Fancy a coffee with Friends in ‘Central Perk’? Reverse product placement, fictional brands and purchase intention

Laurent Muzellec

University College Dublin, Ireland

Christopher Kanitz

University of Bremen, Germany

Theodore Lynn

Dublin City University, Ireland

Introduction

Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.

Walter Landor

This quote, attributed to Walter Landor, suggests that brands may be created following a process independent from the manufacturing of a product or the design of a service offering. The psychology-based approach of brand equity partially recognises this contention, and also holds that brand equity exists when consumers have high levels of familiarity with a brand with strong, unique and favourable brand associations (Keller 1993, 2008; Aaker & Joachimsthaler 2000). Hence the ultimate goal of branding is to capture a share of the mind of potential consumers (Ries & Trout 2001; Stern 2006).