The Behavioral Effects of Negative Product Placements in Movies


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Ignacio Redondo, Departamento de Marketing, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain (


No previous studies have examined how negative brand placements influence consumer behavior. According to this study's theoretical framework and empirical results, the effectiveness of these placements varies with the type of negativity—that is, either intrinsically or extrinsically connected to the brand. Based on the elaboration likelihood model, an intrinsically (extrinsically) negative placement will be very (barely) relevant to the viewers who, having (lacking) enough motivation, will process the information through the central (peripheral) route of persuasion. Under the central route, a careful consideration of the intrinsically negative information will discourage the viewers from consuming the brand, especially when they perceive the movie content as being realistic. Under the peripheral route, the extrinsically negative information will not be strong enough to discourage the brand users from consuming the product but will stimulate the brand nonusers to consume it, especially when these people like the movie and have a positive attitude to advertising. The hypothesized effects were confirmed in an experiment with 1103 moviegoers that viewed the film Good Bye, Lenin! under natural conditions in Santiago, Chile. To isolate the influence of two brand placements (Burger King with intrinsic negativity and Coca-Cola with extrinsic negativity), the participants were randomly assigned to two groups, each one of which viewed the movie with only one of the two placements (the other had been removed).