The impact of product placement on consumer involvement in the South African automotive industry
Ntsike, 'Mapaseka Susan
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This study contributes to the effectiveness of product placement as a marketing communications strategy responsible for consumer involvement with the product. In today’s communication environment, marketers are experiencing difficulty in getting audiences to notice and respond to their products because of media clutter in the market. Other than that, the greatest challenge facing marketers is that television viewing of programs happens in the midst of other activities such as chatting on the phone, listening to music or reading a novel. Thus, it appears that communication certainty is at risk with traditional advertising options such as television. Television audiences multi-task by doing these other competitive activities while viewing programs in an attempt to avoid exposure to advertisements. However, where product placement media settings are concerned, active involvement on the part of the audience is expected. This is because product placement as the currently available option in marketing communication is executed in humorous settings that not only make the audiences enjoy the medium but also view products that appear within it with focused attention and in a positive light, leading to responses to the stimuli. The study therefore proposes that positive emotions and attention towards the programme/media will influence engagement with the programme, thereby also positively affecting placed product involvement. On the other hand, limited research has been done investigating the impact of product placement on consumer involvement with the product. At the same time, there are many studies covering the concept of product placement in different media contexts, but to date, very few have explored the concept in the context of magazines, auto shows, Internet and shopping malls with regard to cars. These media settings require different levels of emotions, attention, and involvement depending on technique and style. Therefore, the media that has the highest impact on consumer involvement was demonstrated in the quantitative analysis section of this study while the qualitative section gave an overview of which media is highly engaging from the managers of the car companies. The questionnaire was designed in such a way that respondents confirmed their responses towards the programme and the placed product with a specific number. The model in this study was analysed using path analysis from the AMOS software program and programme involvement was found to have a substantial influence on placed product involvement. The data collected in this study is from the Bloemfontein area of the Free State province and it represents South Africa in general. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire and an interview guide. The study further went on to highlight the benefits of product placement and the types of involvement which it brings about.