Disclosure of the Persuasive Intent behind the Placement of Risky Products in Movies: Consequences for Cognitive and Affective Processing
The placement of ‘risky’ products, such as alcohol and tobacco, and their brand imagery in movies is used by some of their sellers for promotional campaigns. Drawing upon the extant literature on persuasion and product placement, this thesis discusses the practical and moral implications of product placement in general, and the placement of risky products in particular. The results of the experiment that forms the core of this dissertation suggest that audiences would benefit from the disclosure of the persuasive intent of placements of alcohol and tobacco products in films. The primary purpose of this study is to explore the impact of the disclosure on an audience’s processing of product placements. The research consists of a pre-test and a main study. The pre-test is conducted to find the most immediately and universally comprehensible wording of a disclosure of the persuasive intent (DPI) of the placement of alcohol and tobacco products. The main study tests the impact of this disclosure on the audience’s recall, recognition, acceptability and awareness of the manipulative intent behind the placement of risky products in a short segment of a feature film. This research shows that the use of a DPI can have demonstrable, if occasionally surprising, impacts on the ways that people understand the placement of risky products and how they feel about this practice. In particular, the study shows that the disclosure facilitated the recall of the placement of risky products, though it had no effect on recognition of the placement of these products. The disclosure also made consumers of risky products more accepting of the placement of risky products than non-consumers of risky products. The thesis concludes with the discussion of research contributions, implications, limitations and suggestions for further research.
Advisor: Wooliscroft, Benjamin; Guthrie, John
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Marketing
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: product placement; risky products; disclosure
Research Type: Thesis