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Exploring the Effects of External Brand Placement on Game Players’ Processing of In-Game Brand
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: EFFECTS OF EXTERNAL BRAND PLACEMENT The Effect of Brand-Game Congruence Congruency has so far focused on how well the in-game advertised brand fit in the video game. Here, brand-game congruence is focused on the consistency between a brand which game players externally experience during game play and video games. Studies have found that congruent information produces higher memory rates than incongruent information (e.g. Moorman, Neijens and Smit, 2002; Lee and Faber, 2007). People who encounter new information tend to match it with preexisting schema. If new information matches the preexisting schema, the information is encoded more easily (Lee and Faber, 2007). Similarly, Lewis and Porter (2010) understood congruence as fulfilling peoples’ expectations about other content, objects, or messages. Consumers decide which brand messages to elaborate and which to discard based on their expectations. Therefore, game players are likely to encode congruent brand messages better than incongruent messages. Thus: H4-a. Players experiencing a competing congruent external brand during game play will produce greater recognition for the brand compared to players experiencing a competing incongruent external brand during game play. However, previous studies showed that the congruity effects on brand recall may produce conflicting results. Lee and Faber’s study (2007) showed that greater recall was produced for incongruent brands than was for congruent brands. According to Lang (2002), information that is novel or unexpected activates automatic processing. Therefore, if the individual perceives a brand that is new, he or she may unconsciously engage in processing the brand message. This may apply to the processing situation in which a game player experiences an incongruent external brand during game play. When a game player experiences a competing brand stimulus that is incongruent to the video game, the novelty and distinctiveness of the message are likely to 12

Authors: Kim, Eunice. and Eastin, Matthew.
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The Effect of Brand-Game Congruence 
Congruency has so far focused on how well the in-game advertised brand fit in the video 
 game. Here, brand-game congruence is focused on the consistency between a brand which game 
players externally experience during game play and video games. 
Studies have found that congruent information produces higher memory rates than 
incongruent information (e.g. Moorman, Neijens and Smit, 2002; Lee and Faber, 2007). People 
who encounter new information tend to match it with preexisting schema. If new information 
matches the preexisting schema, the information is encoded more easily (Lee and Faber, 2007). 
Similarly, Lewis and Porter (2010) understood congruence as fulfilling peoples’ expectations 
about other content, objects, or messages. Consumers decide which brand messages to elaborate 
and which to discard based on their expectations. Therefore, game players are likely to encode 
congruent brand messages better than incongruent messages. Thus:    
H4-a. Players experiencing a competing congruent external brand during game play will 
produce greater recognition for the brand compared to players experiencing a competing 
incongruent external brand during game play.
However, previous studies showed that the congruity effects on brand recall may produce 
conflicting results. Lee and Faber’s study (2007) showed that greater recall was produced for 
incongruent brands than was for congruent brands. According to Lang (2002), information that is 
novel or unexpected activates automatic processing. Therefore, if the individual perceives a 
brand that is new, he or she may unconsciously engage in processing the brand message. This 
may apply to the processing situation in which a game player experiences an incongruent 
external brand during game play. When a game player experiences a competing brand stimulus 
that is incongruent to the video game, the novelty and distinctiveness of the message are likely to 

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