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Utilizing balance theory, parasocial interaction theory and genre theory in evaluating product placement effects on consumer attitudes

Kavallieratou, Anastasia 2013. Utilizing balance theory, parasocial interaction theory and genre theory in evaluating product placement effects on consumer attitudes. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis examines the effects of product placements on consumer attitudes toward the placed products, in the genre of television sitcoms. The study utilizes the integration of balance theory, parasocial interaction theory and genre theory to evaluate the “Balance Model of Sitcom Product Placement Effects” and test its applicability under the conditions set for the execution of the present research. Through the utilization of the three theories, the character-product associations existent in the conventions of contemporary sitcoms and the consumer-character relationships likely to be developed with the viewing of serialized television programs, are examined with regard to the way that their interaction influences consumer attitudes toward placed products. As the model has its foundations on balance theory, it is suggested that the theoretical premise of attitudinal alignment can explain the interactions existing in the model’s relational system which consists of three elements; the consumer, the character and the placed product. The consumer attitude alignment process toward the character is tested as being guided by the consumer-character relation variables of consumer attitude toward character and parasocial attachment with character, and the character-product relation variables of character’s attitude valence toward, and strength of association with, the placed product. The methodological premises set for this research involve the utilization of a contemporary sitcom as stimulus, a sample consisting of a particular target group of 128 participants who hold specific characteristics and are regular viewers of the sitcom, and an online survey research instrument for the measurement of the variables. The findings support the predictions regarding consumers’ attitudinal alignment toward products according to characters’ attitudes toward products, with consumer parasocial attachment with character constituting the most influential factor in the process. This research supports the generalizability faculty of the balance model of placement effects, by corroborating previous findings. Moreover, this study facilitates the accretion of product placement knowledge by following the methodological underpinnings of the replication approach, and fulfils its major purpose of providing corroborated, generalized and extended propositions regarding placements’ effects in the television media context, thus offering valuable practical implications for the practice’s employment by marketers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: Balance Theory, Parasocial Interaction Theory, Genre Theory, product placement, survey, generalization approach.
Funders: Cardiff Business School
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:35

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