Carsten Erfgen

Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Brand Image: A Communication Process Perspective on 30 Years of Empirical Research

Research Papers on Marketing and Retailing University of Hamburg

Tor zur Welt der Wissenschaft

Institute of Marketing and Media Marketing and Branding Head of the Institute Prof. Dr. Henrik Sattler

No. 40

Carsten Erfgen*

Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Brand Image: A Communication Process Perspective on 30 Years of Empirical Research

July 2011 ISSN 1618-8985


Dipl.-Kfm. Carsten Erfgen, Institute of Marketing and Media, University of Hamburg, Welckerstraße 8, 20354 Hamburg; Email:; Tel.: +49(0)40 42838 8717; Fax: +49(0)40 42838 8715

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approximately 12% of all advertising campaigns employ these endorsers (Ipsos Response.Abstract Celebrity endorsement advertising aims to achieve a favourable impact on brand image. such as attention.g. in these reviews the contribution of celebrity endorsers to brand image has not been examined explicitly or separately from other measures of advertising effectiveness. attractiveness. By adopting a communication process perspective. 291) review. and it provides a basis for guiding further research beyond the mere celebrity selection decision. In the United States. yet no systematic investigation reveals success factors for brand image effects. This review derives specific success factors to support practitioners.. 2008. approximately 25% of all televised commercials feature celebrities (Erdogan et al. (3) advertising channel. Nike spent about $339 million on endorsements and their dissemination in advertising campaigns in 2004 (Thomaselli. 1 Introduction Advertising that uses celebrity endorsers enjoys high popularity among brand managers (e. existing reviews are limited to literature pertaining to the selection of celebrity endorsers. unique. As a brand value driver. Each year. 1999. 2008). 2005). credibility and high image-based congruence are the most important celebrity characteristics. including source effects such as credibility. for example. The use of twosided appeals.g.. TNS Sport.g. Strong. Jaiprakash. 2008) have attempted to summarise celebrity endorsement literature. That is.. or purchase intention.. Erdogan et al. Lee and Thorson. 2004). in Germany. companies spend vast amounts of money to convince celebrities to endorse their products and brands (e.. 2001. high arousal and low involvement also seem beneficial. “seeks to explore variables. p. such that a key outcome is a favourable effect on brand image (e. 2001). 1993). brand image also establishes an important foundation for a brand‟s monetary value (Keller. This communication strategy benefits from the widespread belief that celebrities positively influence the image of the advertised brands. 2008). recall. Kaikati.” Page 1 . Amos et al. and favourable brand associations help companies differentiate their products from those of competitors and thus support a competitive advantage (Aaker. this review is the first to identify 24 brand image drivers related to (1) celebrity. 1987) and one meta-analysis (Amos et al. (2) message. 1996). which may be considered in any celebrity selection process by drawing together strands from various literature. fit or negative information. Erdogan‟s (1999. Specifically. 1991.. Two prior narrative reviews (Erdogan. Klaus and Bailey. 2008. Furthermore. 2008). Krishnan. and (4) recipient characteristics through a systematic analysis of 36 empirical studies.. for instance.

. Managers who hope to improve their brand‟s image can benefit from these insights regarding the entire development and execution of an endorsement campaign. Till et al. this study identifies gaps in current research pertaining to celebrity endorsement and concludes by delineating directions for further research. This definition explicitly encompasses celebrities who appear to have expertise or a long-term association with the manufacturer. arguments used in the advertising copy).. Page 2 . Communication activities establish a pattern of connectivity between the image of the celebrity and the image of the brand. Both entities represent nodes in a cognitive network.g. By adopting a communication process perspective.. rather than just the selection decision. this review provides insights into which success factors have received strong empirical support and which have generated equivocal findings. 2010). p. selection is only one facet of the development and execution of a celebrity campaign. 2008). 1989. 1986. (3) advertising channel and (4) recipient (e. (2) message (e. Finally. whose connectivity can be modified according to experience. 310). but it excludes typical customer endorsements featuring noncelebrities. This study is the first to integrate literature from the broader field of celebrity endorsement literature. 1989). 2 2.g. marketing managers try to exploit the process of meaning transfer from an endorser to products or brands involved (McCracken.However.g. Furthermore.1 Theoretical background Celebrity endorsement and brand image A celebrity endorser is “any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement” (McCracken. A systematic review of 36 studies identifies 24 drivers of brand image in prior literature.. by arranging prior literature around distinct elements of the communication process. 1998). 1998. Because celebrities appear to be gaining increasing influence in society (Choi and Berger. Associative learning theory details that celebrity endorsements influence brand image through a transfer of meaning from the endorser to the brand (Till. and existing reviews cover only part of the body of extant research pertaining to celebrity endorsements. An image transfer occurs when an advertisement can establish contingency between the two entities (Till. personality traits that influence advertising receptiveness). this research can derive implications regarding the characteristics of the (1) celebrity (e. perceived personal attributes).

1953). 1993). Lasswell‟s (1948) classical framework of persuasive communication differentiates the elements of the communication process according to his wellknown formula: “who says what in which channel to whom. Keller (1993) distinguishes among attitudes. stored as brand associations in consumer memory (Keller.Managers pursue such connectivity with the goal of obtaining a favourable brand image outcome (TNS Sport. Message characteristics relate to the execution and arrangement of the celebrity endorsement‟s communication. attributes and benefits as types of brand associations. Its importance mainly reflects its ability to provoke unique perceptions of the brand in competitive settings (Aaker. 2. so his or her characteristics. Hovland et al. including perceived personal attributes like attractiveness or credibility. In an endorsement context. only positive arguments about a product or claiming positive aspects on important determinants while simultaneously conceding minor negative aspects) (Kamins. can be characterised as a process in which the sender conveys stimuli to influence the behaviour of others (Hovland et al. The third element.e. the celebrity is an impersonal message source. interpersonal (e.g. marketing decisions involve the degree of endorsement strength and one. The channel bridges any distance between senders and recipients of the message Page 3 .versus two-sided appeals (i. 2001). „in which channel‟. 2001).g. 1996. refers to the message source or sender (Ajzen. including marketing communication that employs celebrity endorsers. The second. advertisements). belief and impression as ingredients of brand image. this review does not distinguish attitudes from image but instead adopts a holistic view of the impact of celebrity endorsements.. „who‟... 1989). 2005).” The first element.. Brand image encompasses all perceptions of a brand. For example.. 1989). colleagues) or experiential (Keaveney and Parthasarathy. In line with this argument. and Barich and Kotler (1991) regard brand attitude. friends. „says what‟ element pertains to the message content itself.. Message sources can be impersonal (e. Both perspectives imply that improved attitudes toward the brand favourably influence brand image. Kamins et al.. 1953).2 Celebrity endorsement from a communication process perspective Communication. as conveyed in the communication process. may determine endorsement success in terms of the favourable brand image outcome. 1992. refers to the means the sender and receiver use to communicate. It also constitutes a meaningful brand value driver and thus influences the formation of brand equity (Faircloth et al.

the „to whom‟ element pertains to the audience or recipient of a message (Hovland et al. The included sources were empirical studies published in scientific journals that provided major implications regarding the use of celebrities as endorsers. This approach follows extant recommendations (Hunter and Schmidt. The systematic investigation encompassed the following journals: Advances in Consumer Research.. could strengthen or weaken its effectiveness. recipient characteristics (e.. and Psychology and Marketing. 2004. Therefore. Journal of Advertising Research. In an endorsement context.. electronic databases (e. Business Source Complete) also were consulted. International Journal of Research in Marketing.. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Journal of Marketing Research. Moreover. 3 Literature search To determine the state of the art of research from a communication process perspective. experts. or properties of the media vehicles in which celebrity-endorsed advertising appears. individual personality traits. studies that primarily focused on different types of (noncelebrity) endorsers (e. recipients differ in their degree of susceptibility to celebrityendorsed advertising. and age) should influence the campaign with regard to the target audience that has the highest probability of providing a favourable brand image result.g. Rosenthal. Journal of Consumer Psychology. European Journal of Marketing. 1994) and produced 36 studies related to the impact of celebrity endorsers on brand image. 1992). as summarised in Table 1 (which also includes the dependent measures that represent brand image variables). endorsers with long-term associations with the manufacturer) were excluded. International Journal of Advertising. The advertising channel characteristics. a literature search identified studies in the relevant domain. Journal of Marketing. Journal of Product and Brand Management. gender.g. Page 4 . A search of the references for each identified study added a few other relevant sources. Journal of Consumer Marketing. 1953). Finally.(Ajzen. celebrity endorsement advertising usually employs mass media. Journal of Advertising.g. Journal of Consumer Research.

(1994) Brand image beliefs Batra and Homer (2004). La Ferle and Choi (2005). Till and Shimp (1998). Edwards and La Ferle (2009). Kamins and Gupta (1994). Lee and Thorson (2008). which can be condensed into 10 success factors that underlie the impact of celebrity endorsements on brand image. Kamins and Gupta (1994) Opinion of the product Freiden (1982). Eisend and Langner (2010). (2002). (2008) Brand attitude Batra and Homer (2004). Kahle and Homer (1985). Tripp et al. Kamins (1989). (2008). Ranjbarian et al. 2008). Petty et al. Koernig and Boyd (2009). Sanbonmatsu and Kardes (1988). Mowen and Brown (1981) Overall quality of service Kamins et al. Lafferty and Goldsmith (1999). Martin et al. Likeability indicates affection toward a celebrity as a result of his or her physical appearance and behaviour (McCracken. Goldsmith et al. (1989) Product image Atkin and Block (1983) 4 Literature review The 36 identified studies contained 24 brand image drivers. expertise and credibility have been discussed widely in the celebrity endorsement domain. Till et al. These success factors also can be arranged according to the four elements of the communication process. Um (2008). Siemens et al. Van der Waldt et al. (2008). (1997). Kahle and Homer (1985) find no difference between a highly likeable and less likeable celebrity in brand image effects. (2008). Lafferty et al. as the following sections outline. Till et al. McGuire (1985) assumes that higher likeability is associated with greater effectiveness in terms of message persuasiveness. physical attractiveness. but they reveal a significant interaction between likeability and involvement. 4.Table 1 Overview of Reviewed Studies and Dependent Variables Dependent variable Source Attitude toward the Bailey (2007) manufacturer Brand affect Misra and Beatty (1990). Sengupta et al.1 Celebrity characteristics 4. Cronley et al. Kirmani and Shiv (1998). (1999).1 Perceived personal attributes. Table 2 provides an overview of the results and reveals the focal and interaction effects.1. 1989). 1990). (2010). Kirmani and Shiv (1998) Expectancy-value brand attitude Kamins (1989. trustworthiness. (2000). Saleem (2007. Priester and Petty (2003). (2007) Brand attitude (affective) Eisend and Langner (2010). Silvera and Austad (2004). (1983). such Page 5 . The roles of likeability.

(2002) La Ferle and Choi (2005) Silvera and Austad (2004) Kamins (1990) Lee and Thorson (2008) Lee and Thorson (2008) Till et al. n.s.Table 2 Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Brand Image – Results of the Literature Analysis Success factor Brand image driver Source Focal effect Celebrity characteristics Perceived personal Likeability Kahle and Homer (1985) o attributes Ranjbarian et al. Trustworthiness Expertise Credibility Congruence with the brand Similarity celebrity/recipient Attractivenessbased Expertise-based + under high involvement (?) + under high involvement.s. n. n.s.s. n. (2010) + Physical Kahle and Homer (1985) + attractiveness Kamins (1990) o Silvera and Austad (2004) Eisend and Langner (2010) Priester and Petty (2003) Siemens et al. implicitly tested: + for product domain in which attractiveness is relevant + for product domain in which attractiveness is relevant. (2008) Eisend and Langner (2010) Lafferty and Goldsmith (1999) Goldsmith et al. + for product domain in which attractiveness is relevant + for weak product-related argument strength + in the long term + for highly attractive endorsers + for high corporate credibility. (2000) Lafferty et al. (2008) Koernig and Boyd (2009) o + + + o + + + + ? o o o + o Interaction + under low involvement. (Table 2 continues) Page 6 .

Multiple celebrity endorsement Message characteristics Arguments Product-related argument strength + for low involvement product category Interaction with susceptibility to normative influence. o ? o o o o o o n.if celebrity is evaluated before brand. n. n. (Table 2 continues) Page 7 . External information Negative information Information about remuneration Multiple endorsements Multiple brand endorsement Cronley et al. (2008) interaction with social status of advertised product.a. (2007) Mowen and Brown (1981) Tripp et al. (1999) Van der Waldt et al.a. (1997) Kirmani and Shiv (1998) Batra and Homer (2004) Till and Shimp (1998) Bailey (2007) Edwards and La Ferle (2009) Focal effect + + n. (1994) Um (2008) Mowen and Brown (1981) Saleem (2007) Um (2008) Petty et al. n.s.s. (1997) Martin et al. o o o o o Interaction + in the long term under low involvement + under high involvement .s. n.(Table 2 continued) Success factor Brand image driver Image-based Source Misra and Beatty (1990) Kamins and Gupta (1994) Sengupta et al. (1983) Sanbonmatsu and Kardes (1988) Sengupta et al.s.more pronounced for women than men. .

(1994) Focal effect o + + + o Interaction Interaction with susceptibility to normative influence. = no significant influence. ? = ambiguous findings. (1989) Tripp et al. Freiden (1982) o Kahle and Homer (1985) Silvera and Austad (2004) Saleem (2008) n. Exposures Number of exposures to the celebrity Advertising channel characteristics Advertising medium Prestige of the media vehicle Recipient characteristics Demographics Gender: women vs. + = positive influence. n. (2008) o normative influence Elaboration Arousal Sanbonmatsu and Kardes (1988) + likelihood Involvement Petty et al. (1999) Martin et al.s.e. n. = not analysed. Page 8 . + for women under low involvement interaction with single vs. (2008) Kamins (1989) Kamins et al.(Table 2 continued) Success factor Brand image driver Endorsement strength Two-sided appeals Source Cronley et al. Men Interaction with number of brands endorsed simultaneously (i.a. . o and n. (1983) Note. intensity of multiple brand endorsement).a. n.s.= negative influence.s. multiple celebrity endorsement Age: younger vs.. o n.a. Atkin and Block (1983) + Older Saleem (2008) o Personality traits Consumer Bailey (2007) interaction with valence of information scepticism about the celebrity Susceptibility to Martin et al.

Silvera and Austad (2004) reveal that physical attractiveness associated with a product category positively influences brand image but physical attractiveness unrelated to the product category does not. Ranjbarian et al. At the more general celebrity credibility level.e. whose impact on brand image is fully mediated by perceptions of endorser credibility. razors serve to enhance physical attractiveness. expertise entails the ability to make valid assertions (Hovland et al. Trustworthiness refers to the perceived willingness to make valid assertions. the empirical results mainly reveal that the attractiveness of a celebrity endorser benefits the brand image only if attractiveness is relevant for the pertinent product category. Lafferty and Page 9 . Sternthal et al. and their results might reflect the good fit between attractiveness and this product category. Eisend and Langner (2010) distinguish between immediate and delayed effects of attractiveness on brand image and find a positive impact of high attractiveness for both conditions. Siemens et al. La Ferle and Choi. 1953. Eisend and Langner (2010) report no immediate but only a delayed positive effect of expertise on brand image. In line with this argument. though they research only one product category (i. (2010) report a positive brand image effect of likeability in terms of attitude towards the celebrity. 1979). 1978). expertise interacts with attractiveness so that the favourable impact of high expertise increases with higher levels of attractiveness. (2008) confirm the positive impact of expertise. so a highly attractive endorser could have more positive effects on brand image. In addition. several studies find evidence of a positive influence on brand image (Goldsmith et al.. For celebrity endorsements. That is. 2000. For celebrity endorsement though.. 2005. When weak product-related arguments mark the advertising copy. Priester and Petty (2003) find a positive impact of trustworthiness. Trustworthiness and expertise both represent subdimensions of the more general credibility construct. the influence of trustworthiness is more pronounced than it is for strong product-related arguments. Kamins (1990) neither observes a main effect of attractiveness nor finds a significant interaction between attractiveness and product category.that it enhances brand image in low involvement conditions.. as well as an interaction of trustworthiness with product-related argument strength. Kahle and Homer (1985) find that a highly attractive celebrity generates a significantly more positive brand image than does a less attractive celebrity. Social psychology research generally shows that physically attractive persons are more successful in changing beliefs than unattractive people (Chaiken. disposable razors).. though his results are directionally supportive of the assumption that attractiveness associated with the product category enhances brand image. the empirical results indicate strong evidence of a key influence of credibility and its subdimensions on brand image.

g. 1999. 1977) can help explain why perceived similarity between the celebrity and recipient facilitates brand image effects.1. that is. mild incongruence does not outperform high and low congruence. this review classifies the concept of congruence into (1) attractiveness-based (e.. At a general level.. 2002). it should receive favourable evaluations.g. matching an athlete with a sports-related brand) and (3) image-based (e. 4. Only in one of their two experiments do they find a positive and significant correlation between similarity and brand image. 1996).g.Goldsmith. a significant attractiveness-based congruence by involvement interaction emerges and implies that when involvement is high. Page 10 . Lafferty and Goldsmith‟s (1999) assumption of a more pronounced effect of celebrity credibility when corporate credibility is high receives no support though. Kamins (1990) and Lee and Thorson (2008) find no empirical support for a positive effect on brand image. 2008). However. in line with a transfer of affect (Wansink and Ray. For attractiveness-based congruence. (2008) find empirical support for a positive effect on brand image. consumers may infer from their perceived similarity with the celebrity whether they can expect gratification from adopting attitudes or following the celebrity‟s recommendation. However. Nor do their results support the assumption of an inverse U-shaped relationship between the level of congruence and brand image. To structure this extant body of research. That is. In one of their data sets. When an object seems to have high schema congruence. Arguments based in schema theory frequently indicate that congruence constitutes a prerequisite for the effectiveness of a celebrity endorsement. Lafferty et al. congruence describes a match between the endorser and the brand (Misra and Beatty. Till et al. the positive effect of congruence is more pronounced (Lee and Thorson. For expertise-based congruence. (2) expertise-based (e. an analysis of research on congruence in the celebrity endorsement domain reveals that the notion has been conceptualised differently across studies. 1990). Silvera and Austad‟s (2004) empirical results regarding the impact of this perceived similarity are equivocal. matching a physically attractive celebrity with a beauty-related brand). matching highly accessible celebrity associations with highly accessible brand associations) congruence..2 Congruence with the brand. but neither Lee and Thorson (2008) nor Koernig and Boyd (2009) can discern a significant impact. Social learning theory (Bandura. Therefore. the contribution of expertise-based congruence to brand image remains equivocal..

about a cyclist using steroids. Van der Waldt et al. Negative information or information about remuneration constitute types of external information that affect perceptions of the celebrity. existing literature reveals a more conclusive picture.3 External information.g. which may become public during or after an advertising campaign.e. 1999. greed). they find a positive influence of image-based congruence in conditions of high involvement. However. After an associative link has been established between a brand and its endorser. clearly was weaker concerning negativity. Misra and Beatty (1990) and Kamins and Gupta (1994) find a positive effect of image-based congruence on brand image. they find a significant increase on the respective brand image beliefs only in one of the two cases they consider. (1997) investigate the robustness of brand image enhancements induced by celebrity endorsements over a longer period of time.e. Sengupta et al. 4.4 Multiple endorsements. negative press about the celebrity may directly harm the image of the brand. Even though Kirmani and Shiv (1998) do not confirm a direct effect. Bailey (2007) and Edwards and La Ferle (2009) find significant negative effects on brand image when they present respondents with a cover story about a celebrity endorser being arrested for domestic violence and child abuse. Till and Shimp (1998) find no significant impact of negative information on brand image. Multiple endorsements refer to two cases: one celebrity endorses multiple brands at a time (i. which should have a negative impact on Page 11 .1.. multiple brand endorsement) or one brand is endorsed by multiple celebrities at a time (i. regarding image-based congruence. Information about a high endorsement fee paid to the celebrity also could influence consumers‟ attribution about whether the celebrity actually likes the endorsed product or provides the endorsement only for financial reasons. Batra and Homer (2004) also investigate whether celebrities with highly accessible associations can reinforce equivalent brand image beliefs. 1973).. a simultaneous multiple brand endorsement might elicit trait inferences about the selfish reasons for a celebrity‟s advocacy (e. 4. However. their results confirm the positive impact of image-based congruence. multiple celebrity endorsement). Negative information includes harmful news about a celebrity. but their cover story.. in two studies (Cronley et al.. According to attribution theory (Kelley. long-term effect on brand image when image-based congruence is high and involvement is low. no significant differences emerge between a scenario in which they provide information about a high endorsement fee versus a scenario in which the endorser received no fee. They thus empirically reveal a stable.Finally.. respectively. 2007).1. positive.

Sanbonmatsu and Kardes. degree of endorsement strength. Sengupta et al... Two studies that empirically Page 12 . Empirical findings in this regard are equivocal: Cronley et al. (2008) suggest a positive influence of endorsement strength. (1994) and Um (2008) do not find significant differences in brand image between single and multiple brand endorsement situations. However. various studies find no empirical evidence of an impact of argument strength on brand image (Martin et al..1 Arguments. the design of the advertising demands consideration as well. 1988. Attribution theory (Kelley. During the process of planning a celebrity endorsement campaign. but Saleem (2007) finds limited support for a positive effect of multiple celebrity endorsement in a low (but not high) involvement product category. 4. Endorsement strength refers to the amount of emphasis the celebrity places on his or her advocacy for a brand (e. One-sided appeals exclusively focus on positive aspects (Kamins and Assael. However.e. According to attribution theory (Kelley. the celebrity actually recommends the product instead of endorsing it for the money). That is. If a company decides to use supporting arguments.2 Message characteristics 4. not situational factors (i.e. 1997). Two-sided appeals acknowledge that the advertised product performs well on important characteristics but contains minor weaknesses on less important characteristics. Petty et al. and whether to use one. only Mowen and Brown (1981) find empirical support for the negative effect... in addition to depicting the celebrity and the brand. Strong product-related arguments provide high persuasive potency compared with weak product-related arguments (e. “outperforms all other brands in performance” versus “in an attractive new colour”).g.the image of all the endorsed brands. 1973) also implies that multiple celebrity endorsements may evoke a more favourable brand image. 1973). repeating the name numerous times). it must determine the degree of product-related argument strength. but Martin et al.or two-sided appeals.. endorsement fee). 1983.2. Tripp et al. the effectiveness of two-sided appeals stems from the greater probability of internal attributions for the celebrity‟s reason to endorse (i.. employing an emphatic tone. Mowen and Brown (1981) and Um (2008) find no such influence on brand image. The anticipated interaction with the social status of the simultaneously advertised products was not significant. the consensus indicated by multiple endorsers might suggest that their advocacy of a brand is due to the nature of the brand. 1987). (1999) cannot confirm an impact on brand image. 2008.g.

This effect is a relatively robust and reliable phenomenon in advertising research (see the meta-analysis by Bornstein. 13–17 years) compared with older participants (i. yet Tripp et al. Enhanced affect toward a celebrity endorser due to repeated exposure may transfer to the advertised brand..e. The mere exposure effect suggests that repeated contact with a stimulus leads to greater affect toward that stimulus (Zajonc. Age serves as the possible intervening variable in Atkin and Block‟s (1983) study. That is.4. 1989. Specifically. 4. male participants react more positively to a single celebrity endorsement than female participants. 4..e.. 1968). the study could not confirm any effect.2 Number of exposures to the celebrity. Saleem (2008) also finds an interaction effect of gender and single versus multiple celebrity endorsement. (1994) find no significant effect of the number of repeated exposures to a celebrity.researched this topic consistently report positive effects on brand image for two-sided compared with one-sided appeals (Kamins. Kamins et al. Freiden analyses whether placing a celebrity-endorsed advertisement in a high versus low prestige magazine would yield differences in terms of brand image. Several studies have investigated the characteristics of the recipients.4 Recipient characteristics 4. 4. intensity of multiple brand endorsement). but their investigation reveals no support for their assumption. 1989). They also anticipate an interaction between the number of exposures to a celebrity and the number of brands he or she endorses simultaneously (i. Page 13 . but there is no significant difference between men and women with regard to brand image in a multiple celebrity endorsement. Kahle and Homer (1985) report an interaction effect of gender and involvement.e. They empirically reveal a significantly higher susceptibility to celebrity endorsements for younger participants (i. Silvera and Austad (2004) observe no empirical evidence for a gender impact.1 Demographics. 1989). such that a celebrity endorser yields a more favourable outcome for women who are less involved.2. older than 17 years)..3 Advertising channel characteristics Research that considers advertising channel characteristics as a possible intervening variable for celebrity endorsement success is scant: Only Freiden (1982) investigates the placement of celebrity endorsement advertising with regard to the prestige of the media vehicle. which may promote or impede the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements on brand image. However.

in states of high physiological arousal). 4. Martin et al. recipients with higher degrees of scepticism are more likely to believe that the intent of advertising messages is to manipulate them and not necessarily tell the truth (Obermiller and Spangenberg. brand image does not significantly differ depending on the degree of consumer scepticism (Bailey. people with less consumer scepticism respond more favourably to the celebrity endorsement in terms of brand image than sceptics. For neutral and positively valenced information about the celebrity. arousal constitutes a determinant of consumers‟ ability to elaborate on a message. Because celebrities represent opinion leaders for some consumers (Rogers and Cartano. Consumer scepticism is the individual degree of negatively valenced attitude toward the motives of advertisers. peripheral cues Page 14 . Susceptibility to normative influence (SNI) refers to sensitivity to social influences and the need to conform to the expectations of others (Burnkrant and Cousineau. neutral or negative). 1984). positive. 1975). SNI should influence the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements in terms of brand image enhancement. (2008) find no empirical evidence for such an impact of SNI.2 Personality traits. Recipients with different personality traits likely respond in different ways to the messages they receive (Ajzen. However. 1988). with high arousal. For negatively valenced information about the celebrity however. For celebrity endorsements. for either single or multiple celebrity endorsements. 4. In the context of the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) of persuasion (Petty and Cacioppo. 1992).4. If available resources for cognitive elaboration are limited (e. Both arousal and involvement influence a person‟s likelihood of elaborating on an advertising stimulus. People with a higher degree of SNI experience a greater desire to be well-respected and need a stronger sense of belonging (Batra et al. it also relates to the degree of psychological activation or alertness. prior research considers the influences of consumer scepticism and susceptibility to normative influence.g. 2007).Saleem (2008) does not observe empirical evidence of an impact of age.4.. 1983. which stimulates consumers to action (Humphreys and Revelle. 2001). Consumer scepticism also interacts significantly with the valence of information about the celebrity (i... 1962). Bailey (2007) observes a significantly more positive brand image among recipients with less consumer scepticism exposed to an advertisement containing a celebrity than for more sceptical recipients. Therefore. 1986). In a celebrity endorsement context. 1981.e. Consequently. 1998). people focus on simple or less complex information that demands less cognitive processing (Sanbonmatsu and Kardes.3 Elaboration likelihood.

involvement helps determine consumers‟ motivation to elaborate on a message. image-based congruence. twosided appeals and lower elaboration likelihood all positively influence brand image. Sanbonmatsu and Kardes (1988) find a marginally significant effect. and the target group. In the context of the ELM for persuasion. largely because they may exert a positive impact on brand image.g. a physically attractive celebrity for a make-up brand).such as celebrity endorsers should exert a more pronounced influence on attitude formation. the framework includes not only celebrity selection issues but also the design of the advertising message. Accordingly. but this effect does not hold in conditions of low arousal. but the same is not true in high involvement conditions. this systematic literature review pinpoints 24 brand image drivers of celebrity endorsements. peripheral cues exert a more pronounced influence on attitude formation. 1982). Finally. (1983) find a significant effect. though only if that attractiveness is relevant to the product domain (e.. most studies show that physical attractiveness has a positive impact on brand image. 5 Discussion The use of celebrity endorsers in marketing enjoys high popularity. the celebrity endorser is significantly more effective in terms of brand image than is a noncelebrity. Therefore. arranged around four distinct elements of the communication process. In conditions of high arousal. when they are less involved. with a fundamental impact on brand equity. the celebrity endorser is significantly more effective in terms of brand image than is a noncelebrity. Credibility. Extant empirical studies reveal certain success factors that seem somewhat ambiguous. trustworthiness and expertise. Thus. brand managers must take care to achieve high credibility.or expertise-based) constitutes the most important congruence dimension in a Page 15 . physical attractiveness relevant to the product domain. whereas others receive relatively strong empirical support. message involvement relates to the degree of perceived personal relevance and consequences (Engel and Blackwell. This evaluation of prior literature also reveals that image-based congruence (as opposed to attractiveness. Extant research consistently verifies the importance of credibility and its subdimensions. this review can help managers derive practical implications for the development and execution of their celebrity endorsement campaigns: They should focus particularly on the well-documented success factors. Noting the importance of brand image as a critical intangible asset. Furthermore. the appropriate media vehicle. such that in low involvement conditions. When selecting an appropriate celebrity for an endorsement. Petty et al.

multiple brand endorsements and endorsement strength. (2008) report a positive effect of stronger endorsements. (1994) cannot confirm this result. On the one hand. The advertising message also should include two-sided appeals in celebrity endorsements.... Simonin and Ruth.g. implicit mode (“I use this brand”).g.g. 1998) suggests that even positive effects might emerge in specific conditions (e. strong endorsements might evoke psychological reactance. a conceptual distinction of four endorsement modes suggests celebrities might endorse brands in an explicit mode (“I endorse this brand”). On the other hand. The omnipresence of multiple brand endorsement in practice and the high cost of exclusive contracts with celebrities therefore implies the need for further research to disentangle the boundary conditions for such negative effects. weak and strong endorsements may represent two extremes. In the context of negative information. Both high arousal and low involvement promote low elaboration likelihood and can enhance the impact on brand image. but Tripp et al. Whether moderate endorsement strength might outperform both weak and strong endorsements should be investigated in ongoing research.. advertising channel and recipients). because the empirical findings consistently verify their effectiveness. Most studies in this body of research have focused exclusively on celebrity characteristics. Mowen and Brown (1981) report a negative effect on brand image when a celebrity endorses numerous brands simultaneously. message. imperative mode (“You should Page 16 . Brehm 1966. a less familiar brand might benefit from more familiar brands in a multiple brand endorsement context). Martin et al. in response to perceived restrictions on freedom and control (e. Regarding message characteristics. the celebrity versus friends of the celebrity) seem worthwhile candidates for further investigation. In addition.celebrity endorsement context and has a positive impact on brand image. Finally. Moreover. to the detriment of in-depth investigations of other elements of the communication process (i. Brehm and Brehm. Thus. Bailey (2007) and Edwards and La Ferle (2009) find that really negative information about the celebrity impairs brand image. weak endorsements might not express the celebrity‟s conviction about the product adequately and thus fail to achieve the greatest persuasive effect.. lower elaboration likelihood among recipients positively influences the effectiveness of celebrity endorsers for creating a favourable brand image outcome. research from the related field of brand alliances (e. but Till and Shimp (1998) cannot confirm this effect using a weaker cover story. 1981). In practice. but Cronley et al. (1999) find no significant differences between stronger and weaker endorsements. Rather ambiguous findings relate to negative information.g.e. the severity of the negative information and the person involved (e.

finally. Therefore. additional research is necessary to enable marketers to tailor their endorsements to target groups that are more susceptible to celebrity advertising. misplaced celebrity advertising might compromise its effectiveness (Seno and Lukas. research has not considered these different endorsement modes empirically to determine their effectiveness. 2007). 1996. In practice. With regard.. Korgaonkar et al. culture might promote a rather strong attachment to celebrities. which would grant consumer behaviour researchers interesting insights as well. U. Furthermore. 1982). Reconsidering celebrity endorsement from a communication process perspective thus highlights the diversity of elements that managers should take into account when designing their campaigns.S. this insight seems particularly meaningful. Batra et al. In addition. cross-cultural comparisons of acceptance of celebrity endorsement seem desirable. Page 17 .e.S. Scandinavian cultures appear more reluctant (Avant and Knutsen.g. Yet. research is scant (Freiden.. such that U.. 1994). Personality traits other than those addressed by prior research might influence this susceptibility. an investigation of the impact of advertising channel characteristics on celebrity endorsements seems indispensable. consumers would be more amenable to marketing communications that use celebrity endorsers (McCracken. because most current attention focuses solely on the selection of an appropriate celebrity (Miciak and Shanklin. 1989).. 1989). 1984). This gap seems surprising against the background of prior research that shows media selection exerts a strong impact on advertising success (e.use this brand”) or co-present mode (i. For example. Regarding advertising channel characteristics. celebrity and brand depicted simultaneously without further explanation) (McCracken. to recipient characteristics. 1993).

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