Brand attitudes improve when product is paired with favorable actor
Love a rap artist's music, and you may develop fond feelings for the products placed in that artist's rap video. That is essentially the conclusion that a team of investigators came to in an intriguing research article published in this month's issue of Psychology & Marketing (P&M).
After the release of Busta Rhymes and Puff Daddy's Pass the Courvoisier Part Two, a rap music featuring conspicuous product placement of Courvoisier cognac, sales of that beverage jumped 20 percent. That phenomenon got a team of researchers and senior author Christian Schemer thinking about how consumers process brand information presented to them in spot advertising versus how consumers process brand-related information when it is presented in the course of programming (such as music videos).
In their P&M article, they describe a series of experiments designed to explore psychological aspects of consumers' response to brand placement in rap videos.
The researchers concluded that placement of products in programming such as rap videos can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, positive feelings toward the programming can be transferred to the brand. It's also true that product placement in programming has the benefit of a longer "shelf life" than more traditional advertising. It may also be more globally distributed (at no advertiser expense) and be particularly effective in reaching a targeted demographic.
However, there are potential dangers associated with product placement in programming such as rap videos, not the least of which entails negative feelings aroused by the video being transferred to the brand.