Transportation to a world of fantasy: Consumer experiences of fictional brands becoming real
Authors: Reading, A. and Jenkins, R.
Journal: Journal of Promotional Communication
This paper explores the relatively new and understudied area of reverse product placement. It focuses on the experiences of consumers who purchase and use fictional brands and products – those that first appear in fiction and are later produced and sold for actual consumption. Phenomenological interviews were used to capture what individuals experience when they purchase, use and own fictional brands. Three themes related to the notion of connection emerged. Fictional brands and products connect individuals to a different world, allowing them to experience and indulge in their fantasies through a tangible object. The objects also connect individuals to memories and emotions, acting as a portal to other aspects of their lives, and fictional brands and products also connect to the self and to others. The findings help us to explore issues of fantasy and reality within consumption, noting particularly how fictional products and brands can provide tangible links between the two realms, and sheds further light on the role of fantasy within everyday life.