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I need help with questions 4a and 4b. The case study is attached. 

© Roger Bougie 2011







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



Research question


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.



Discussion Questions


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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