Product Placement in Television Series

University essay from IT-universitetet i Göteborg/Tillämpad informationsteknologi

Abstract: Purpose: To explore how young women are affected by the product placement of luxury products in the television series Gossip Girl. Background: Consumers are turning away from traditional ways of advertising and research has proven that advertising is more effective when the recipients are not directly aware of its promotional purpose. This is why nowadays a lot of advertisers are relying on product placement to advertise brands. Television and movies have shown to have a great influence on people’s consumption behavior as they have an impact on culture and can therefore influence the viewers. The effectiveness of product placement has mainly been studied in the context of movies and regular consumer goods. This study focuses on product placement in television series using the example of Gossip Girl. The particularity of product placement in Gossip Girl is its placement of mainly luxury products. How effective product placement for luxury brands is has never been studied. This thesis aims to fill that gap. Methodology: Qualitative research was chosen to reach the purpose of the study. To collect data, semi-structured interviews were carried out. Those were transcribed and then analyzed using the qualitative content analysis of Mayring. Main findings: It was discovered that product placement of luxury brands in Gossip Girl has an impact on the female viewers. All perceived a distance between their life and the lifestyle in Gossip Girl and were therefore not influenced in their consumption behavior. However, there were some differences between the participants of the study. Some gained brand consciousness and wished to own the product placed in the show while others did not feel much influenced. This was mainly due to the difference in the awareness of product placement in the show and the difference in interest in the luxury industry.

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