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Celebrities in Advertising: Looking for Congruence or for Likability?

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Celebrities in Advertising: Looking for Congruence or for Likability?

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ANZMAC 2009

Celebrities in advertising: looking for congruence or for likability? Nathalie Fleck*, University of Cergy-Pontoise, Thema, France Nathalie.flec@u-cergy.fr Michaël Korchia, BEM Bordeaux Management School, France Michael.korchia@bem.edu Isabelle Le Roy, CSA, France

Abstract Celebrities used as endorsers in advertising are often very popular ones. However, from a cognitive point of view (and more academic one), congruence between brand and celebrity seems to be very important too. Based on affective and cognitive theories to explain endorsement efficiency, congruence between brand and celebrity is shown to be at least as effective as celebrity likability. Moreover the predisposition toward the ad and brand beliefs are mediators of the effects of congruence between brand and celebrity and celebrity likability on ad efficiency. Keywords : celebrity endorsement, advertisement, congruence, attitude, likability.

ANZMAC 2009

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Celebrities in advertising: looking for congruence or for likability?

Introduction Brands all over the world use celebrities to advertise their products. As early as 1890, actress Sarah Bernhardt appeared on posters for La Diaphane, a famous French brand of rice powder at the time (Lehu, 1993). The use of celebrities in advertising is not, therefore, a new phenomenon, but it has become increasingly widespread over the past twenty years. Brands like Pepsi have featured stars such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, or even the Spice Girls, with varying impact (Erdogan, 1999). Stars have become a vital component of advertising for certain categories of products, like perfume and cosmetics. It seems that once a celebrity becomes famous and popular, he/she immediately appears in an ad and sometimes several ones at the same moment. The question is, for ad agencies as for brands, how to choose a celebrity for advertising. What to take the most into account? Are awareness and popularity of the celebrity...

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