Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 140–160 | Cite as

Music and its multitude of meanings: Exploring what makes brand placements in music videos authentic

  • Janée N. Burkhalter
  • Carolyn Folkman Curasi
  • Corliss G. Thornton
  • Naveen Donthu
Original Article


Despite the ubiquity of music in consumers’ lives and 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. This study serves to address our understanding of brand placements in music and music videos by examining how consumers interpret music and brand placement in music videos. Using a naturalistic methodology and representative informant comments, we explain how music videos can help build loyalty, introduce brands, and reinforce or modify consumers’ knowledge about brands. In addition, we introduce the concept of “authenticity of brand reference” and explain how consumers assess the credibility of a brand placements in music videos. We conclude by discussing the findings and identifying related managerial implications.


brand placement entertainment hip-hop music qualitative research authenticity of brand reference product placement music videos 



This paper is based on the first author’s dissertation completed at Georgia State University. This research was supported by a grant from Georgia State University.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janée N. Burkhalter
    • 1
  • Carolyn Folkman Curasi
    • 2
  • Corliss G. Thornton
    • 2
  • Naveen Donthu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Marketing, Pedro Arrupe Center for Business Ethics, Ervian K. Haub School of BusinessSaint Joseph UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Marketing, J. Mack Robinson College of Business AdministrationGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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