The Effects of Transparent and Hidden Product Placements on Reactance

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In 1982, the placement of “Reese’s Pieces” in the film ET was not the first, but the most notable product placement, which led to an increase of 65% in the sales. Due to the fact that marketers are looking for an alternative to traditional advertising, product placements have become a successful marketing strategy since then. According to the literature, non-transparent product placement can lead to a reactance effect amongst viewers, which will lead them to resist the persuasive message intended by the marketers. Furthermore, a comedy seems to be a good environment for product placements, while placed products in dramas can distract the viewers and lead them to show reactance. If viewers show reactance, their purchase intention will decrease. An online field experiment was conducted for data acquisition, in which respondents were randomly distributed into different conditions to test the effects from genre and transpareny on reactance. This research showed that the degree of transparency and the genre of the film, wherein the product is placed, had no direct effect on the amount of reactance viewers show. The expectations of this research were not met, because reactance does lead to a higher purchase intention by viewers.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen