The Attitude Towards Product Placement

Studenteropgave: Speciale (inkl. HD afgangsprojekt)

  • Lene Filtenborg Buhl
4. semester, Kultur, kommunikation og globalisering, kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Product placement is the marketing practice of placing products or brands in films and TV programmes etc. in order to persuade consumers to buying the placed products. A previous study shows that young consumers tend to have a more positive attitude towards the use of this marketing practise than older consumers do. As product placement is becoming increasingly widespread, it was chosen to investigate how Danish consumers feel about being exposed to subtle promotional messages in form of product placement and whether there is an attitudinal difference between young consumers and 50+ consumers. The research question in this thesis is: “What are the Danish consumers’ attitude towards product placement, and are there any age related differences?”

The literary framework in this thesis consists of a mixture of ethics theories, previous consumer studies and theory on consumer behaviour. From this literature, it was possible to extract the following six elements that seemed to affect the acceptability of product placement: the obtrusive nature of product placement, the fact that the sponsorship is concealed, the placed product, the target group, the genre in which it is placed and the age of the respondents. These elements became the basis for the interview guide and subsequently for the analysis. The data for this thesis consists of six qualitative interviews: three interviews with young consumers and three interviews with consumers over the age of 50.

Through the analysis of the interviews, it was found that there are no noteworthy differences between the two interviewee groups in terms of their attitude towards the use of product placement, as all the interviewees generally have a positive attitude towards product placement. The interviewees also generally agree that product placement is not appropriate to use for harmful products, to target at children or other vulnerable groups or to use in genres such as the news. Despite of the interviewees’ ability to identify vulnerable target groups, the interviewees distance themselves from these groups.
The two interviewee groups differ in their perceived state of legislative consumer protection and views on the need for disclosures about the use of product placements. The 50+ interviewees think that they are not protected by the law and that it is a good idea to warn the consumer about the use of product placement, whereas the young interviewees group think that product placement is illegal and they are less keen on the idea of displaying disclosures.

The interviewees’ positive attitude towards product placement might open up for an even more widespread use of product placement, however, it should be customised to the target group as the young and older interviewees disagree on the need for disclosures. The lack of knowledge about consumer protection and the interviewees’ reluctance to identify themselves with people who are affected by product placement, could mean that the consumers are left vulnerable and furthermore that they may not want to take any steps towards improving the consumer protection.
Udgivelsesdato30 maj 2014
Antal sider64
ID: 198314814