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Configurating product placement prominence on brand memory: what counts and what does not?

Sigen Song (Department of Business Administration, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China)
Fanny Fong Yee Chan (Department of Marketing, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong)
Yongfa Li (Department of Marketing, Anhui University of Finance and Economics, Bengbu, China)
Cheng Lu Wang (Marketing Department, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 14 December 2022




Placement prominence is a multidimensional concept. Previous studies have defined and operationalized prominence in different ways, and no studies have tried to systematically examine what should and should not be counted as prominence. This study aims to fill this gap.


Using a content analysis of six short films and a survey study on 129 Chinese young adults, this study systematically examined 13 dimensions of placement prominence on the memory of placed brands.


Factor analysis has reduced the 13 dimensions into five factors: contextual, narrative, sensory, exposure and spatial prominence. Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) software was used to conduct a contrarian case analysis and test for predictive validity. This was followed by a QCA to identify the optimal configurations of the five factors that may lead to a high recognition of the placed brands. The optimal configurations were also contrasted across two gender and brand familiarity groups. While the optimal configurations of prominence on brand memory for male and female participants were largely the same, the combinations differed between participants with low and high brand familiarity.


Previous studies in product placement usually operationalize prominence with a few dominant dimensions intuitively though several other dimensions, and their interactions could also affect the prominence level. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that used multiple dimensions of prominence configurations to identify paths that may lead to low and high brand memory. The empirical results contribute to the theory and understanding of the effect of prominence on brand memory and provide guidance to brand managers in determining which prominence configuration is the most suitable for achieving their promotional objective.



The work presented in this paper was supported by the National Office for Philosophy and Social Sciences Funds of China [Reference no.: 21BXW082] and the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China [Reference no.: UGC/FDS14/H15/17].


Song, S., Chan, F.F.Y., Li, Y. and Wang, C.L. (2022), "Configurating product placement prominence on brand memory: what counts and what does not?", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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