Celebrity Culture and Mass Marketing

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Dissertation Proposal
“Celebrity Culture and Mass Marketing”
A proposed study on the effects of celebrity culture on consumer perception and behaviour; and how this is affecting the marketing techniques being used by UK businesses


My Proposal5
Literature review5
Appendix A- Performa13

Celebrity culture has been around for many years, however throughout the last ten years, due to varying circumstance, it has become much more prominent on the marketing scene. As a young female, I myself can recognise certain situations in which I have fallen victim to celebrity advertising. It was found that in 2007 25% of all television advertisement released in the US featured a celebrity figure (Shimp 2007), I feel this number is only growing, and the influence these figures have is getting stronger. As a business and marketing student I am intrigued as to how this idea of celebrity influence has altered the way in which UK businesses market their product or service, and also how it is continuing to change the methods adopted. The study of celebrity is, I feel, very relevant to my programme of study. The influence celebrities have had, and do have over us as consumers in huge, understanding how businesses can manipulate and take advantage of this influence, and also how consumers currently feel about the influence celebrity advertising currently has over them. My Proposal

From the background I have developed a broad research question which I feel covers all basis of the research I wish to conduct “To what extent does the use of celebrity culture in advertising affect consumer perceptions and behaviours, and how does this affect the marketing tools used by UK businesses?” * Objectives-

1. Does the use of celebrity culture in ad campaigns alter consumer perception of brands? 2. Does the use of celebrity culture in marketing campaigns influence consumer behaviour towards products and/or services? 3. Does the influence celebrities have on consumer perceptions and behaviour differ amongst different genders? 4. How does the influence celebrities have on consumer behaviour differ amongst industries? I propose a two-tailed hypothesis for my study, in that I do believe the use of celebrities in marketing has increased in recent years and that it does have an effect on the way consumers perceive and act towards a brand. Literature review

There have been a small number of studies carried out on celebrity culture and consumer behaviour; however the body of data for this area is still fairly limited. One of the initial studies was that of Fraser and William (2002) on celebrity identification with Elvis Presley. This study sought to show how both fans and impersonators of Elvis Presley began modelling themselves on his mediated image, and they present some formative ideas on how this led to them creating celebrity identification for Presley. The study also researched, in-depth, the implications of celebrity identification and they do provide some areas of suggestion in which they feel further research could be conducted. One statement made in this article really spurred my interest in this area of research; “The way in which people acquire social values and behaviour from media personae is a relevant concern of mass media scholars and practitioners. During the past several decades celebrities have had a growing influence through mass media” (Fraser & Brown 2002). Although fairly old, this article has some very relevant findings, in that a large portion of their sample group did model themselves on the public image of Elvis Presley, and were found to have altered past behaviours in alliance with how they feel Presley would have acted. The results of this study gave foundation in our understanding of just how influential celebrity image can be. These findings have made way for a host of...
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