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Title: 'Dancing with handcuffs and shackles' : how product placement is adopted by the Chinese film industry
Author: Li, Wei
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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This PhD researches the role of product placement in modern Chinese cinema, exploring the shifting discourses and textually-specific practices that are unique to the practice of product placement within the Chinese film industry. Existing studies have focused almost exclusively on the Hollywood film industry, and have analysed product placement in terms of its effectiveness with audiences, and as a potential influence on consumer behaviour, often from a psychological or marketing viewpoint. This study approaches product placement from industrial and textual perspectives, more interested in the process of product placement in film production: how trade press reports, state and industry discourse, and practitioner commentary, frames product placement within the Chinese film experience. Therefore, this is a shift from work on the consequences of product placement, or simplistic notions of good/bad product placement, to an investigation of the discursive and textual strategies used by the Chinese film industry when using product placement in modern film production. This allows the thesis to focus on how the Chinese industry offers an illusion of serving the public, able to use its expertise to position product placement as what an assumed audience wants. Examining different players in product placement deals such as film producers, product placement agencies, brand companies, and the Chinese government, also allows the study to consider the shifting hierarchies of expertise and power. Within this, the study identifies and analyses two specific power relationships: state vs film industry, and creativity vs commercialisation. Alongside industrial commentary, the study examines the textual status of product placement through close mise-en-scène analysis of a range of contemporary Chinese film examples. It identifies three elements – 2 narrative, character, and genre – as key areas where product placement is most overtly displayed, visualised and embodied, and considers the impact this has on narrative coherence. Through this combination of discourse analysis and film analysis, the study is able to critically investigate the role product placement plays within the modern Chinese film industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available