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Abstract

Understanding the personal values of protagonists in films can provide a foundation upon which to build film marketing campaigns. The research discussed below focused on the personal values of protagonists in 93 films comprising three samples released in the United States between 1996 and 2005 noteworthy for their eminent creativity and/or high profitability. The method used was content analysis with coding based on the adaptations of the Rokeach value descriptors. The most important personal values related to goals were determined to be family security, self-respect, a sense of accomplishment, and true friendship (in all three samples); mature love and wisdom (in two samples); and inner harmony and national security (in one sample each). The most important personal values related to desirable behaviors were being ambitious, capable, courageous, helpful, loving, and responsible (in all three samples); and being honest (in one sample). Longitudinal analyses of the value hierarchies that changed in significance from beginning to end of the films indicated a shift from selfconcern and materialism to societal concerns and altruism. The content analysis methodology used in this study has implications for marketing professionals in that it reveals means of analyzing popular films as source material to garner insights into the personal values of the consumers who attend the films. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.