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Placing products in humorous scenes: Its impact on brand perceptions

Chan, Fanny Fong Yee, Lowe, Ben (2020) Placing products in humorous scenes: Its impact on brand perceptions. European Journal of Marketing, . ISSN 0309-0566. (doi:10.1108/EJM-10-2018-0701) (KAR id:82575)

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https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2018-0701

Abstract

Purpose: This study extends the literature on marketing communications by exploring the effect of placing products in humorous scenes. It aims to ascertain the prevalence of placement scenes associated with humor in television programs and the effect of humor on brand persuasiveness.

Design/methodology/approach: The study used a two-phase research process. A content analysis of prime-time television programing was conducted to map the relative prevalence of brands placed in humorous contexts and for the selection of research stimuli. This was followed by a large-scale experimental study of 1100 television viewers in Hong Kong with real stimuli that had been digitally manipulated.

Findings: The study found that a humorous context did enhance recall of placed brands but its effect on brand attitudes was mediated by audience involvement in the viewing and moderated by psychological trait reactance. Interestingly, and in contrast to conventional advertising, placing brands in a humorous context led to lower involvement in the viewing which in turn resulted in lower brand attitudes. Individuals with low trait reactance were more positive toward brands placed in a non-humorous context than individuals with high trait reactance while individuals with high trait reactance were more positive toward brands placed in a humorous context, though the difference was less prominent.

Research implications: The findings help to illustrate when and how a humorous context contributes to the recall of and attitudes toward placed brands. The results also facilitate marketers and program producers to choose the best placement context and design more effective placement strategies.

Originality/value: This research is the first to empirically examine the effect of a humorous context on the unaided recall of and attitudes toward brands placed in television programs.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/EJM-10-2018-0701
Uncontrolled keywords: Product placement; humor; audience involvement; psychological trait reactance; brand recall; brand attitude
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5415 Marketing
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Marketing
Depositing User: Benjamin Lowe
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2020 09:46 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 12:42 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/82575 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Lowe, Ben: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5041-600X
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