I need help with questions 4a and 4b. The case study is attached.
© Roger Bougie 2011
CASE: THE MODERATING EFFECT OF INVOLVEMENT IN PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Xavier Gonzalez Garcia is a Business Administration student at a big, reputable university in
England. Xavier loves to play soccer and tennis, he very much enjoys listening to music (he is a
big fan of Muse), and he is fond of watching movies. He is a student with excellent research
skills as evidenced by his academic record and the quality of his bachelor thesis.
The topic of Xavier?s bachelor thesis was ?product placement?. Product placement has been
defined as the marketing practice in which a firm pays to have its branded product included
in entertainment media, such as video games, movies, and television programs.
relatively new form of marketing took off in 1982 with the movie E.T., in which the alien is
offered a piece of Reese?s Pieces. Since then the number of product placements has increased
After having spent the summer in his home country ? Spain ? Xavier has just started with his
first year as a master student. During his holiday he has read more research papers on
product placement which have further fueled his interest in this topic. Based on these papers
and several discussions with his former bachelor thesis supervisor, dr. Casey Finneran,
Xavier has decided to take on further empirical research into this issue. He has already
discussed a research proposal and the theoretical background of his study with dr. Finneran,
who has agreed to help him with this study. Now, he is ready to discuss the design of his
study. Xavier has handed in the following outline for an experiment.
Many researchers in the marketing field have examined the effect of product
placements on memory, attitudes, and behavior. These studies have shown that product
placements affect brand recall, brand recognition, and consumers? attitudes toward the
brand. The current study aims to investigate the moderating role of product involvement on
the effects of visual and auditory product placements on brand preferences. The results
in marketing and help marketing
practitioners who want to place their product in a movie, television program, or video game
to decide whether they should do this visually or auditory.
© Roger Bougie 2011
How does involvement influence the effect of auditory and visual product placement
on brand choice?
Hypothesis 1: Auditory product placements are more effective for high involvement
products than for low involvement products.
Hypothesis 2: Visual product placements are more effective for low involvement products
than for high involvement products.
Participants: The sample will consist of 80 to 100 university students. These students are
divided into four groups, with 20-25 students per group. The participants are randomly
assigned to one of the experimental conditions.
Design: The study has a 2 (visual versus auditory product placement) x 2 (high versus low
involvement) experimental design. Participants are told a cover story; they are told that the
goal of this study is to evaluate whether brand choice depends on the mood people
are in. They are informed that mood is manipulated by a video clip, which will be either
funny or sad.
Manipulations and manipulation check: Four short movies have been selected for the
experiment, with four types of product placements. Each participant will only see one of
these movies. One of the following movies will be shown to the participants of the study: (1)
visual product placement of a low involvement product (a candy bar); (2) visual product
placement of a high involvement product (sneakers); (3) auditory product placement of a low
involvement product (a candy bar); and (4) an auditory product placement of a high
involvement product (sneakers). The short movies will all come from episodes of the
television show Seinfeld. To ensure that the involvement manipulations (candy bars versus
sneakers) elicit the intended amount of involvement, this manipulation was carefully pretested with a separate sample of 77 respondents. What?s more, a manipulation check of
involvement is also included in the study. Involvement is measured with a 7-point, multiitem scale adapted from Zaichkowski (1985). The scale is introduced with the following
question: ?How involved are you with this brand?.?
Control variable: Because the product placements in the four video clips differ in terms of
prominence, we will control for brand prominence. Prominent placements are those in which
the product is made highly visible by virtue of size or position on the screen or its
© Roger Bougie 2011
centrality to the action in the scene. Subtle placements are those in which the brand is not
shown prominently, for instance, small in size, a background prop outside the main field of
visual focus, lost in an array of multiple products or objects, or low time of exposure
(Gupta and Lord, 1998). Following Gupta and Lord, brand prominence is measured with
a 7-point, multi-item scale.
Dependent variable: Brand preference is measured by providing the respondents with a
shopping list. The shopping list mentions twelve product categories (including those
under study) and the participants are asked to pick one of the brands from each product
category. They are instructed to act like they will need an item from each product category in
the near future.
Xavier has developed a lab experiment to test the hypotheses of his study. In lab
experiments, control and manipulation
are introduced to establish cause-and-effect
relationships between variables in an artificial setting.
Describe how Xavier manipulates the independent variable and the moderating
variable in this study.
Although Xavier has pretested the manipulation of product involvement, he has also
included a manipulation check for involvement in his study. Why would he have done
You have just read an article (Hetherington and MacDiarmid, 1993) that shows
that 92% of the chocolate addicts are female. Hence, you suspect that gender is a
nuisance factor in this study (recall that candy bars feature in the low involvement
Explain, based on the afore-mentioned research finding, why and how ?gender?
may affect the results of the study if Xavier would not control for gender?
Explain (in detail) possible ways in which Xavier can control for gender in this study.
Which factors affect the internal validity of Xavier?s study given the experimental
design he is using? Explain.
Are the findings of this study generalizable to other settings (for instance other
products), people (consumers in general), and events (product placements in movies
or video games)? In other words, how do you feel about the external validity of this
Xavier has indicated that he wants to give the participants a cover story. What could
be the purpose of this cover story?
Do you think that telling a cover story is ethical? Why not)?
© Roger Bougie 2011
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2013). Research methods for business: A skill building approach
(6th ed.). Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-94225-2.
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