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Consumer reactions to paid versus unpaid brand name placement in song lyrics

Yves Van Vaerenbergh (Department of Marketing, KU Leuven, Brussels, Belgium)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

913

Abstract

Purpose

More and more artists mention brand names in their song lyrics; yet, their motivation to do so might differ. While some artists mention brand names out of brand love, other artists mention brand names against financial compensation. As media often discloses such brand name placements, the purpose of this paper is to explore consumer reactions to paid versus unpaid brand name placements in song lyrics.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-group between-subjects experiment (paid brand name placement, unpaid brand name placement, control group) tests the effects of brand name placement disclosures in song lyrics on brand attitudes and brand awareness. The song was developed specifically for the purpose of this study.

Findings

Consumer awareness about paid brand name placements in song lyrics has positive effects on brand awareness, while having no negative effects on brand attitudes. More specifically, consumer brand awareness is significantly higher in the paid brand name placement condition than in the unpaid brand name placement condition, or the control condition. Brand attitudes increased in both the paid and unpaid brand name placement conditions, compared to the control condition.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to a better understanding of brand name placement in song lyrics. Counterintuitively, consumer awareness about paid brand name placements in song lyrics actually has positive effects on consumers’ brand awareness and no negative effects on brand attitudes. Moreover, any disclosure – regardless of whether it concerns a paid or unpaid brand name placement – increases brand attitudes. This study thus shows that marketing managers should not fear media disclosing brand name placements in song lyrics.

Keywords

Citation

Van Vaerenbergh, Y. (2017), "Consumer reactions to paid versus unpaid brand name placement in song lyrics", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 151-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-05-2016-1167

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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