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It
has
always
been
worth
our
while
as
researchers
to
examine
and
 understand
the
way
companies
utilize
various
mediums
of
mass
communication.
In
 this
rapidly
evolving
field
of
communication,
many
traditional
advertising
practices
 such
as
commercial
breaks
or
previews
on
movies
are
gradually
being
replaced
by
 brand
(product)
placement.

 


According
to
Karrh
(1998),
brand
placement
can
be
defined
as
“the
paid


inclusion
of
branded
products
or
brand
identifiers,
through
audio
and/
or
visual
 means,
within
mass
media
programming”.
While
there
have
been
many
studies
 looking
at
consumer
perceptions
toward
this
style
of
advertising,
most
have
focused
 on
their
inclusion
in
fictional
movies
and
television
shows.

 


However,
there
is
a
gap
in
this
vast
amount
research.
Past
studies
conducted


by
Ong
and
Meri
(1994)
has
argued
that
many
consumers
“view
brand
placement
as
 tacky,
too
deliberate,
or
not
natural,”
when
referring
to
fictional
television
or
 movies.
However,
there
is
very
little
research
available
that
test
Ong
and
Meri’s
 findings
on
Reality
Television.
According
to
Deery
(2004)
Reality
TV
is
more
 naturally
occurring
and
viewers
may
view
product
placement
as
more
acceptable,
 “Because
it
normalizes
and
to
this
extent
ratifies
the
product”.
 Therefore,
the
aim
of
this
current
study
is
to
measure
consumer’s
attitudes
 toward
brand
placement
practices
in
the
reality
television
programs
in
comparison
 to
fictional
television
programs.

The
communication
concepts
to
be
examined
are
 media
literacy,
selective
perception,
level
of
placement,
and
frequency
of
exposure
 (heavy
media
user
or
low
media
user).
The
nature
of
these
concepts
with
respect
to
 American
consumers
would
generally
determine
the
attitudes
they
may
have



toward
brand
placement
in
Reality
Television
which
leads
to
the
proposed
research
 question:
Do
U.S.
consumers
have
a
negative
or
positive
attitude
toward
brand
 placement
in
Reality
Television
programs?
 
 Literature
Review
 Brand
placement
is
in
no
way
a
new
marketing
concept.
In
fact,
it
has
been
 “…perceived
as
an
effective
mechanism
for
reaching
audiences
and
have
been
 employed
by
marketers
for
more
than
50
years
(Babin
&
Carder,
1996).”
However,
 recent
technological
advances
such
as
TiVO
and
DVR
have
altered
the
way
 individuals
watch
television.
These
digital
recorders
not
only
allow
for
viewers
to
 record
specific
programs
which
limits
channel
surfing,
but
also
gives
consumers
the
 power
to
“zap”
or
fast
forward
through
television
commercials.
This
poses
“new
 opportunities
and
new
threats
to
brand
communications”(Ong,
2004)
and
has
left
 many
advertisers
searching
for
new
ways
to
get
their
product
noticed.

“Recognizing
 the
fact
that
consumers
are
inundated
with
a
vast
number
of
TV
channel
choices,
 having
a
brand
featured
or
embedded
into
a
popular
TV
program
would
likely
gain
 more
attention
or
exposure
than
having
the
brand
advertised
between
program
 breaks”(Ong,
2004).
 Another
rather
recent
development
in
television
culture
is
the
rise
of
Reality
 Television.
“So
far,
the
dominant
new
TV
genre
of
the
21st
century,
Reality
TV
 provides
a
clear
example
of
commercial
culture
in
which
mediation
is
primarily
 designed
to
sell”
(McAllister,
2003).
According
to
Deery
(2004),
“individuals,
 experiences,
and
even
the
medium
itself
are
repeatedly
marketed
in
a
genre
whose



absorption
of
direct
and
indirect
selling
is
currently
spearheading
a
conflation
of
 advertising
and
entertainment.”
Furthermore,
brand
placement
in
Reality
TV
allows
 for
advertisers
to
pinpoint
a
very
specific
audience
because
the
demographics
of
 viewers
of
a
certain
kind
of
reality
program
are
well
understood.
Brand
placement
 also
seem
to
have
a
longer
life‐span
than
traditional
forms
of
advertisement
due
to
 re‐runs
or
a
reality
show’s
seasonal
transition
to
DVD.

(Nebenzhal
&
Secunda
1993;
 Brennan
et
al.,
1999;
d’Astous
&
Chartier,
2000)
 Therefore,
it
seems
as
though
the
Reality
TV
genre
is
redefining
the
 traditional
brand
placement
practice
and
enables
advertisers
to
utilize
the
naturally
 occurring
environment
to
embed
certain
products
that
may
appear
out
of
place
in
 more
fictional
mediums
(i.e.
movies
or
a
sitcom
TV
series).
In
a
study
conducted
by
 Delorme
and
Reid
(1999),
research
found
that
their
subjects
were
very
aware
of
 excessive
showing
of
brand
and
placements
in
unnatural
and
inappropriate
settings
 including
over‐emphasis
through
camera
techniques
in
movies.
Their
subjects
also
 noted
that
such
actions
cheapen
the
movie‐going
experience
and
insult
the
 audience.
In
fact,
many
studies
have
indicated
that
if
a
brand
placement
appears
too
 obvious
or
out
of
context,
the
viewer’s
attitude
toward
the
practice
will
decline.
 Therefore
it
is
imperative
for
future
research
to
test
if
this
theory
would
also
apply
 to
non‐fictional
television
show’s
context
(Reality
TV)
as
well.

 Researchers
at
the
head
of
attitudinal
studies
concerning
brand
placement
 are
Gupta
and
Gould
(1997),
whose
studies
are
often
referred
to
by
various
 researchers
in
the
field.

Their
1997
study
was
the
first
to
expand
the
inquiry
into
 American
consumer
attitudes
to
consider
different
product
types.
In
this
study,



Gupta
and
Gould
produced
and
distributed
a
survey
to
“1012
American
college
 students”.
The
results
indicated
that
U.S.
college
students’
attitudes
toward
brand
 placement
in
the
media
are
generally
positive.
“These
studies
have
given
us
a
clearer
 view
of
college–aged
audience
consumers’
attitudes
towards
the
practice
of
brand
 placement
in
the
USA.”
(Karrh,
Frith
&
Callison)
Furthermore,
in
a
more
recent
and
 rather
large
study
conducted
by
Gould,
Gupta
and
Grabner‐Krauter
(2000),
 researchers
performed
a
cross
cultural
analysis
of
“Austrian,
French
and
American
 Consumers’
Attitudes
Toward
This
Emerging
International
Promotional
Medium”.
 This
research
took
into
account
product
differences,
individual
differences
and
 country
differences.
Their
results
indicate
that
U.S.,
Austria
and
France
differ
in
their
 attitudes
toward
brand
placement
and
shows
“U.S.
consumers
as
being
more
 accepting
of,
and
more
likely
to
purchase
products
shown
in
movies
or
television”
 However,
it
appeared
as
though
the
type
of
product
featured
also
played
a
major
 role
in
whether
the
brand
placement
was
viewed
positively
or
negatively.
For
 example,
“ethically
charged
products
like
cigarettes,
alcohol
and
guns”
were
viewed
 negatively.
Also,
this
study
appeared
to
show
“significant
gender
differences,
where
 women
viewed
brand
placement
less
positively
than
men”(Gould,
Gupta
&
Grabner‐ Krauter,
2000).

Although
this
study
did
provide
much
insight
into
international
 viewpoints
of
brand
placement,
it
only
included
“attitudes
toward
product
 placement
in
general,
attitude
toward
television
advertising
in
general,
perceived
 realism
and
the
attitude
toward
restricting
product
placements.”
It
also
is
important
 to
point
out
that
in
both
of
these
studies,
the
frequency
in
which
a
consumer
views
 certain
media
outlets,
(movies
or
television)
greatly
influences
a
consumer’s
overall



acceptability
of
placement.
This
result
runs
parallel
with
Neijens
and
Smit’s
(2003)
 research,
which
also
concluded
that
“frequent
viewers
of
programs
that
include
 brand
placement
exhibited
more
positive
beliefs
and
more
positive
attitude
toward
 brand
placement.”
Thus,
it
would
be
important
for
future
research
to
take
this
 variable
into
account
when
researching
consumer
attitudes
toward
brand
 placement
on
Reality
TV.
 However,
these
studies,
like
a
majority
of
the
literature
reviewed
in
this
 paper,
fail
to
take
into
account
various
sub‐genres,
such
as
separating
Reality
TV
 programs
from
generalized,
all‐inclusive
variables
like
“television”.

 Furthermore,
it
is
important
to
mention
that
even
with
the
amount
of
 research
conducted
on
the
topic
of
brand
placement
“…it
is
difficult
to
ascertain
the
 effectiveness
of
consumer
attitudes
toward
brand
placement
because
much
of
the
 data
is
proprietary”
(Karrh,
1998;
Yang
&
Roskos‐Ewoldsen,
2004).
Therefore,
 despite
the
widespread
use
of
this
promotional
medium,
there
are
still
various
areas
 of
the
practice
that
need
to
be
included
in
future
studies.


 
 Rationale
 There
has
been
much
research
conducted
on
the
topic
of
brand
placement
 with
many
focusing
on
the
effectiveness
of
brand
placement
ads
and
the
attitudinal
 measures
and
the
resulting
purchase
intentions
of
consumers.
Other
relatable
 studies,
such
as
the
ones
mentioned
in
the
above
section
by
Gupta
and
Gould
 (1997);
Gupta,
Gould
and
Grabner‐Krauter
(2000);
and
Neijens
and
Smit
(2003),
fail
 to
include
consumer
attitudes
on
non‐fictional
genres
of
media
in
their
research.




First,
prior
research
suggests
that
the
study
of
consumer’s
perceptions
of
 brand
placement
usage
in
Reality
Television
programs
would
be
instrumental
in
 understanding
the
overall
effectiveness
of
brand
placement
in
general
(Ferle
&
 Edwards,
2006).

Although
much
research
on
this
topic
of
brand
placement
has
been
 conducted
within
the
fictional
television
and
movie
realm,
there
does
not
appear
to
 be
many
studies
done
on
reality‐based
television,
which
many
advertisers
have
 utilized
as
the
newest
outlet
for
companies
to
“sell
as
it
entertains”,
thus
coining
the
 phrase
“Advertainment”
(Deery,
2004).
Also,
it
would
be
important
to
conduct
this
 study
using
a
study
group
a
similar
in
demographic
to
Gupta
and
Gould’s
(1997)
 study
on
the
attitude
of
college
students’
toward
brand
placement.
Therefore,
the
 topic
of
interest
for
this
current
study
is
to
measure
college‐age
(18‐24)
U.S.
 consumer’s
attitudes
toward
brand
placement
practices
in
the
reality
television
 genre
compared
to
fictional
television
programs.
Given
the
literature
reviewed
in
 this
paper,
the
researcher
poses
the
following
research
question:
 RQ1:
Is
there
a
difference
between
reality
television
programs
and
fictional
 television
programs
with
respect
to
consumer
acceptability
of
brand
 placement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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