Hilarious sitcoms as marketing platform to enhance product appeal through star power: A study to investigate the effectiveness of QMobile advertisement when introduced in situational comedy Bulbulay


  • Maliha Baig
  • Ahmad Farooq Butt
  • Muhammad Arif Khattak


Humor in advertising, Purchase Intent, product appeal, viewer Informativeness, Attitude to Sitcom


The way a marketer presents his business idea or the marketable object, maps onto the desirability of that product, for the consumer. It means that the motivation to obtain or acquire that product, service or article of interest expands upon the value addition. The very essence of this study is to investigate the efficacy of humour as the most effective means of transforming a consumer’s choice and the impact of such use in a novice mode of comedic sitcoms. This paper examines the case of Pakistani electronics company, QMobile successfully advertising its touted brand on the television, to influence or modify purchase intention of the buyer. The product was well-received, keeping in view the moderating impact of; i )-informativeness of the product enhanced by massive fan following, and credibility of the celebrities of the show, ii)- attitude towards the advertisement impacted by popularity, likeability and acceptability of Bulbulay sitcom as channel of communication.
For the purpose of examining, a self-administered questionnaire was designed and delivered to watchers of the program. 350 healthy responses were gleaned out of 385 total respondents, including those already using Q-mobile, due to their effective utilization.
Considering the observation of massive Q-mobile sales in recent years, it was largely credited to the marketing strategy of product placement with appealing star cast foreshadowing the negative aspects if any. Therefore, the hypothesis was built around this model of using sitcoms and star power as product appeal enhancement tool. It was observed that purchase of Q mobile increased if humor was used in this star studded advertisements-cum-sitcom.
The second hypothesis was based on the relationship of humor in sitcom advertising and resultant demand, moderated by attitude towards the show in general and the episodes in particular, airing the advertisement. Dependent variable consisted of desirability and purchase intent. Independent variable, humour, was observed to be impacting the D.V.
Implications of this research go deep into the theoretical framework, proclaiming humor as one of the strongest tools available to companies searching for new ways to grab market share. With this novice advertising approach the success of which clearly reflects in the popularity of the product in recent years, advertisers are vying for attention of buyers. Interacting variables in this paper are; informativeness of advertisement and attitude towards it. Results suggest that buying decisions are significantly impacted by star power used in advertising strategy of Q -Mobile. Humour itself was found to be of moderate influence in the relationship with buying decisions.
These findings are significant as these will enable a new flurry of advertisement campaigns to grab consumer attention, alter product demand and impact important decisions such as whether or not to use humor as selling tool in sitcom-commercialism at very low cost. This study adds value to research by examining the role of popular humorous sitcom on consumer’s choice, in raising product appeal, purchase intent, informativeness of product added by star cast, & attitude of watchers towards sitcom advertising.