Product appearances in NBC's the Office compared to multiple character variables

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study examined the relationship between product appearances and character variables through content analysis. The Elaboration Likelihood Model was used as a foundation for this study. The ELM indicates that character credibility, liking and consensus are the three primary heuristics for reaching a subject through the peripheral route and product appearances were considered peripheral forms of advertising by nature. Product variables were compared to multiple character variables. Character variables included gender, role (major or minor), credibility, likeability, and consensus. Character credibility and likeability were determined by a survey of bloggers who assigned the characters a static credibility/likeability score. The data collected by this content analysis indicated that characters with high likeability scores were linked to more product appearances than characters with low likeability scores and characters that were typical consumers were also linked to more products than non-typical consumers. However, there was no relationship found between character credibility and the quantity or cost of product appearances.

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