Our consortium pursues a range of projects.
Our approaches are comparative in the broadest sense, keeping in mind
the ways media formats, markets, marketing paradigms and brand communication
strategies change in diverse national and cultural settings.
Some of our activities include:
- Monitoring and analyzing specific efforts to integrate brands with entertainment content;
- Conducting focus group discussions with younger consumers about their response to brands and product placements;
- Ongoing monitoring of internet fan groups for programs which have a high degree of brand integration;
- Organizing programs and forums which would provide a common ground for exchanges between leading thinkers on the subject of brand cultures;
- Prototyping new approaches to viewer participation and affiliation;
- Conceptualizing how membership in style cultures shapes and is shaped by media and brand consumption;
- Examining successful efforts by companies to build brand cultures around their products and services.
The first year will attempt to map the broad terrain which the consortium is exploring, pulling together initial observations and insights into Action Items that member companies can utilize.
The initial research agenda is slated to include four research papers:
- Cellphones, Music, New Media and Youth Cultures: Cool Alternative Futures from China and Japan
- The Top Ten Mistakes that Companies Make While Integrating Product Placements in Entertainment Programming
- Expressing Your Self Through Brands: How Consumers Perform Brand Identities
- A Review of Previous Attempts at Product Placements Through Games and Recommendations for Enhancing Strategies in the Space
In the first year, CMS will also attempt to identify at least three case studies of brand-integration into television content, with the goal of mapping consumer engagement and resistance. These projects would build upon the efforts of affiliated companies with the goal of comparing notes about the value of product placements for reaching different markets and within different kinds of entertainment contexts.