Do Brands Appearing in Textbooks Influence Students? Insights from an Exploratory Study: An Abstract
Product placement is defined as the inclusion of brand and/or brand identifying items within mass media programming such as cinema and television (Balasubramanian 1994; Karrh 1998). Many studies have examined product placements in movies (e.g., Babin and Carder 1996), television shows (e.g., Law and Braun 2000), and video games (e.g., Nelson 2002), but it has also been studied in music videos (e.g., Schemer et al. 2008), novels (e.g., Brennan 2008), and even textbooks (Brennan and McCalman 2011).
This study explores the effects of brand names or logos appearing in a marketing textbook, not only on recall and recognition but also on higher-order outcomes (attitudes, consideration set, and purchase intentions). While brands appearing in textbooks are likely unsponsored word-of-author placements and are added by the authors and publishers to improve student learning, they may also implicitly influence students’ consumer and job choices.
How are brand examples presented in textbooks?
Do brand appearances in textbooks produce beneficial outcomes for brands, such as cognitive outcomes of recall or recognition, more favorable attitudes, or conative outcomes such as brand inclusion in the consideration set or higher purchase intention toward the brand?
What role does brand familiarity and form and valence of the brand appearance play in such outcomes?
Is recall or recognition of the brand necessary to observe higher order outcomes for the brand or are higher-order outcomes possible in the absence of memory of brand appearance?
Two hundred six unique brands were identified in the first four chapters of CB7 (Babin and Harris, 2016) and coded with regard to how they were featured and whether the appearance was positive, negative, or neutral. The exposed group (n = 37) completed the survey immediately after taking an exam over the four chapters, and the control group (n = 21) completed the survey after taking a different exam that same day. Dependent variables included memory-based consideration set, attitude toward the brand, purchase intention, and free recall and recognition of a number of brands. Analyses of the multitude of brand appearances revealed difficulty in answering the research questions and identified future research avenues.