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2009 - International Communication Association Words: 225 words || 
1. Sender, Katherine. "Media Audience Studies and Consumption: Audience Response to Product Placement in the Makeover Reality Genre" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-06-18 <>
Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Both popular press and scholarly critics of makeover television shows worry that these programs situate self-help or -improvement expressly in the context of consumption: advertising, product placement, and the show's own branded products litter the shows and related publicity. To what extent, however, do audiences engage with these commercial appeals? This paper draws from a large audience research study of four makeover television shows: The Biggest Loser, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Starting Over, and What Not to Wear. We asked regular viewers of the shows whether they remembered advertised or placed products from the shows, whether they had purchased any of these, and whether they had bought books and DVDs associated with the shows. Most respondents said that they did not buy products advertised or featured on these shows, and they were highly critical of clumsy product placement. Nor did they buy the show's related media very often; sometimes they critiqued the shows for withholding information in order to make people buy the book or DVD. For all the legitimate concerns about escalating commercialism of reality television, there may be cause for optimism concerning viewers' actual buying behavior, even if they do not reject consumerism per se. Only by engaging with audiences of media forms such as makeover television can we begin to assess the impact of advertising and product placement on viewers.

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