Date of Award

Fall 10-17-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kay Beck

Second Advisor

Ly Bolia

Third Advisor

Sheldon Schiffer


This thesis is an ethnographic study of the product placement decisions made on-set during the production of a feature film. A concise historical review of the use of products in film and television is followed by an overview of the current research literature. The literature overview reveals a need for specific additional research. The research question which directed the present study intends to add to the existing literature: product placement is part of a creative decision-making process that happens throughout production on-set with filmmakers using products to help tell their story. The method used to approach the research question is an ethnographic observation of the decision-making process on-set, supplemented by interviews with professionals in props, art and set decorating departments. The findings present the results of the study summarizing the observations and interviews supporting the research question. The last section outlines the conclusions and areas that call for further research.