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Title: Protagonist placement and pseudo protagonist placement : merging elements of sponsorship, product placement and endorsement in one powerful marketing communication tactic
Author: Krieg, Roland
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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Purpose – While considerable research has been dedicated to sponsorship, product placement and celebrity endorsement, hybrid forms that employ two or more of these approaches in a single execution have been largely neglected. A documentary that is woven around a single brand and employs elements of endorsement, product placement and television sponsorship to an extent unprecedented on German television is analysed here. Such "Protagonist Placement" had not previously been explored empirically. The purpose of this research was thus to identify, whether Protagonist Placement (PP) has a significant impact on intermediate consumer response. The second objective was to identify a potentially existent mediating role of Persuasion Knowledge (PK) on PP outcomes. The second unit of analysis – Pseudo Protagonist Placement (PPP) – is a broadcasting sponsorship with characteristics that suggest a strong association of the sponsoring brand with the sponsored programme. Again, the focus was laid on the identification of the impact of PPP on intermediate consumer response and the mediating role of PK. Design/methodology/approach – The research covered two studies – one on PP and the other on PPP. Each consists of a qualitative analysis of the programme itself and of theoretical thematic interview analysis using the NVivo qualitative research software. Each study further included an experiment employing a 2x2x2 factorial design. The experimental data was analysed using ANOVA and Chi-square. The scales used in the experiment were subjected to a panel of judges and a scale purification procedure in order to arrive at a common core of items to be used in the subsequent analysis. The approach was guided by the philosophical foundation of critical rationalism. Findings – It was possible to identify a positive impact of the chosen example of PP on intermediate consumer response in the form of a significant increase of unprompted and prompted brand awareness immediately after exposure. While PK did not adversely affect the observed impact of PP, it induced a special kind of 'Sleeper Effect' in the form of increased purchase intention after the delay period, without any noticeable suppression of advertising impact in the immediately-after condition. The researcher suggests the existence of a third route towards the Sleeper Effect, that adds increased association to the two already existent explanations, namely differential decay and disassociation. Similar results were found for PPP, which elicited a significant and favourable impact on brand awareness immediately after exposure and increased purchase intention after the delay period. Again, this increased persuasiveness over time was not caused by suppression of an immediate impact and, therefore, also indicated a third route towards the Sleeper Effect. Practical implications – The findings provide new empirical data concerning merged forms of indirect marketing and in particular such intense forms as PP and PPP. The studies offer new insights for both the academic researcher and the marketing practitioner. In particular, the way in which PK mediates the advertising outcomes and the way in which it triggers delayed persuasiveness are subjects that offer new insights for both marketer and researcher. Originality/value – Both studies offer new empirical evidence that broadens the research in the field of indirect marketing, and augments the concept of PK by offering an indication of its ability to elicit increased persuasiveness over time. Furthermore, this PK-induced Sleeper Effect demonstrates the existence of a third route towards increased persuasiveness after time delay. Both observations suggest the need for an augmentation of both the PK and Sleeper Effect theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce