Product Placement: Implicit Memory and Choice for Brands Placed in a Novel



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Product placement, an advertising trend that places a brand within the context of an information medium, has emerged as an effective means of increasing brand recognition. The practice has not been thoroughly examined in the different media in which it occurs. The purpose of the present experiment was to investigate the effectiveness of prominent and subtle product placements in books on different forms of memory. The effectiveness of the placements was evaluated by measuring explicit and implicit memory for the placed brands. Additionally, effectiveness was measured with two types of preference judgments: a forced choice scenario and a shopping list scenario. Results from Experiment 1 showed that participants demonstrated implicit memory for brands mentioned in the novel with a word stem completion task and a category exemplar generation task. The centrality of placement only affected performance on these tasks for test-aware participants. Experiment 2 used a forced choice task and showed that consumer preference was unaffected by subtle and prominent placements. Experiment 3 used a shopping list scenario and showed that brand placement affected participants? preferences for previously studied brands regardless of the placement centrality. The experiments also showed that participants had explicit memory for the brands with prominent placements leading to better recall than subtle placements. Taken together, the findings show that the placement of brands in books is a valid means of influencing consumer awareness and behavior toward the brand.