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Title:Branded entertainment in emotional scenes: excitation transfer or direct affect transfer?
Author(s):Mitchell, Tal��
Director of Research:Vargas, Patrick T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Vargas, Patrick T.; Nelson, Michelle R.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Slater, Jan; Harrison, Kristen
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Discipline:Communications and Media
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Branded Product Placement
Excitation Transfer
Direct Affect Transfer
Abstract:What are the effects of the emotional context of a movie scene on the embedded brand? How might arousal level or valence of the scene influence brand attitudes and purchase intentions? Marketing practitioners take a lot of factors into consideration when placing brands (e.g., celebrity, length of time, type of placement, plot connection, type of show/movie); however, to date, the emotional level of the scenes is not one of them. Similarly, academics have investigated memory and persuasion effects related to branded entertainment yet none have explored how the emotional context of a scene impacts the persuasive effects of brand placement. Therefore, this dissertation seeks to fill these gaps by exploring branded product placement effectiveness within the context of emotional levels and valence of the scenes in which the brands are placed. Utilizing excitation transfer theory and direct affect transfer as theoretical foundations to explore how arousal and valence levels may impact brand placements, a series of studies were conducted. First, a content analysis was conducted to examine the level of arousal and valence portrayed by the characters in television programing scenes that contain brand product placements. The findings indicate that a branded product was placed about every 5.2 minutes. Most brands were placed in scenes where the primary and/or the secondary character(s) expressed feelings of happiness. However, these feelings of happiness were on a low arousal level. Additionally, brands were more often (52.2% for primary and 42.4% for secondary characters) placed in scenes where the character(s) expressed happy emotions with the assumption that the happy emotion will be transferred to the brand (Alden, Mukherjee, & Hoyer,2000; Fennis & Bakker, Fall2001). Verbally integrated placements (spoken but not seen) were prominent (40.4%) over visual placements in the background (26.4%) and visual placements in the foreground (28.5%). Finally, the type of branded product placed most often was media/entertainment (23.6%). Additionally, this content analysis was meant to quantify branded product placement as a basis for study two and further studies. Study two implemented a 2 level of emotional arousal of the scene (low vs. high) x 2 valence of the scene (positive vs. negative) x 2 brand valence (positive vs. negative) between subjects factorial design to determine the evaluation of the brand as it relates to attitude toward the brand and purchase intentions (DVs). The results of this experimental study indicated there were main effects of brand valence, scene valence, and arousal levels on brand attitudes. These main effects indicated when the brand was positive, the scene valence was positive or arousal levels were high, brand attitudes were more positive. There were also significant two-way interaction effects of brand valence and scene valence on brand attitudes, where brand attitudes were more positive when the positive brand was placed in positive scenes. There were no other significant interaction effects on brand attitudes. In addition, main effects of brand valence and scene valence were revealed for purchase intentions but not for arousal. These main effects indicated when a positive brand was placed or the scene valence was positive, purchase intentions for the featured brand were higher. There were also several significant interaction effects for purchase intentions. First, there was a two-way interaction effect of brand valence and scene valence on purchase intentions, where intent to purchase was higher when a positive brand was placed in a positive scene as opposed to a positive brand placed in a negative scene or a negative brand placed in a positive scene. Second,there was a significant two-way interaction effect of arousal level and scene valence on purchase intentions. This interaction revealed that the intent to purchase was higher when a brand was placed in a positive scene that was highly arousing. Furthermore, study two revealed a 3-way interaction effect of brand valence, scene valence, and arousal levels on purchase intentions. When a positive brand was placed in a highly arousing positive scene, intentions to purchase were higher than when a negative brand was placed in a low arousing negative scene or a positive brand in a low arousing negative scene. These findings indicate that both excitation transfer and direct affect transfer can work together to positively influence brand attitudes and purchases intentions, acknowledging that valence and arousal levels are essential when strategically placing brands. Finally, this research highlights the importance of considering valence and emotion in branded product placement to branded product placement scholars and practitioners.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Talé Mitchell
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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