Marketing Letters

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 461–471 | Cite as

Do I know you? How brand familiarity and perceived fit affect consumers’ attitudes towards brands placed in movies

  • Yann Verhellen
  • Nathalie Dens
  • Patrick De Pelsmacker


The present study uses Associative Network Theory to construct a model that explains effects of brand placement in movies. Based on a field experiment (n = 167), we investigate the effects of plot connection and prominence on brand attitude, as well as the mediating role of brand-movie fit and the moderating role of brand familiarity. Results show that more closely connecting a brand to the plot of a movie positively impacts brand attitude by increasing the perceived fit between the brand and the movie. Brand familiarity moderates the effect of the interaction between a placement’s plot connection and prominence on brand attitude. When brand familiarity is high, there is no significant effect of plot connection on brand attitude, nor is this effect moderated by the prominence of the placement. However, when brand familiarity is low, both prominently and subtly connecting the brand to the plot of the movie positively influences brand attitude. More importantly, the effect of plot connection is significantly stronger when an unfamiliar brand is prominently placed, than when it is subtly placed.


Brand placement Associative Network Theory Brand familiarity Perceived fit Plot connection Prominence 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Flemish Agency for Innovation Through Science and Technology (IWT Vlaanderen).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yann Verhellen
    • 1
  • Nathalie Dens
    • 1
  • Patrick De Pelsmacker
    • 1
  1. 1.Marketing Department, Faculty of Applied EconomicsUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpenBelgium

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