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Influence of Product Placement in Music Videos: Influence on Millenial Consumption

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2773 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Product placement in music videos: A content analysis of how high-end fashion brand promotion strategies in music videos influences millennial’s consuming behaviours

  1. Identify the context for the research and the objectives of the research.

New technologies have brought a change or era, and since traditional forms of advertising have lost their credibility (Lehu, 2007), brands must do more than just communicate, they must generate brand engagement (Sánchez-Olmos, 2018). Contemporary techniques of advertising have become increasingly influential in reaching youth audiences; therefore, advertising professionals are striving to persuade consumers with leading-edge techniques of promotion (Burkhalter, 2012).

Brand promotions appear across a variety of media such as TV, radio and online but findings indicate a notable grown in music videos (Plambeck, 2010) with 93.1% of music videos have mentioned brand preferences (Burkhalter, 2012). Music videos have great potential, as Hansen and Hansen (2000) underlined that an individual’s behaviour may be influenced only by a small exposure to music videos. Undoubtedly, music can be a powerful branding strategy (Brodsky, 2010). Sánchez-Olmos (2018) also described music videos as one of the richest manifestations of popular culture. Through a form of persuasive and seductive audio-visual, they support people to develop their identity and understand the world around them. Additionally, listening to music, hence watching music videos is one of the most preferred activities among young people worldwide and it is an essential part of teen culture (Zillmann and Vordener, 2000). Sheinkop (2013) again, points out that music makes people feel cool therefore, in the eyes of the consumer, the brand becomes relevant and more importantly it becomes useful beyond its products. Therefore, as O’Reily (2013) noted, music videos have become the new star of marketing. This shall be explored in more detail semiotically to gain a better understanding on the association between music and brand promotions as relatively little scholarly attention has been paid. Its potential to sell nonmusical products, qualitative research examining brand placements in music is rather limited. Especially absent is research on consumers’ perceptions of brand placements in music videos. By examining how consumers interpret music and brand placement in music videos. (Jane´e N. Burkhalter, Carolyn Folkman Curasi, Corliss G. Thornton, Naveen Donthu)

*write about fashion and music 300 words more min

  1. Research Aim and Objectives

 From addressing previous literature, aim of this research is to provide an empirical analysis into how high-end fashion brands placement in music videos influence young consumer behaviours and develop an understanding of how consumers perceive and evaluate brand placements in music. In relation to this aim, the research objectives have been set and listed below:

  1. To critically review existing literature on brand placement strategies associated with music
  2. To explore the impact of brand placement in music videos on millennial consumers buying habits by analysing viewer’s reactions on brand messages
  3. To provide an insight of the cultural effect high-end fashion brand placement has on generation Y.

Following the introduction, chapter 2 will discuss objective (1) by means of literature review. Brand placement will be looked in more detail from both academic and an industry perspective, to provide the reader with the essential theoretical background for this research. Then will furthermore

  1. Literature Review

This literature review will explore the brand placement strategies in music video clips that fashion brands use to accumulate success among millennials. qualitative research examining brand placements in music is rather limited. Especially absent is research on consumers’ perceptions of brand placements in music videos. By examining how consumers interpret music and brand placement in music videos.

3.1 Music and advertising

Music is a human way of expression that has been around for centuries. Likewise, music and advertising have also been closely linked since the dawn of radio (Meier, 2011). As technological advances are constantly growing, transforming and cultivating the landscape of a digital era, consequently promotional strategies have also evolved (Management Association, 2017). Correspondingly, advertisers are striving to reach consumers

There is no definitive explanation of how music works but indeed music can be a powerful branding strategy (Brodsky, 2010).

 Gorn (1982), using a classical conditioning approach, suggested that feelings generated from hearing liked or disliked music in combination with a product can positively or negatively influence product choices. Others have as well suggested that music creates moods that could affect product choice (Alpert and Alpert, 1990; Bruner 1990)

While content analysis provides a thorough and objective report on how music is being used in prime-time television advertising and how much, it is limited in its ability to provide any explanation for why it is used or its effectiveness.

Songs and music videos are shorter in length than television shows, films, or video games, providing the opportunity for consumers to watch music videos far more times than they would a film or television show.

Previous findings explain how music videos can help build loyalty, introduce brands, and reinforce or modify consumers’ knowledge about brands firstly by build relationships between consumers and recording artists, secondly by discovering brands through music and thirdly by considering the authenticity of the brand placement when viewing music videos and evaluating the brands that are mentioned and/or shown in the music videos (Burkhalter et al, 2017).


3.2  Product placement in music videos

Chen and Haley (2014) defined product placement as the intentional, paid inclusion of products, services, brands, and brand identifiers into media content. Previous findings on product placement in TV programs and traditional films indicate that product placements often appear in moments of ‘’relaxed’’ programs or scenes instead of more tense or highly engaging ones, because such settings may be challenging and viewers might not notice the brand appearance (Chan & Lowe, 2017; La Ferle & Edwards, 2006). Noteworthy, previous analysis showed that if viewers do not wish to view video-based ads, they are often to avoid them entirely by muting them, temporarily turning off the device, or even blocking or skipping the commercials. According to Russell (2002), and Friestad and Wright (1995), the meaningfulness of a product placement to the plots determines the likelihood of whether persuasion knowledge will trigger consumers’ cognitive defenses against the embedded brand. According to the Persuasion Knowledge Model (Friestad & Wright, 1995), consumers actively cope with persuasion messages, and evaluate the persuasion agent and the brand. During this coping process, consumers may become skeptical when being prompted by certain cues, for example, incongruity between a product placement and the plot due to the lack of meaningful contribution (Russell, 2002). Subsequently, consumers will react negatively toward the brand.

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Music is a business strategy for brands and brands are interested in music because it is one of the most important cultural manifestations of our society. Musical experience makes it possible to combine imagination and fantasy and facilitates integration in our own narrative culture (Frith, 1996) and therefore, the use of music by brands implies an injection of ideology into music content (Taylor, 2012).

After describing the reasons why music is important to people, it is convenient to analyse why music is useful for brands. Firstly, music can help brands to create value and engagement a bd turns consumers into fans.


Music videos have had a unique place in the cultural landscape initially understood as advertisements for artists, songs and albums, music videos are now understood as pop culture products in their own right that demand attention and analysis (Railton and Watson 2011: 1–2).

Moreover, through tangible communication, like advertisements and packaging, brands develop intangible dimensions, such as images, heritages, lifestyles and personalities (Wigley et al. 2013). Music tells a story, and music videos market lifestyles; thus, for placements to be effective, brands must be well integrated into storylines.

Differing from previous research, our findings suggest that consumers can be introduced to brands through song lyrics and music videos, especially when they feel close to the artists who produced it.

The results also substantiate research that shows that consumers learn about artists and fashion from music videos (Sun and Lull, 1986). This study also extends our understanding of music audiences’ perceptions and preferences.

This depth of knowledge provides consumer-fans with an expertise to use when listening to their favourite artists’ music, watching their music videos, and interpreting the music and videos, including the brands placed within those music videos. Just as consumers may build brand knowledge based on information from their peers, they also develop brand knowledge from insights shared through a recording artist’s song lyrics and music videos. Consumers expect music and the ideas expressed therein to be true and honest experiences and feelings of the recording artist. Consumers want to believe that the brand is referenced because it is something the artist truly believes in.

Simola et al. also found that ads received more visual attention and recognized better when placed to the right of the editorial content.

Branded content should not be confused with brand placement which refers to the integration of a brand or service into an audio-visual content (Lehu, 2007)

Brand placement is the origin of branded content because the latter means a sophistication of the brand placement technique.

Academics explored brand placement via experimentation focused on music videos and brand recall (Schemer et al 2008; Schmidt, 2011) but there is still opportunity to endorse previous research and investigate further factors of interest. Moreover, a limited number of studies has previously examined placement disclosure but there is no knowledge about consequences of brand promotions for popular music videos (Matthes and Naderer, 2015).


3.3  Fashion branding

When it comes to sharing meaning between music and fashion branding, social identities are of particular importance since consumers often use clothing in constructions of the self and subjectivities (Kaiser 2012: 20–22).

However, the idea of “luxury brands”, as a special form of branding and a cultural force behind fashion and an affluent consumption lifestyle, is a relatively new concept (Chevalier and Mazzalovo, 2008).

Although luxury offerings vary in terms of their functional uses, they provide consumers with comparable symbolic and experiential benefits – such as prestige and social status – that mostly come from the intangible attributes of their brands (Kapferer and Bastien, 2009; Keller, 2009).

It should also convey a particular symbolic meaning; a story behind the product that can be linked to the consumer’s perception of luxury. Branding can add this value to the company’s products (Levy, 1959; Holt et al., 2004). Substantial investment in brand image was, therefore, an obvious choice for luxury corporations

Inexpensive brands seem less legitimate to the fans because they seem inconsistent with the musical genre which is consistently found to include the most luxury brands in its song lyrics and music videos (Bakish-Mohammed and Callison, 2014).

Zander (2006) notes that the musical genres can be associated with product’s attributes.

Music tells a story, and music videos market lifestyles; thus, for placements to be effective, brands must be well integrated into storylines.

Intertextual analyses have proved to be a useful tool, especially when examining the relationship between music videos and fashion, as musicians have become the face of fashion brands, and costuming and aesthetic qualities are fully ingrained in the production (Edmond 2010; Miller 2011: 15–23).

So, although people may be aware of brands before watching a video, the video provides recognition and recall cues. (Burkhalter)

The growing popularity of luxury brands in emerging markets seems to make consumer tastes for these brands increasingly similar around the world (Catry, 2003). Some common characteristics that consumers seek in luxury brands today include high perceived prestige, aesthetic value, and their association with fashion and an affluent lifestyle (Okonkwo, 2007).

Thus, cross-cultural studies investigating luxury brand consumption suggest that cultural processes, such as historical context and cultural conventions, play important roles in exploring consumer perceptions and attitudes towards luxury brands.

it is evident that their consumption is strongly influenced by regional and cultural differences

Given the multidimensionality of the brand concept and ambiguity about what constitutes luxury, researchers have struggled to develop a comprehensive conceptualisation of luxury brands (Kapferer, 2006).

Despite this growing interest in luxury branding, there are gaps in the existing literature, particularly in the area of the conceptualisation of luxury brands (Kapferer, 2006; Berthon et al., 2009)

There is strong evidence to suggest that the multiple ways in which brands are used can help us to understand the roles played by these brands in consumer lives and, consequently, to understand the meanings that consumers ascribe to them (e.g. Fournier, 1998).


4. Appraise the key debates in the philosophy, ethics and epistemology ofscience to justify the relationship between philosophical approaches andchoices of qualitative and quantitative methods



  1. Evaluate a variety of data collection methods

Our research goal is to understand con- sumers’ responses to brand placements in lyrics and music videos. We employed qualitative interviews and analysis (Belk et al, 1988; Holt and Thompson, 2004) to gain insights into relationships among consumers, music, recording artists, and brands consumers associate with music videos. Our primary data are derived from semi-structured interviews with 20 infor- mants self-identified as fans of hip-hop music and music videos conducted over a 4-month period


  • Williams, K 2013, Planning Your Dissertation, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [19 May 2019].
  • Plambeck, J. 2010, Product placement makes the jump to music videos on the web, The New York Times Company.



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