Celebrity Endorsement

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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: carsten.erfgen@googlemail.com; Tel.: +49(0)40 42838 8717; Fax: +49(0)40 42838 8715

Universität Hamburg • Tor zur W elt der W issenschaft

W elckerstraße 8 • 20 354 Hamburg • www.henriksattler.de

Abstract Celebrity endorsement advertising aims to achieve a favourable impact on brand image. By adopting a communication process perspective, this review is the first to identify 24 brand image drivers related to (1) celebrity, (2) message, (3) advertising channel, and (4) recipient characteristics through a systematic analysis of 36 empirical studies. Specifically, credibility and high image-based congruence are the most important celebrity characteristics. The use of twosided appeals, high arousal and low involvement also seem beneficial. This review derives specific success factors to support practitioners, and it provides a basis for guiding further research beyond the mere celebrity selection decision.

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Introduction

Advertising that uses celebrity endorsers enjoys high popularity among brand managers (e.g., Amos et al., 2008). Each year, companies spend vast amounts of money to convince celebrities to endorse their products and brands (e.g., Jaiprakash, 2008; Klaus and Bailey, 2008; Lee and Thorson, 2008); for instance, Nike spent about $339 million on endorsements and their dissemination in advertising campaigns in 2004 (Thomaselli, 2004). In the United States, approximately 25% of all televised commercials feature celebrities (Erdogan et al., 2001); in Germany, approximately 12% of all advertising campaigns employ these endorsers (Ipsos Response, 2008). This communication strategy benefits from the widespread belief that celebrities positively influence the image of the advertised brands, such that a key outcome is a favourable effect on brand image (e.g., Erdogan et al., 2001; TNS Sport, 2005). Strong, unique, and favourable brand associations help companies differentiate their products from those of competitors and thus support a competitive advantage (Aaker, 1991; Krishnan, 1996). As a brand value driver, brand image also establishes an important foundation for a brand‟s monetary value (Keller, 1993). Two prior narrative reviews (Erdogan, 1999; Kaikati, 1987) and one meta-analysis (Amos et al., 2008) have attempted to summarise celebrity endorsement literature, yet no systematic investigation reveals success factors for brand image effects. That is, in these reviews the contribution of celebrity endorsers to brand image has not been examined explicitly or separately from other measures of advertising effectiveness, such as attention, recall, or purchase intention. Furthermore, existing reviews are limited to literature pertaining to the selection of celebrity endorsers, including source effects such as credibility, attractiveness, fit or negative information. Erdogan‟s (1999, p. 291) review, for example, “seeks to explore variables, which may be considered in any celebrity selection process by drawing together strands from various literature.” Page 1

However, selection is only one facet of the development and execution of a celebrity campaign, and existing reviews cover only part of the body of extant research pertaining to celebrity endorsements. This study is the first to integrate literature from the broader field of celebrity endorsement literature. By...
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