both attitudes toward the

placement and purchase intentions. For those who had unfavorable prior brand evaluation

and high product involvement, however, the degree of plot connection either did not

result in any differences or a low plot connection generated more positive effects.

Also, for those who have low product involvement, whether they demonstrate

favorable or unfavorable prior brand evaluations, the degree of plot connection did not

show many differences or low plot connection generated more positive attitudes toward

the placement.

These results are consistent with previous research dealing with product

involvement (Zaichkowsky, 1985; Laurent & Kapferer, 1985) that indicate that personal

involvement or relevance of the object in the communication is necessary before there is

active attention to the communication (Zaichkowsky, 1985). In order for viewers to

positively respond to the placement and also for the high plot connection to be more

effective, viewers' high involvement should be previously established.









Managerial Implications

The results of this study will offer marketers and advertising agencies useful

insights into using product placement strategies as a marketing communication tool. The

results of this study suggest that many factors should be accounted for when evaluating

the effectiveness of a placement. The most common measure of product placement

effectiveness has been consumer memory (Babin & Carder, 1996; d'Astous & Seguin,

1999; Gupta & Lord 1998; Karrh, 1995; Nelson, 2002; Vollmers & Mizerski, 1994). This

study investigated the effectiveness of product placements on attitude toward the target

brand and purchase intentions, and the results provided some significant findings.

This study showed that the level of product involvement plays an important role in

determining the effectiveness of product placement under all circumstances (high/low

plot connection and favorable/unfavorable prior brand evaluations) studied in this

research. In other words, a high plot connection does not influence the effectiveness of

product placement if consumers possess low product involvement.

Results from previous research concerning the influence of plot connection on

viewers' arousal level and attitudes toward the target brand indicate that product

placements that are highly integrated into movie scenes yield positive consumer

evaluations (d'Astous & Chartier, 2000). However, this study did not find any distinctive

correlation between plot connection and viewers' attitudes toward the placement and

purchase intentions. This result conflicts with d'Astous and Seguin's (1999) stance that

consumers more positively evaluate product placements within television programs when

the product is highly related to the contents of the program. These conflicting results can

be attributed to the confounding variables such as viewers' prior exposure to the movie

scenes or attitude toward the movie itself or actors/actresses.









In addition, viewers' prior brand evaluation did not seem to affect arousal and

pleasure levels and attitude toward placements. The fact that subjects previously had

favorable attitude towards the target brand generated more positive attitude toward the

brand and purchase intentions imply that the product placement strategies were more

effective to enhance brand evaluations and purchase intentions for those who with

positive attitude toward the target brand. It is plausible since product placement is an

unobtrusive and non-persuasive manner of communication tool, placement seems to

reinforce evaluation and purchase intentions of consumers who already have favorable

brand evaluation rather create or change attitudes of viewers who have negative attitude

toward the target brand.

Therefore, when developing product placement strategies and evaluating the

results, marketing practitioners must identify and understand the target audience,

including their psychographic and behavioral characteristics such as brand loyalty,

product involvement, and attitude toward the brand (Russell & Belch, 2005).

Furthermore, practitioners should examine the synergetic relationship between

product placements and other types of marketing communication tools and integrate

product placements into overall communication strategies and media plans (DeLorme &

Reid, 1999; Russell & Belch, 2005). Like other media, the effectiveness of product

placements should be assessed against the objectives set, whether it is brand awareness,

or building brand image. Therefore, it seems that standards to measure the effectiveness

of product placement other than mere exposure must be established.

The overall implications of this study for advertisers and marketing communication

researchers and practitioners are that, when attempting to evaluating effectiveness of









product placements and planning product placement strategies, they would need to

consider viewers' differences including consumer involvement and prior brand

evaluations. In addition, when planning product placement strategies, it would be useful

to consider the key role of degree of plot connection.

Limitations and Future Research

The limitations of this study suggest a number of issues for future research. The

first limitation involves the study participants, who were restricted to college students.

Although this sample was appropriate for a study on product placement, the results may

differ for other subjects. One criticism of using students as respondents is that they are

often unfamiliar with the task required (Gaugler & Thornton, 1989). In addition, students

from the Southern region of the U.S. may be different from students in other geographic

locations. Thus, future research should investigate a wider demographic base to

generalize the results across segments.

Furthermore, viewers' prior exposure to the movie was not measured, and people

who were previously exposed to the movie were not excluded. The participants who were

previously exposed to the movie and know the whole storyline might have different

reactions to the clip than those who watch the clip for the first time. Also there was not an

item that asks participants in they presently own a Nokia cell phone. Nokia users might

have different purchase intentions. Even though they positively reacted to the placement

and demonstrated a positive attitude toward the brand, they might show lower purchase

intentions.

The second limitation of the study is associated with the artificial environment of

the experiment. The classroom atmosphere coupled with viewers' short exposure to the









scenes could have led respondents to pay closer attention to the placements than they

would have in a natural home or theater setting.

The third study limitation is related to selection of stimuli. In the pretest, only the

degree of plot connection was measured. Other confounding variables such as viewers'

attitude toward the movie itself, attitude toward the main actor/actress, or pleasure and

arousal level to the movie were not controlled.

Yet another limitation of this study relates to the product category. Cell phones are

a relatively high involvement product category and results could vary with the use of a

low involvement product category.

Finally, the method of measuring dependent variables in the study could be

improved. Because all the dependent variables in this study were measured right after the

placements were shown to the respondents, important long-term effects went unanalyzed.

DeLorme and Reid (1999) mentioned the long-term effects of product placement on

memory. Therefore, future research should consider evaluating the long-term effects of

product placement. Also, assessing viewers' attitude changes after exposure to the

product placement might generate interesting results.














APPENDIX
QUESTIONNAIRE

Dear Participant,

I am a Master student at the University of Florida. Under the supervision of Dr. Weigold,
I am exploring product placement in the movie for my thesis. The information from you
will not be released to anybody. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent
provided by law. You have the right to withdraw consent for participation at any time
without consequence. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants
of this study. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact
SeoYoon Choi at 846-1060

Description: You are invited to evaluate the product placement in the movie.

Procedures: First, you will be watched the video clip. Next, you will be asked to evaluate
the placed product in the video presentation.

Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study:
Seoyoon Choi, master student, G035 Weimer Hall, College of Journalism and Mass
Communications, Phone number: 352-846-1060, E-mail: arashys@ufl.edu

UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250, 392-
0433

I have read and understand the above information. I agree to participate in the research. I
have received a copy of this description.


Print Name of Participant UF ID Date

Gender: Female Male









You will watch the video clip.
Movie Scene: Cellular

Q1: It is your first impressions, the immediate feelings about the items that we want. On
the other hand, please do not be careless, because we want your true impressions. How do
you feel about the Movie Scene?

Q: Pleasure


00
p-1). Happy

p-2). Pleased

p-3). Satisfied


+3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3

+3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3


: Unhappy


Annoyed


::: Unsatisfied
+3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3


Q: Arousal


OO O r
obo bEJUj




O -^ /^ -


a-1). Stimulated :

a-2). Excited

a-3). Aroused


00000


:Relaxed
+3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3
: Calm


+3 +2 +1

+3 +2 +1


0 -1 -2 -3
: Unaroused
0 -1 -2 -3









Q: Dominance


0000 0000 0


d-1) Controlled :

d-2) Influenced :

d-3) Cared-for :


+3 +2 +1

+3 +2 +1

+3 +2 +1


_. : : Controlling
0 -1 -2 -3
: : Influential
0 -1 -2 -3
: : In Control
0 -1 -2 -3


Q2. Product Involvement
Work at fairly high speed through this questionnaire. Do not worry or puzzle over
individual items. Please place a checkmark to the number what thoughts and feelings
went through your mind about cell phones.


1) Useless

2) Uninterestec

3) Worthless

4) Unwanted

5) Irrelevant


-3 -2 -1
I:_:_
-3 -2 -1

-3 -2 -1

-3 -2 -1

-3 -2 -1


: : : : Useful
0 +1 +2 +3
_: : Interested
0 +1 +2 +3
_: : :: Valuable
0 +1 +2 +3
: Wanted


0 +1 +2 +3

0 +1 +2 +3


:Relevant


Q3: Evaluation of the Product Placement strategy in the Movie
On the scales below, Please place a checkmark above the number between the adjectives
which best represents your view about the movie including product placement. Product
placement in the movie would be "---------


1) Unfavorable

2) Unlikable


SFavorable


-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3


::: Likable
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3


3) Bad


Good


-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3


4) Unpleasant


:Pleasant


-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3






50


Q4: Evaluation of the Placed Brand (Nokia)
How much the placed brand through the movie scene affects you to remember it in
future?
I felt about the placed brand in the movie scene is "-----


1) Unattractive

2) Unlikable


3) Bad

4) Boring


: Attractive
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
: : Likable
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
S: Good


-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
:Interesting
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3


Q5: Purchase Intention
All things considered, if you are planning to purchase this placed product (Nokia's
product) in the movie scene on one of your next trips to a store, what are the chances that
you would purchase this advertised product if it can be available?"


1) Unlikely

2) Impossible

3) Improbable


:: Likely
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
S: Possible
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
:Probable
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3


Thank you so much!















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Seoyoon Choi was born in South Korea in 1981. She double majored at Chung-

Ang University in Seoul, Korea, earning both a Bachelor of Advertising and a B.A. in

psychology. She came to the University of Florida in August 2004 to pursue a Master of

Advertising. She plans to start her doctoral studies at the University of South Carolina

starting in the Fall of 2006.