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Celebrity Endorsement On Later Aged Female Teens Marketing Essay


This research aims to investigate the relationship between psychological factors (motivation), socio-cultural ones (social classes, culture, subcultures and economic situation), product attributes (price, quality, brand, attraction, fashion, trustworthiness and prestige), attitude (feelings about celebrity-endorsed apparel) and teenager’s purchase intention towards celebrity-endorsed apparels. This study is also looking into the effects celebrity endorsements have on the teenage girls, and the ethical issues that can follow.. The research used self-administered questionnaires. The target population was teenagers in the city of Manchester, 12 to 19 years old considered to be potential buyers of celebrity-endorsed apparels. The data was collected from 148 young students in three schools in the Manchester area only. There were seven hypotheses. The results show a significant relationship between attitude of the teenagers in Manchester towards celebrity-endorsed apparels and their purchase intention; and between psychological factors, product attributes and purchase intention.. Price and brand were shown to be related to purchase intention. Most of teenagers in this city would consider purchasing celebrity-endorsed apparels.


According to the British fashion council, the UK Fashion industry is worth £21 billion, it employs 816,000 and stands for 1.7 % of UK GDP , which is more than the car manufacturing industry (British Fashion Council 2010).

Branding has by many been viewed as a tool to position a product or a service with a consistent image of value for money and quality to ensure the development of a recurring preference by the customer. It is common knowledge that the consumer’s choice is influenced can easily be influenced by many effects of which the simplest one is a brand name. Although there may be equally satisfying products, the consumer when satisfied with some brand does not want to spend additional effort to evaluate the other alternative choices. According to Majumdau (1998), once the consumer has liked a particular brand, he states that they will stay with it, unless a better quality/ value product comes to his/her attention or there is a steep rise in price, which will prompt the consumer to switch the brand. According to Kotler (2003) branding is one of the most important elements in business. As if products had no brand, the customers would have to explain to the sellers in detail about the products that they want, while sellers may be confused or give the wrong products to the customers. Therefore, he stated that a brand acts as a sign, name or symbol for the products and services, and the main aim of the brand is to identify the products or services of a seller or groups of sellers and differentiate an offering of a seller from that of its rivals (Kotler, 2003).

In recent years, brands have played a significant part in the market as the marketers add value to the brand to make it more preferable to the consumer compared to other brands in the same market segment. This is particularly true in the fashion market. The fast fashion industry is highly competitive, and consumer loyalty is low amongst the young trend led consumers (Wright, 2006). It has been suggested that they will go where the newest style is, and it is therefore vital to keep in time with the trends (Brengman and Willes, 2009). This dissertation will, however, look at if there is a link between brand image and consumer purchase decisions, and if a celebrity can help strengthen the brand image for the young fast fashion consumer. According to Barnes (2011) this segment is highly aspirational and might therefore be influenced to buy an item of clothing due to a celebrity. However, it is important that this celebrity fits in with the retailers image, and that it is someone the consumers aspire to be like (Barnes, 2011).

Recently British designer Temperley experienced the effects of celebrity endorsement from the dutchess of Cambridge and her sister wearing their dresses. Also, it is not only Temperley that has experienced increased sales due to the duchess as sales have been spiked by as much as 500% only hours after she has been seen wearing an outfit from the highstreet (, 2012). This underlines the effect of brand image, as the aspirational fast fashion consumer looks up to the duchess and therefore copies her outfits. This dissertation will look into the relationship between consumer purchasing decision and brand image, and the effect celebrity endorsement can have on a brands image and therefore affect the company’s performance when it comes to later teens females. This will be achieved by investigating the psychological factors and the characteristics of the teenage demographics in relation to marketing and in particular celebrity endorsement.

Literature review:

Psychological factors:

According to Schiffman et al (2008). Psychological factors include perception, learning, motivation, personality and attitude. Motivation consists of needs that provide motives for consumer behaviour. Perception is a foundation for forming beliefs as different perceptions may lead to different beliefs towards an object. Learning refers to stimuli, drives and responses. Personality is a person’s distinguishing psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and lasting responses to his or her environment. As to attitude, it pertains to a person’s tendency toward an object or an idea and his/her value evaluations and feelings about something (Schiffman et al., 2008).

Motivation as a factor to stimulate consumer’s purchase intention is now well established. For example, Lee and Lee (1997), who studied the relationship between appearance consciousness and self-confidence of elderly women and purchasing behavior, showed that people’s intention to buy cosmetics and clothing was influenced by the intrinsic motivation of having their image enhanced.

In this study, the researchers combined the conformist psychology theory with that of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to illustrate a consumer’s motivation to purchase celebrity-endorsed apparel. Three questions related to consumer’s motivation in the questionnaire read as follows:

1. I would buy celebrity- endorsed apparel for no reasons but just simply following my friends and classmates;

2. I need to buy celebrity-endorsed apparel to build my own image;

3. I need to be unique by wearing celebrity-endorsed apparel (Lee and Lee 1997).

This research will concentrate on the teenage demographic, whilst raising similar questions.

Teenage demographic:

The teenage demographic is by many considered insecure and easily influenced my marketing techniques )blahbalahha).

A survey was conducted to examine shopping choice behaviour of a very important and economically viable segment of this teen market called the “later aged female teen”. It was found that a typical later aged female teen was born to shop. Making the right choice, especially for her clothing, is important both from a social affiliation and a social influence position. This group felt brand (fit, look, and style) to be the most important attribute to consider in apparel choice and later aged female teens wanted excitement in their shopping venue. Shopping was important and there were risks associated with an incorrect choice of their clothing.

2.5.6 Consumers

Once fashion was dictated to consumers and there was little choice but to accept what was on offer. The tables are beginning to turn and the consumer has more power to accept or reject fashions. Recognizing this, clothing producers are researching the market more to see what will be acceptable before fi lling the stores with goods that just end up being discounted at sale time.

Consumers of all descriptions are more fashion educated and consequently more fashion conscious. They are demanding products that are designed to perform in special ways. Most want to express their Fashion personalities through their appearance and therefore their choice of clothing. The increasing numbers of working women want garments designed for their particular needs. They understand fashion cycles and they know when a style has become tired. Manufacturers must constantly research and develop new fi bres, fabrics and uses for these to keep up with the consumer’s higher level of ability to select

from the vast choices on offer.However, there are other changes in the marketplace affecting consumers’ attitudes, values and priorities. They are suffering some degree of fashion fatigue. For some the desire to acquire is more muted and rather than spending their income on fashion clothing they prefer to choose from a much wider range of products, services and leisure pursuits.

In the past, fashion styles, types of garments and advertising were all deeply influenced and directed by the interests and needs of the young consumer. Now that the increasing numbers of older consumers are becoming a market to be reckoned with, things must change or opportunities will be lost. The trend is towards people dressing more to please themselves. They won’t be dictated to. People are more self-reliant and cautious and careful for their individuality. They are putting more emphasis on self. Recognition of the new fashion consumer may mean that the fashion models of today will have the opportunity of a longer career than they first imagined. Elle McPherson’s modelling career saw no sign of ending as she entered her forties and Twiggy who started her modelling career in the 1960s is still popular, with the turn around of Marks and

Spencer being largely attributed to using her in their advertising. To a small degree the shape of the fashion model is showing signs of change with more magazines producing features using size 16 models. This trend probably started with the then somewhat voluptuous Sophie Dahl being heavily featured in fashion magazines and on posters, although now at a size 10 she has ditched the trend herself.

Competition within the fashion market

Consumers today are presented with a bewildering array of choice, yet it is probably in the clothing market more than any other that the consumer complains that he or she cannot fi nd what they want. The clothing producers and retailers are working hard to correct this, but increasing competition and very small margins have made many firms wary of too much investment and experimentation. The high street stores have had to work much harder at tempting consumers and at times it seemed as if price cuts were their only weapon.

However, much of the major competition happens at the sourcing of goods rather than in the stores, as summarized in Figure 2.4. It has been mentioned that globalization and sourcing from wherever cheapest is increasingly becoming the trend, particularly among European competitors. This is enabling them to keep overall costs down, while offering merchandise of good design and quality. Since the opening of the single European market, competition from continental clothing producers has increased further, partly because of lower transport costs and shorter lead times. With a single MFA quota for the EU, the highly concentrated and accessible British clothing market has become even more of a target than it was previously.

There are also concerns about increased low-cost competition from some eastern European countries whose pleas for special treatment of their exports to the EU are showing sings of success. Now that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have joined the EU, they too have gained free access to this vital market as will Turkey which is a candidate country. The clothing industries in these countries, in conjunction with EU companies, have undergone major restructuring and re-equipping. This has enabled them to present some formidable competition.


Branding has been defined as the process by which a marketer tries to build long term relationships with the customers by learning their needs and wants so that the offering/brand could satisfy their mutual aspirations. In the fast fashion industry it is higly important to have a recognisable brand, with which the consumer can relate. This is in order to stand out in this highly competitive market (Zikmund and Babin, 2010). Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the use of the product or service and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary. A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to the product and serves to create associations and expectations around it. A brand often includes a logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, and sound, which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality (Caprara et al, 2001).


Marketers engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand image may be developed by attributing a "personality" to or associating an "image" with a product or service, whereby the personality or image is "branded" into the consciousness of consumers (Caprara et al, 2001). A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition (Caprara et al, 2001). When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present (Rojas et al, 2004).

Brand equity measures the total value of the brand to the brand owner, and reflects the extent of brand franchise (Rojas et al, 2004). The term brand name is often used interchangeably with "brand", although it is more correctly used to specifically denote written or spoken linguistic elements of a brand. In this context a "brand name" constitutes a type of trademark, if the brand name exclusively identifies the brand owner as the commercial source of products or services. A brand owner may seek to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through trademark registration (Caprara et al,2001).

Brand energy is a concept that links together the ideas that the brand is experiential; that it is not just about the experiences of customers/potential customers but all stakeholders; and that businesses are essentially more about creating value through creating meaningful experiences than generating profit (Levine, 1998).

"A great brand raises the bar -- it adds a greater sense of purpose to the experience, whether it's the challenge to do your best in sports and fitness, or the affirmation that the cup of coffee you're drinking really matters." - Howard Schultz (CEO, Starbucks Corp.)

The act of associating a product or service with a brand has become part of pop culture. Most products have some kind of brand identity, from common table salt to designer clothes. In non-commercial contexts, the marketing of entities which supply ideas or promises rather than product and services (e.g. political parties or religious organizations) may also be known as "branding" (Levine, 1998).

Brand Image

Consistent with Keller (1993, p. 3), brand image is defined as the “perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brand associations held in consumer memory”. Adapting Keller’s (1993) definition, we define celebrity image as the perceptions about an individual who enjoys public recognition as reflected by the celebrity associations held in consumer memory.

Keller (2008) regards brands as having dimensions that differentiate them from other products designed to satisfy the same need; these differences may be rational and tangible, or symbolic, emotional and intangible. Kapferer (2008) states that identity is the expression of both the tangible and intangible characteristics of the brand, giving authority and legitimacy to the precise values and benefits. Given that values are understood to be a powerful force in terms of influencing consumer behavior (de Chernatony and McDonald, 2003), it seems appropriate to consider brand identity and its influence on how the consumer might perceive the brand proposition.

Brand image is regarded as a reflection of consumers’ perceptions of a brand, and can be gauged by the associations held in the memory (de Chernatony and McDonald, 2003; Keller, 2008), with Reizebos (2003) stating that it is a shared subjective mental picture. Keller (1993) argues that brand familiarity and favourable, strong, unique brand associations result in customer-based brand equity, which will influence consumer response to the marketing of a brand. These brand associations are categorised by Keller (1993, 1998) as attributes (the descriptive product and non-product related features), benefits (the functional, experiential and symbolic personal value attached to the brand) and attitudes (the overall evaluation of the brand that often forms the basis of consumer behaviour). Duncan (2002) asserts that the

resulting impression is created by both brand messages and experiences that are assimilated into a perception through the processing of information. Kapferer (2008) states that identity should precede image and that prior to brand image-projection, the organisation or individual must know exactly what it is that they want to communicate to the audience. Wood and Pierson (2006) argue that retailer success depends on consumers having positive associations that encourage trial and subsequent loyalty. Consumers of fast moving consumer goods may be influenced by the brand’s image, they will generally prioritise on functionality and price (Dall’Olmo Riley et al., 2004). In contrast, consumers of fast fashion will be primarily influenced by the brand’s image, while considering functionality as a given prerequisite (Dall’Olmo Riley et al., 2004).

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is a major decision in marketing that seeks to build an image of a product

in consumer’s mind. It is a function of the brand’s promise and comparison with other choices with

regard to quality, innovation, perceived leadership, value, prestige, trust, safety, reliability,

performance, convenience, concern for customers, social responsibility, technological superiority

and so on. Kotler (2002) aptly defined “positioning as the act of designing the company’s offering

and image to occupy a meaningful and distinct position in the mind of the target customers” Product positioning denotes the specific product category or product class in which the

given product is competing, and brand positioning denotes the positioning of the brand compared to

competing brands in the chosen product category (Ramaswamy & Namakumari, 2002).

Ries and Trout (1997) suggested that, to succeed in the competitive market, the first step is

to position the brand in the target consumers’ mind in such a way, that in their perception of the

brand, it is distinctive and offers more customer value than its competitors do.

Celebrity endorsement is an easy way to connect with consumers. Celebrities enjoy public

recognition and they can use this recognition on behalf of a product by appearing in an

advertisement for the product (McCracken, 1989). Strong celebrities can help the consumers to

connect with the brand and lead them to retail outlets to purchase the brand. Celebrities can reduce

the time for consumer to move from awareness to action.

Celebrity endorsement

According to Friedman and Friedman, a "celebrity endorser is an individual who is known by

the public (...) for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class

endorsed". Compared to other endorser types, famous people always attach a greater degree of

attention, recall and loyalty.

According to Melissa St. James, a doctoral fellow and marketing instructor at The George

Washington University, "Studies show that using celebrities can increase consumers'

awareness of the ad, capture [their] attention and make ads more memorable." Diverse

literature is available on celebrity Asian Journal of Business and Management Sciences

Joanne M. Klebba Lynette S. Unger (1983) uses multiple regression analyses to examine the

impact of positive and negative source information on the credibility of the advertising source

and on audience perceptions of the company and advocated product. The results of their study

indicate that the cognitive and affective dimensions of credibility are influenced differently by

negative information.

Wenqian Gan (2006) explores the Chinese consumer’s behaviors toward celebrity and non

celebrity commercials. The results shows that Chinese consumers prefer Celebrity commercial

& respondents collectively like celebrity who have more professional career skill, even though

there are other different reasons existing such as good appearances, good disposition, and good

career spirit.

Erik hunter and Per Davidsson (2008) studied negative information’s impact on celebrity

entrepreneurship. There results shows that negative information about the celebrity might

leads to negative attitude towards the new venture and promotion, new ventures can

potentially reduce damage to their brand by distancing themselves from the celebrity, however,

such a maneuver may not be as effective when the new venture is run by a celebrity


Christina Schlecht (2003) examines the relationship between celebrity endorsements and

brands, by applying a selection of widely accepted principles of how consumers’ brand

attitudes and preferences can be positively influenced. Thereby the concepts of source

credibility and attractiveness, the match-up hypothesis, the meaning transfer model and the

principles of multiple product and celebrity endorsement were used. A brief assessment of the

current market situation indicates, that celebrity endorsement advertising strategies can under

the right circumstances indeed justify the high costs associated with this form of advertising.

Several failures show, it is essential for advertisers to be aware of the complex processes

underlying celebrity endorsement.

Dr. Puja Khatri (2006) studied celebrity endorsement as strategic promotion. An assessment of

current market situation indicated that celebrity endorsement and advertising strategies if

correctly blended in terms of marrying the strengths of the brands with the celebrity’s quality

indeed justify the high cost associated with this form of advertising. However, advertising needs

to be aware of the complex processing underlying celebrity processing endorsement by gaining

clarity on described concepts of celebrity source creditability and attractiveness, match-up

hypothesis, multiple product endorsement etc. Marketer has to decide how far the benefits

outweigh the risks associated. Advertisers agree that celebrity endorsement does not itself

guarantee sales. It can create a buzz and make a consumer feel better about the product,

which in turn has to come to expectation of customers as a real star by delivering the promise.

There have been instances where the endorsement or real consumer has started working better

than celebrity endorsers. In fact much research needs to be done on customer testimonials,

which tend to induce better creditability and helps in carving the competent, rational,

knowledgeable customer of today who is said to be the real hero.

R. Bruce Money, Terence A. Shimp, Tomoaki Sakano (2006) studied the impact of negative

information of celebrity on brand. They conducted comparative study in the U.S. and Japan to

investigate whether the form of negative information about a celebrity (other- or self-oriented)

results in differential evaluations of the brand endorsed by the celebrity. Surprisingly, we find

that both Japanese and Americans view endorsed products more positively in the presence of

self-oriented negative information, a possible suspension of the famous fundamental

attribution error in human judgment.

Clinton Amos, Gary Holmes and David Strutton (2008) studied the relationship between use of

a celebrity endorser and the resulting effectiveness of that endorsement. Kruskal-walls nonparametric test is used to identify relationship between use of a celebrity endorser and the

resulting effectiveness of that endorsement. Negative information about the celebrity exercised

the large impact on celebrity endorsement effectiveness in advertising. This result underscored

the high risk associated with using celebrity endorsers as well as the huge impact negative

information about that celebrity can have on the consumer perception.

Jennifer Edson Escalas, James R. Bettman studied consumers appropriate brand symbolism

that comes from celebrity endorsement to construct and communicate their self-concepts.

Study 1 finds that celebrity endorsement enhances self-brand connections when consumers

aspire to be like the celebrity, but harms them when consumers do not; this effect is more

pronounced when the brand image is congruent with the celebrity’s image. This effect is further

moderated by the degree to which a brand communicates something about the user, with more

symbolic brands having stronger effects than less symbolic brands. Study 2 finds that the

effect of celebrity endorsement on self- brand connections is augmented when consumers’ selfesteem is threatened. Consumers self- enhance by building connections to favorable celebrity

images or distancing themselves from unfavorable celebrity images.

David H. Silvera and Benedikte Austad (2004) examine characteristics of advertisements that

make them effective are especially valuable. The present experiments represent a first step in

identifying what makes endorsement advertisements effective based on work in attribution

theory within social psychology. The results suggest that endorsement advertising effectiveness

can be strongly influenced by consumers’ inferences concerning whether the endorser truly

likes the product. Advertisers, on the other hand, often appear to be satisfied with merely

creating an association between a popular endorser and their product with the hope that the

endorser’s positive image will somehow “rub off” on the product. The present research suggests

that advertisers should put more effort not only into choosing endorsers who are well match

with products, but also into making strong arguments and believable explanations for why

endorsers truly do like the products they endorse.

Debiprasad Mukherjee (2009) this paper is an effort to analyze the impact of celebrity

endorsements on brands. Objective of this article is to examine the relationship between

celebrity endorsements and brands, and the impact of celebrity endorsement on consumer's

buying behavior as well as how consumer makes brand preferences. This paper proposes a

20point model which can be used as blue-print criteria and can be used by brand managers for

selecting celebrities and capitalizing the celebrity resource through 360 degree brand

communication which, according to this paper, is the foundation of the impact of celebrity

endorsement. Celebrity endorsement is always a two-edged sword and it has a number of

positives—if properly matched it can do wonders for the company, and if not it may produce a

bad image of the company and its brand.

Pamela Miles Homer (2007) the “meaning” of a brand resides in the minds of consumers, based

on what they have learned, felt, seen, and heard overtime. This study explores the relationship

between quality and image with special attention on brands plagued with negative impressions,

including instances where consumers' perceptions of a product's quality conflict with its

perceived “image”. Data confirm that quality and image impact attitudes in a distinct manner,

and overall, low brand image is more damaging than low quality. In addition, findings show

that (1) hedonic attitudes towards brands are most driven by image, whereas utilitarian

attitude formation/change processes are dominated by quality, (2) non-attribute brand beliefs

are a stronger predictor of hedonic attitudes when quality or image is low versus high, while (3)

attribute-based beliefs are strong predictors of utilitarian attitudes across image and quality


Farida Saleem (2007) Celebrity endorsement is becoming very prominent now a day. Marketers

use celebrities in ads when there is no or very little product differentiation. When marketers

have to target more diverse market multiple celebrities endorsement (more than one celebrity in

a single ad) could be an answer. The purpose of the current study is to explore the perceptual

difference of young adult toward single celebrity ads and multiple celebrities’ ads.

Questionnaires were administered on a sample of 300 university students to asses if there is

any difference in young adult perception about single celebrity endorsement and multiple

celebrities’ endorsement. Four print media ads, two containing one celebrity in them and two

containing three and five celebrities in them were used as a stimulus. The results showed that

the attitude toward ad and purchase intentions are more positive for multiple celebrities ads

compare to single celebrity ads and there is no significant difference in the attitude toward

brand for multiple celebrities ads and single celebrity ads

Celebrity endorsement is one of the most popular forms of marketing used to promote a range of consumer products and services (Byrne et al, 2003). The use of celebrities for commercial purposes is not a one-way process, however, as celebrities are becoming brands in their own right, with their own values existing in the minds of their audience in a similar way to corporate and consumer brands (Seno and Lukas, 2007).

It has become increasingly common for marketers to use celebrities to promote their products and services. Such practice has conventionally involved the transfer of key characteristics from the endorser to the product or brand in question. In addition to the celebrity source, factors that include familiarity, standing, likeability and charisma are typically deemed influential. Other theorists point out that the endorsement process can involve the transfer of meanings from other areas of the celebrity’s life. The movie roles of an actor or actress would be one example of this (Boyle, 2009). As stated by McCracken (1989), a celebrity endorser is defined as “any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement” .

According to bbc, a recent example of the effect of a celebrity, shows that retail sales were up 2% in January - and designers say the best boost for the industry has been the Duchess of Cambridge. (, 2012).

The billions of dollars spent per year on celebrity endorsement contracts show that

celebrities, like Liz Hurley, Britney Spears and Tiger Woods, play an important role for

the advertising industry (Daneshvary and Schwer 2000, Kambitsis et al. 2002). Female

athlete Venus Williams, tennis player and Wimbledon championship winner in 2002, for

example, has signed a five-year $40 million contract with sportswear manufacturer

Reebok International Inc.1 Theory and practice prove that the use of super stars in

advertising generates a lot of publicity and attention from the public (Ohanian 1991).

The underlying question is, if and how the lively interest of the public in ‘the rich and

famous’ can be effectively used by companies to promote their brands and consequently

increase revenues.

As a first step to answer this question, this paper will examine the relationship

between celebrity endorsements and brands, by applying a selection of widely accepted

principles of how consumers’ brand attitudes and preferences can be positively

influenced. Thereby the concepts of source credibility and attractiveness, the match-up

hypothesis, the meaning transfer model and the principles of multiple product and

celebrity endorsement will be used. The following paragraph will give a brief

introduction into the topic of celebrity endorsement, to provide a common framework for

the later discussion of the above listed concepts.

A Definition of ‘Celebrity’

Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain

group of people. Whereas attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle or special

skills are just examples and specific common characteristics cannot be observed, it can be

said that within a corresponding social group celebrities generally differ from the social

norm and enjoy a high degree of public awareness. This is true for classic forms of

celebrities, like actors (e.g. Meg Ryan, Pierce Brosnan), models (e.g. Naomi Campbell,

Gisele Buendchen), sports athletes (e.g. Anna Kournikova, Michael Schumacher),

entertainers (e.g. Oprah Winfrey, Conan O’Brien) and pop stars (e.g. Madonna, David

1 View (2002).


Bowie) – but also for less obvious groups like businessmen (e.g. Donald Trump, Bill

Gates) or politicians (e.g. Rudy Giuliani, Lee Kuan Yew).

Celebrities appear in public in different ways. First, they appear in public when

fulfilling their profession, e.g. Pete Sampras, who plays tennis in front of an audience in

Wimbledon. Furthermore, celebrities appear in public by attending special celebrity

events, e.g. the Academy Awards, or world premieres of movies. In addition, they are

present in news, fashion magazines, and tabloids, which provide second source

information on events and the ‘private life’ of celebrities through mass-media channels

(e.g. Fox 5 news covering Winona Ryder’s trial on shoplifting, InStyle). Last but not

least, celebrities act as spokespeople in advertising to promote products and services

(Kambitsis et al. 2002, Tom et al. 1992).

Celebrities as Spokespersons

Companies frequently use spokespersons to deliver their advertising message and

convince consumers of their brands. A widely used and very popular type of

spokesperson is the celebrity endorser (Tom et al. 1992)2. According to Friedman and

Friedman (1979, p. 63) a “celebrity endorser is an individual who is known by the public

(…) for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed.”

The cosmetics manufacturer Elizabeth Arden, for example, uses the actress Catherine

Zeta-Jones to endorse its perfume (view Figure 1).

The reason for using celebrities as spokespersons goes back to their huge potential

influence. Compared to other endorser types, famous people achieve a higher degree of

attention and recall. They increase awareness of a company’s advertising, create positive

feelings towards brands and are perceived by consumers as more entertaining (Solomon

2002). Using a celebrity in advertising is therefore likely to positively affect consumers’

brand attitudes and purchase intentions. To ensure positive results, however, it is critical

for advertisers to have a clear understanding of the ‘black box’ of celebrity endorsement.

In the following section, selected concepts that have to be considered when using

celebrities as spokespersons are discussed.

2 Other types of endorsers include the professional expert and the typical consumer (Friedman and

Friedman 1979).

Source Credibility and Attractiveness

A central goal of advertising is the persuasion of customers, i.e., the active attempt to

change or modify consumers’ attitude towards brands (Solomon 2002). In this respect,

the credibility of an advertisement plays an important role in convincing the target

audience of the attractiveness of the company’s brand. Pursuing a celebrity endorsement

strategy enables advertisers to project a credible image in terms of expertise,

persuasiveness, trustworthiness, and objectiveness (Till and Shimp 1998).

To create effective messages, celebrity advertisers also have to consider the

attractiveness of the spokesperson (McCracken 1989). Source attractiveness refers to the

endorser’s physical appearance, personality, likeability, and similarity to the receiver,

thus to the perceived social value of the source (Solomon 2002). The use of (by

corresponding standards) attractive people is common practice in television and print

advertising, with physically attractive communicators having proved to be more

successful in influencing customers’ attitudes and beliefs than unattractive spokespersons

(Ohanian 1991). This behavior mainly goes back to a halo effect, whereby persons who

perform well on one dimension, e.g. physical attractiveness, are assumed to excel on

others as well, e.g. happiness and coolness (Solomon 2002).


By proving in her study that each source has different effects on consumers’ brand

perceptions, Ohanian (1991) however warns, that these source dimensions of the

celebrity endorser could be treated indistinctive. She therefore urges to pursue a

systematic strategy of celebrity-spokesperson-selection. This raises the question which

famous person to select to promote a company’s brand. The next paragraph examines

whether, and under what conditions celebrities are appropriate in endorsing products.

The Match-up Hypothesis

Literature reveals that a spokesperson interacts with the type of brand being

advertised. According to Friedman and Friedman (1979), a famous relative to a ‘normal’

spokesperson is more effective for products high in psychological or social risk,

involving such elements as good taste, self-image, and opinion of others. Several

research studies have examined the congruency between celebrity endorsers and brands

to explain the effectiveness of using famous persons to promote brands (e.g. Till and

Busler 1998, Martin 1996, Till and Shimp 1998). Results show that a number of

celebrity endorsements proved very successful, whereas others completely failed,

resulting in the ‘termination’ of the respective celebrity communicator (Walker et al.

1992). Figure 2 shows some examples for successes and failures.

Celebrity Endorser Company/Product Success (Yes/No)

Liz Hurley Estée Lauder Yes

Cindy Crawford Revlon




Bruce Willis Seagrams No

Michael Jordan Nike




Whitney Houston AT&T No

Jerry Seinfeld American Express Yes

Milla Jovovich L’Oréal Yes

Figure 2: Successful and unsuccessful celebrity endorsements (Source: Till and Busler 1998,

Walker et al. 1992, Till 1998)

Simply assuming that a person just has to be famous to represent a successful

spokesperson, however, would be incorrect, with a considerable number of failures

proving the opposite (Solomon 2002). Very well accepted and attractive super stars like


Bruce Willis and Whitney Houston failed in turning their endorsements into success.

Among the possible reasons identified by several authors (e.g. Tom et al. 1992,

Daneshvary and Schwer 2000), including overexposure and identification, the ‘match-up

hypothesis’ specifically suggests that the effectiveness depends on the existence of a ‘fit’

between the celebrity spokesperson and endorsed brand (Till and Busler 1998).

Empirical work on the congruency theory often has concentrated on the physical

attractiveness of the endorser (e.g. Kahle and Homer 1985). According to Kahle and

Homer (1985) attractive spokespersons are more effective in terms of attitude change

when promoting brands that enhance one’s attractiveness. Though Ohanian (1991)

acknowledges a popular person’s ability to create awareness and initial interest for an

advertisement, she concludes that this may not necessarily change consumer’s attitude

toward the endorsed brand. The author rather states, that “for celebrity spokespersons to

be truly effective, they should be knowledgeable, experienced, and qualified to talk about

the product.”3 A deeper insight in the complex process of celebrity endorsement is

provided by the meaning transfer model, that will be explained in the next paragraph.

The Meaning Transfer Model

McCracken (1989) explains the effectiveness of celebrity spokespersons by assessing

the meanings consumers associate with the endorser and eventually transfer to the brand.

This perspective is shared by Kambitsis et al. (2002, p. 160), who found the athletes’

personality as being an important factor in influencing “specific target groups, to which

such personalities are easily recognizable and much admired.” McCracken suggests a

meaning transfer model, that is composed of three subsequent stages. First, the meaning

associated with the famous person moves from the endorser to the product or brand.

Thus, meanings attributed to the celebrity become associated with the brand in the

consumer’s mind. Finally, in the consumption process, the brand’s meaning is acquired

by the customer. The third stage of the model explicitly shows the importance of the

consumer’s role in the process of endorsing brands with famous persons. The meaning

transfer process is shown in Figure 3.

3 Ohanian (1991), p. 52.

Figure 3: Meaning transfer in the endorsement process (Adapted from McCracken 1989)

McCracken’s model is based on the concept of meanings. Celebrities contain a broad

range of meanings, involving demographic categories (e.g. age, gender, status),

personality and lifestyle types. Madonna, for example, is perceived as a tough, intense

and modern women, and is associated with the lower middle class (Walker et al. 1992).

The personality of Pierce Brosnan is best characterized as the perfect gentlemen, whereas

Jennifer Aniston has the image of the ‘good girl from next door’. McCracken (1989)

emphasizes that a famous person represents not one single meaning, but expresses a

number and variety of different meanings. According to Martin (1996, p.29), celebrity

spokespersons are useful in marketing because they provide a “set of characteristics” that

supports consumers in evaluating the presented brand. In contrast to anonymous

endorsers, celebrities add value to the image transfer process by offering meanings of

extra depth and power, what is complemented by their lifestyles and personalities

(McCracken 1989).4

Having determined the brand’s symbolic features by considering consumers’ needs,

the advertising company has to select the celebrity who contains the appropriate set of

characteristics, and “who will best be able to produce the most favorable response from

consumers.”5 L’Oréal decided to promote its lip color brand ‘Shine Délice’ as “sheer,

sumptuous, sensual” with “juicy shades…for luscious lips.” (L’Oréal USA 2002) French

model and actress Laetitia Casta with her fresh and sexy look best matched the cosmetic

4 McCracken (1989, p. 315) further explains, that “celebrities draw these powerful meanings from the

roles they assume in their television, movie, (…), athletic, and other careers.”

5 Martin (1996), p. 28. However, besides such constraints as availability or budget, there are further limits

in finding the ‘perfect’ match, with no data collection of celebrities (and their meanings) available at

present (McCracken 1989).


brand’s properties and was therefore selected to portray this brand line of L’Oréal.

Pairing the model and the beauty product in an advertisement allows the transfer of

Casta’s meanings to the consumer good, thus her meanings (e.g. youthful, fresh,

appealing) become associated with the L’Oréal brand ‘Shine Délice’ in the mind of the

female consumer.

Using a different character, for example the actress Andie McDowell, to endorse

‘Shine Délice’, would affect the meaning of the brand in the minds of consumers (Walker

et al. 1992). The meanings associated with her, like sophisticated, moral, mature woman,

and family-type, are completely different to those of Casta, thus, when transferred,

resulting in different associations with L’Oréal’s lip color brand, for example, less

youthful, more introverted, and safe. These findings prove, that it is crucial to select the

appropriate celebrity endorser, i.e. a spokesperson that is able to promote the desired

attributes of the brand.6

Multiple Brand and Celebrity Endorsement

Studying TV and print advertisements, one will realize that either some celebrities are

endorsing several brands or a specific brand is endorsed by different spokespersons.

These concepts are called multiple brand endorsement and multiple celebrity

endorsement respectively.

Some spokespersons are “shared” by different advertising firms, i.e. they are

promoting more than one brand (Tripp et al. 1994, p. 535). Golf champion Tiger Woods

has endorsed American Express, Rolex, and Nike. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is used

by T-Mobile and Elizabeth Arden. James Bond character Pierce Brosnan promotes

Omega, BMW, and Noreico. Top model and actress Milla Jovovich is a spokesperson

for a broad range of brands, including L’Oréal, Banana Republic, Christian Dior, Calvin

Klein, and Donna Karan. (View Figure 4).

The question is, does this special form of celebrity endorsement does affect

consumers’ brand attitudes? Following Tripp et al. (1994), the endorsement of as many

as four products negatively influences the celebrity spokesperson’s credibility (i.e.

6 In fact, Andie McDowell is also a spokesperson for L’Oréal. However, she is used to endorse products

for women of her age group, e.g. the hair color brand ‘Excellence’.


expertise and trustworthiness) and likeability. They further add, that these effects are

independent of the celebrity, i.e. the perceptions of even well-liked stars can be

influenced. Reasons may be found in the lack of distinctiveness, with one famous person

endorsing several products instead of concentrating on and representing one specific

brand. Though these findings may be valid, it does not automatically mean that the

concept of multiple product endorsement is useless. Further research is suggested on

potential positive effects, like transfer of positive brand images, and on the shape of

consumers’ response when more than four products are endorsed.

Figure 4: Brands endorsed by top model and actress Milla Jovovich (Source:

More satisfying results have been achieved on the concept of multiple celebrity

endorsement. Hsu and McDonald (2002, p.21), studying the effectiveness of the ‘milk

mustache campaign’ on consumer perceptions, found that endorsing a product with

multiple celebrities “can be beneficial for appealing to various audiences to which the

product is aimed.” The watch manufacturer Omega, for example, promotes its brand by

matching selected celebrities with the company’s product lines. (View Figure 5).7

With celebrity spokespersons representing a diverse mix of type, gender, and age,

they can effectively be used to endorse specific brand lines of a company as shown by the

cosmetic manufacturer L’Oréal, which matches its diverse product lines in accordance

with the celebrity’s meanings.

Figure 5: Celebrities endorsing the luxury brand ‘Omega’


Cost of Celebrety Endorsement vs. non celebrity advertising

Celebrity endorsement backfire

Celebrities obviously bring attention to the products they endorse. That’s why manufacturers, retailers, and brands are willing to drop millions to get celebs as spokespeople. Yet a new study shows that sometimes, the celebrity endorsement is an awful idea.

The phrase “any publicity is good publicity” is regularly applied to celebrities and products alike, and it makes a pretty argument for why paying celebrities to endorse products is money well spent. What happens, though, if an association with a celebrity does more harm than good in consumers’ perception of the product or brand?

Relatively few celebrities are associated with purely positive attributes, and, as a new study published in Social Influence indicates, there are times when only a celebrity’s negative traits are transferred over to the product he or she is endorsing.

The study, led by Margaret C. Campbell of CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, examined the effects of endorsements from celebs such as Jessica Simpson. The singer-actress who is now famous mostly for being famous—celebrated for having a baby, among other achievements—is viewed in two distinct ways, according to consumers: one positive (sexy and fun), the other negative (ditsy and weak). In the studies, when consumers were asked to evaluate products endorsed by Simpson, they tended to view the brands in the same way as they regarded Simpson—as sexy, fun, ditsy, and weak all rolled into one.

However, when a product or brand seemed like a poor match with a celebrity, consumers only associated the celeb’s negative traits with the goods being advertised. The example of a pocketknife was used: When participants were told of Simpson’s hypothetical endorsement of the product, they regarded it mainly as ditsy and weak, and not remotely sexy or fun. And who wants a ditsy, weak, not-fun, not-sexy pocketknife?

So, for things like nail polish and high heels, sure, sign Jessica Simpson up as an endorser. When marketers want to boost a product or brand’s reputation as being strong, serious, or durable, though, an endorsement from a ditsy celebrity is not a smart move.

This should be obvious enough. Yet not a day goes by that you probably don’t see an ad that leaves you scratching your head, wondering something along the lines of Why in the world is Snooki endorsing Google Chrome? OK, that example is a spoof, but it’s a spoof that was made because of the ubiquity of incongruous celebrity-brand pairings.

The Kim Kardashian endorsement machine also has some consumers puzzled, especially when it comes to endorsements that seem like a bad match, such as the short-lived Kardashian Debit “Kard.” Even before the fee-heavy “Kard” was killed off, it seemed dubious for a woman with a reputation as a spendthrift shopaholic to be endorsing a product that’s supposed to help consumers with their personal finances.

When personal finance guru Suze Orman endorses a debit card, on the other hand, it’s questionable because she gives advice to millions about the realm she now has a financial stake in, but at least the pairing sorta makes sense.

In light of the new study, Campbell, the CU-Boulder researcher, says that the global consulting firm Accenture was wise when it decided to sever its endorsement deal with Tiger Woods after the scandal broke regarding the golf stay’s multiple extramarital affairs. Says Campbell of Accenture’s decision: “This new research indicates this helped lower the risk of gaining associations with disloyalty and lack of commitment rather than high performance.”

Well, considering how many women went public about their affairs with Woods, he did seem to be exhibiting one type of performance at a high level. It’s just wasn’t an honorable and trustworthy level..

The concept of a "celebrity" endorsement is not a new concept. For decades companies have been hiring famous actors, athletes, and other "famous" people to tout their product. In the modern age, some of these endorsement packages can measure in the millions of dollars. Experts disagree on the effectiveness of these endorsements and whether they pay for themselves in the long run. However, companies continue to pay celebrities to hock their wares. Some people have a few ethical issues with this process and here are a few of reasons why this is the case.

(Todd Pheipher, 2009)

Ethical issues


One situation where celebrity endorsements may seem unethical is when it seems unlikely that the person endorsing actually uses the product. Granted, it may be difficult to know whether or not a celebrity is a common user of the product. For example, Tiger Woods has long been someone who endorses Buick automobiles. With the millions of dollars that Tiger makes, is it likely that he drives a Buick? Theoretically it is possible, but it seems more likely that Tiger drives a luxury vehicle. Or, he may not even drive himself from place to place.


Another situation that might seem unethical is when celebrities promote particular products that are not "beneficial" for society. Granted, celebrities aren't exactly out selling substances that are illegal. However, glorifying certain types of consumables such as snack and beverages, as well as consumer-oriented products that people don't really "need", may raise concerns with some people. Do people really need to eat more fast food or drink large quantities of alcoholic beverages that can lead to abuse and violence? Granted, it is not the fault of the celebrity that people misuse products. However, if the possibility is there for misuse, the celebrity is associated with the product.


Finally, celebrity endorsements may seem unethical when the people involved get into difficulties in their life that reflect poorly on the company. This is often manifested in the form of anti-social behavior or illegal activity. For example, Michael Vick was a star in the National Football League and had contracts for millions in endorsements. However, his conviction on federal charges and resulting incarceration caused his companies to void endorsement contracts. A similar situation occurred when Kellogg's severed their relationship with Olympian Michael Phelps, after he admitted to smoking marijuana. The company stated that this type of behavior was not consistent with the "image" of the cereal maker. This is also why some companies write language into endorsement contracts that allow them to end arrangements if these types of things occur.

Overall, celebrity endorsements have existed for decades and probably will continue on into the future. However, the behavior of these celebrities is not always ethical, and their subsequent endorsements may always be associated with their personality and image. Most consumers can tell the difference, but people always have to ask themselves whether or not they should use a product because a paid spokesperson says so.

Proactiv’s popularity isn’t due to magic ingredient, but celebrity endorsements

Research showed that in the US market, Proactiv has been a spectacular success, with its annual sales of $1.5 billion, and therefore tower over the rest of the acne treatment industry.

The “Proactiv System” will cost the consumer $59.95. However, when looking into the ingredients of the product, it is evident that the active compound is benzoyl peroxide. That’s the same main ingredient as is found in competitors such as Stridex, Clearasil and just about every nonprescription acne medication available in drugstore aisles across America. A tube of the same compound costs $5.25 at a local pharmacy.

According to Stupid mc stupidson, a physician who treats teens with acne, the products is often discurraged due to its high price tag.

“The key to acne treatment is good compliance,” says Dr. Jeff Benabio, a dermatologist in San Diego. “Proactiv has system that makes it easy for teens to use properly.”

He’s right, and perhaps the three-step “Proactiv System” helps make it easier for teens. But the real key to Proactiv’s success is celebrity. Endorsements have helped make it the acne product to buy. A-list youth stars like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne and even P. Diddy offer testimonials online and on TV about how terrible it was to have all that acne, and how ProActiv transformed the star into someone beautiful, confident and successful. (P. Diddy famously claimed that he uses ProActiv to “moisturize my situation and preserve my sexy.”) Viewers see those hideous “before” pictures — some mysteriously dark, pimple-faced headshot of an unseen somebody — followed by the “glorious” after shot, glowing and perfect.However, Jeff Benabio’s biggest proble with the Proactiv campaign, is how hard they work to equate confidence with beauty and nothing else. Every celebrity testifies that having pimples was the source of all their insecurities. Celebrties such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson, all claim that Proactiv gave them the confidence they needed to be their best. And he states that; “As a physician who sees plenty of teens with real confidence problems and the consequences they engender — eating disorders, depression, anxiety, drug use — I’d like to see a company with this much influence pull a few gears back on that message”.

According to the research, proactiv’s success is therefore up to its marketing campaing, where high profile celebreties are used. And even though it is not fashion related, it still is an example of how the right celebrities can enhance the brand image, add value, and increase sales.

Read more:


Research Method

Primary Research

This study will use a mixed methods (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003) design, which

is a procedure for collecting, analyzing and “mixing” both quantitative and qualitative

data at some stage of the research process within a single study, to understand a research problem more completely (Creswell, 2002). The rationale for mixing is that neither quantitative nor qualitative methods are sufficient by themselves to capture the trends and details of the situation, such as a complex issue of doctoral students’ persistence in the distributed learning environment. When used in combination, quantitative and qualitative methods complement each other and allow for more complete analysis (Green, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989, Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998).


The purpose of qualitative research is to understand and explain participant meaning

(Morrow & Smith, 2000). More specifically, Creswell (1998) defines qualitative research as, an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem. The researcher builds a complex, holistic picture, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants, and conducts the study in a natural setting.

The qualitative method used for this study is in depth one to one interviews, which enable face to face discussion with human subjects. The interviews will be conducted using a The questions asked will be open questions, where the respondents can answer freely, opening for endless number of reponses. Therefore it can be difficult to quantify the results, if the answers vary greatly. The findings may therefore merley be reported in their diversity or general statements can be made, or particular comments can be picked out in order to understand the minds of the consumers. Respondents will be chosen in line with the fast fashion market, and the target segment investigated, females aged 18-25.

Gaskell stated in 2000 that depth interviews involve probing an individual respondent regarding a topic, in order to extract the fundamental reasoning behind the respondent’s motivations, opinions and beliefs regarding the behaviours of people in specific social contexts. During a depth interview the interviewer endeavours to follow a rough outline, but the direction of the interview is determined by the respondents’ replies as the interviewer “probes for elaboration”(Malhotra, 1999). The single participant is probed in much greater detail allowing the interviewer to uncover motivations, beliefs, and hidden messages (Malhotra, 1999).

Gaskell (2000) discusses that there is an upper limit on the number of in-depth interviews, suggesting a maximum of 15-25 individual interviews for a single researcher. This study conducted 8 interviews, as it was felt during interview 7 that the process had reached “saturation” as information was being repeated (Seidman, 1998). The respondents were all female between the age of 15-19. As suggested by Zaltman in 2003 in-depth interview were conducted using photo-elicitation techniques.

Qualitative research

The qualitative research featured two parts, one focus group and one individual interview where an advertisement is shown. 50% of the respondents were shown an advert for a product featuring a celebrity, whilst the other 50% will be shown an advert for the same product without the celebrity. The aim is to investigate whether the celebrity directly influences the choice of the later aged female teens, seeing if there is a difference in results in the two groups, and also if celebrity endorsement can lead to increased teenage materialism. Directly after viewing the advert, the respondents will be faced with questions:

Do you like the celebrity in the ad? (Only asked to the appropriate 50%)

Would you buy or do you own this garment?

What do you think is the price of the product?

What do you think about the garment?

The celebrity and garment used in this research is Lana Del Rey, and a garment from H&M.

The analysis of the data will possibly show differences in reactions to the questions depending on which advertisement the respondents were exposed to.


This research used questionnares to establish the amount of impact celebrities have on later aged female teenagers, and how easily they are influenced by outside forces such as advertising, but also peers and surroundings.

A questionnaire was made to gather numerical data that can be analysed in conjunction with the qualitative data gathered. Questionnaires often seem a logical and easy option as a way of collecting information from people. They are actually rather difficult to design and because of the frequency of their use in all contexts in the modern world, the response rate is nearly always going to be a problem (low) unless the researcher has ways of making people complete them and hand them in on the spot (and this of course limits your sample, how long the questionnaire can be and the kinds of questions asked). This research used teenagers in Manchester schools, during schooltime, with permission from the teachers, and the respondents where therefore more willing to give of their time to complete the surveys.As with interviews, it can be decided to use closed or open questions, and the interviewer can also offer respondents multiple choice questions from which to choose the statement which most nearly describes their response to a statement or item (Seidman, 1998).

The questionnaire included:

2. What are the motivating factors when you plan to buy a garment?

Discounts and offers

Known brand

Celebrity endorsing the product

Having the same as my friends

3. Do you believe products specifically advertised by the celebrities are of good quality?




Not sure

4. What is the most persuading factor to purchase clothing`?

Brand Name




Which TV channels do you watch?

Does Fashion retailer’s use of celebrities make you want to purchase the products?



Not sure

7. Do you believe the celebrities also use those products which they themselves endorse?



Not sure

What type of celebrity endorsement persuades you personally to purchase products?

Film stars

Pop stars

Famous personalities


9. When purchasing clothes for a special occasion, which of the following retailers are you more likely to go to




Selfridges & co

10. When purchasing items for everyday use, which of the following retailers are you most likely to go to.


New Look


Selfridges & co

11. Which of the following brands would you be most likely to buy?

A brand advertised on TV by a celebrity

A brand seen in a magazine in a paparazzi photograph worn by a celebrity

A brand recommended to you by friends or family

Quantitative Reserch

Findings Overview

The study found that the teens questioned would all buy a celebrity endorsed brand. It did however also find that price was also an important motive for choosing products, whether cheap for value, or expensive for status.

The study found that for the teen demographic investigated, branding was of high importance, and an outfit from a famous brand was much preferred over an item from a little known brand, with lower price.

In the questionnares, it was found that Topshop was the most viited shop by this demographic for casual wear, whilst Lipsy was the most popular for special occations and dresse. Lipsy was also popular for its velour tracksuits.

Some of the teens would rather buy outfits worn by celebreties in magazines, and therefore put pride in buying high end clothes. In the discussion group, it seemed like a symbol of status to be carrying a bright yellow selfridges & co bag, as a few of the girls were even using them to school, sp put notebooks in.

When the conversation turned to celebreties, the girls seemed to be more interested in WAG’s (wifes and girlfriends of footballers, than actual popstars or movie stars. ) Colleen Rooney, was often looked to for inspiration, as well as Steven Gerrards wife, Alex Curran.

In the discussion group, the conversation was mostly dominated by a group of three girls that seemed to be close friends, and the others seemed to agree with them.

According to (bleeh) teenagers are easily påvirket, and it is therefore a possibility that the others agreed to ‘fit in’ as is mentioned in this and this study.

However, Colleen Rooney has her own collection for Littlewoods, but when I asked the respondents if they had ever bought anything from it, the answer was 0%. The collection is aimed at older people than this research included, but it is still evident that the group will not purchase just anything with a liked celebrity’s name on it.

How much affected by advertisement

How easily affected my surroundings

Celebrities as role models

Over 60% of respondents in the focus group was considering plastic surgery.This research went out to look at how the celebrity’s lifestyle affects the teenagers targeted by the marketing campaigns. Considering the teenage demographic, and their ease of influence, the personal life of the celebrities used should be considered. During the discussion group, it was found that over 60% of the girls wanted plastic surgery, where the most popular one was breast implants. Other surgery that came up was lip injections and nose jobs, the girls also mentioned having botox when they were older. What is however, not clear, is if this is purely an influence from following the lifes of celebrities, or if it is from the teenagers surroundings (family and friends).


Joseph (1982) stated that physically attractive celebrities have a positive effect on the

consumers’ evaluations and opinions of a product. An attractive celebrity is likely to be an

especially potent source of brand image because of the dual impact of their celebrity status and

attractiveness. Physically attractive celebrities have a positive effect on the products and brands

with which they are associated. Hsu and McDonald (2002) suggested that multi-celebrity

endorsement advertising might appeal to multiple audiences. Given that advertisers can afford to

employ a number of celebrities, multi-celebrity endorsement advertising may help the advertisers to

build a sense of consensus, avoid audience boredom and appeal to multiple audi

The International Journal of Applied Management and Technology, Vol 7, Num 1

Friedman and Friedman (1979) hypothesized and later concluded that the use of celebrity

rather than noncelebrity endorsers in advertisements leads to higher believability, a more favorable

evaluation by consumers of the product and advertisements, and a significantly higher intention

among consumers to purchase the product. Pringles (2004) stated that celebrity endorsements act as

signposts to quality and can significantly enhance brand reputations. Consumers who use products

that are associated with celebrities get a little bit extra in terms of imagery, aspiration, and

entertainment, factors that often just may be enough to tip the balance in favour of one brand over

its competitors on the supermarket shelf or in an Internet search engine return.

Gupta (2003) pointed out that celebrities may be successful in drawing the consumers’

attention piquing their interest or desire, and penetrating the target customers’ perceptual mapping.

Fam and Walter (2008) investigated what contributes to advertising likeability and advertising

dislike ability in India by surveying individuals in Mumbai. They found that the Indian respondents

had a positive attitude towards advertising in general. The study identified seven likeable attributes:

‘entertaining,’ ‘warmth’, ‘strong/distinctive/sexy’, ‘soft sell’, ‘relevant to me’,

‘trendy/modernity/stylish’, and ‘status appeal’. The attitude toward the television commercials was

attributed to general Indian values, family values and adherence to religious


Till and Busler (1998) reported that the majority of research on celebrity endorsers, although

concerned with the effectiveness of celebrity endorsers, has provided little direction regarding the

management of associations that which celebrities can bring to the endorsed brands. Many studies

on celebrity endorser have considered the impact of celebrities on consumers’ attitudes toward

brands and/or the advertisements. Based on the research gap, this paper attempted to study the

effect of celebrity endorsement on brand positioning of two female personal care brands.

Cost issues, is the effect of using a celebrety worth the extra cost. Spending that amount on an adevertising campaign create same result?

America is saturated with advertising. It is a nation whose people are stigmatized with the label of "over-consumption." Rightfully so, the citizens of the United States are perceived as self-indulgent people not only by other nations, but by many of their fellow Americans. This behavior is derived from materialism. This notion of materialism is defined as a focus on belongings; or devotion to material wealth and possessions at the expense of spiritual or intellectual values. The concept itself carries a negative connotation in that it is not easily arguable that spiritual or intellectual values should be discarded for the sake of self-indulgence. Therefore, materialistic behavior in the United States should be confronted with a critical methodology.

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of celebrities on the materialistic nature of teens; particularly focusing on celebrity appearance in advertising. Children in America are continually seen as targets by advertising campaigns. This is due to the fact that children are seen as primary consumers at younger and younger ages. In the food industry for example, "parents are two to three times more likely to name a child as the family expert for selection of fast food, snack food, restaurants, and new breakfast cereals." The behaviors of children and their purchasing patterns will likely affect their purchasing patterns as they grow in age. It is important to learn about the effects of different media in hopes of discovering ways to control the overall consumption patterns of the American public.

This essay will begin by reviewing a series of issues that have relevance to the topic. They will help explain the degree to which previous studies have dealt with the issues of teenage materialism and celebrity advertising. Finally, the dimensions of the study will be explained.

Media Affects on People:

When studying the effects of advertising in a particular area, one will find that the advertising business is one with many different facets. There is variation in the types of media used, the locations, the targeted audience, the advertising style, and the advertising intention altogether. Many studies engage particular areas of advertising as their focus. However, most tend to have a relation to the media's effect on people. For example, Audrey Dentith's study on female adolescents in Las Vegas focuses largely on the media in the area. But a huge emphasis is put on how these mediated images affect these young women. In her article she describes Las Vegas as a "consumer culture within the highly sexualized and distinctive tourist context." In this article she uses a qualitative analysis in an attempt to uncover any patterns of conception that young women have in regard to the sexually oppressing culture of the city. She found several social patterns that different groups of adolescent girls alluded too. The effect of media on people is further supported in an essay by Debbie Ging. Ging's research uses a group of boys in Ireland. The study is similar to Dentith's study, but focuses on the masculinity of boys. Her goal is to find a link between mediated imagery and the masculine acts of boys in Ireland. Her findings were that trends in media often were reflected by trends in the behavior of the adolescents of her study.

Therefore, the all encompassing powers of mediated culture assuredly influence behaviors in people. Advertisements are a part of media, so they also have specific effects that need to be studied. There are many ways that advertisements influence people. The purpose of an advertisement is to influence the purchasing behavior of those that view it. There are many different types of advertising. Today advertisers are trying all kinds of different methods to break through the clutter of ads that bombard American citizens on a daily basis. The large amount of advertising has caused people to start to disregard advertisements all together. Inventions such as TiVo have made it easier to avoid the annoying ads. With this knowledge, advertising agencies are continually trying to use unique new forms of advertising. "Within-show advertising" is a good example of this. Roehm focuses on two types of advertising in particular, "product placement" and "plugs." Product placement occurs when a product or logo is placed in a program with the intention of gaining exposure for the product. A plug, however, is when a product or slogan is mentioned in what appears to be off-the-cuff dialogue in a program script (Roehm, 18). These forms of advertising have different effects on their viewers. In Roehm's study, it was found that product placement initiated stronger memory retention of the product as opposed to that of the plug. However, both forms of advertisement effectively influenced the intended audience.

Celebrities in Advertising:

"Almost 20% of all television advertisements in the United States feature a famous person as an endorser." The worldwide percentage of celebrity appearances in commercials doubled from 1994 to 2004. Why are advertisers willing to put out millions of dollars to have these famous people in their ads? Studies show that celebrities cause ads to be "more effective." They "enhance method recall, and aid in the recognition of brand names." As stated previously, advertising agencies are trying to find new ways to break through the clutter of advertising. Celebrity appearances are among many of the ways these agencies try to gain better results for their advertisements.

The teenage consumer market is one that is highly sought after by major marketing corporations. The use of famous athletes is common in the attempt to reach a portion of this audience. Celebrity athlete endorsement has been the focus of some studies. Some of the most influential spokespeople in today's culture have been sports celebrities. "Celebrity endorsers may be influential because they are viewed as highly dynamic and they have attractive and likeable qualities." One part of their charm is due to their physical attractiveness. Also, the status of athlete, especially to youth, is a very desirable position. Therefore, kids will often look up to the spokesperson and in turn be influenced to buy the endorsed product. This principle can also be transferred to that of actors/actresses and popular music stars. The attractiveness of the sponsors is very important to the effect that they have on the audience. Therefore, the ideal celebrity for marketing a product is recent, physically attractive, and holds an overall good standing as far as likeability goes. Celebrities that fall into these guidelines cost a greater amount than those that do not.

As one can see, the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements is derived from the fact that consumers will have a preconceived image of the celebrity in their minds, and that this notion will in turn be related to the product that is being endorsed. These endorsements also help to improve the products trustworthiness, believability, persuasiveness, and likeability. Studies on this effect relates to the linking of memories. The idea is that after being exposed to a celebrity in association with a given product enough times the mind will create a link. When the mind recalls memory of the celebrity it will bring up memories of the product that he/she is associated with. This is a theory referred to as the Associative Learning Theory (ALT). An example of this is when mentioning the name of the famous boxer George Foreman; many will automatically link their thoughts to that of the George Foreman Grill products. It also works the other way around. For example, when mentioning the name of the line of men's underwear by the brand Hanes, many will automatically link their thoughts to that of Michael Jordan. These media implicated reactions cognitively influence their viewers.

The Effects of Advertising on Youth:

The well-being of children is an important task. The topic of how young people are influenced is one that undergoes massive examination. The influence of media on children and teens is something that is studied often. Kraak focuses primarily on this influence and the impact that is had on food purchasing decisions. She alludes that the influence that children have on the food market is significant . It is assumed that this impact is probably similar in other areas of the consumer market (although, likely not as significantly as that of the food market.) It is easily seen, however, that children and teens are a major target of advertising firms.

The effects that media have on children are wide in range. Ging's study on teenage boys in Ireland indicates many relations to the media and behaviors of the subjects. She imposed the idea that mass media defines the masculinity of boys. She uses a qualitative research method to find relations between what is shown in media and how male boys behave. Bush mentions that "teenagers spend and estimate $153 billion a year on everything from computers to cars to clothes." He includes in his essay a notion of consumer socialization, which is the "process by which young people acquire skills, knowledge, and attitudes relevant to their functioning as consumers in the marketplace." The influence of advertisements and media exposure are included in these processes.

The study of cigarette advertising and its impact on teens is one that is very prominent. There is a concern that cigarette advertisements serve a large role in getting young people to start smoking. A study by Krugman and King indicates that a substantial amount of teenagers will come in contact with cigarette advertising in magazines. A critical analysis of this study, however, claims that reducing the amount of these ads would have little effect on teen smoking patterns. Despite the argument here, there is also a concern over whether or not cigarette companies target young people with their advertising. The influence of advertising on children is a very broad topic that has many different points of interest. Too many of these areas have little evidence to determine how to influence children to make good decisions. Instead, a focus is put on the negative effects of advertising to children.

Critical Evaluation:

Mediated images have a far reaching affect on people. So far studies seem to support the idea that exposure to different media cause people to have certain reactions. It is of large concern because the well-being of society is at stake. Studies show that children are very easily influenced by media, and in turn have a major affect on the economics of a culture. Purchasing decisions of children or teens account for a significant amount of money. This is precisely why advertising companies are targeting them with their ads. Their use of celebrities in advertising is a further effort to influence young people.

The problem that has not been confronted is whether or not these advertisements have an effect on a child's behaviors in terms of materialism. The materialism of teens is something that can be observed easily. But do the mediated images of celebrities cause teenage materialism to increase? This is why I am proposing the following research question: Does the appearance of a celebrity in an advertisement increase a teen's materialistic behavior in relation to their desire for the product? I believe that research does indicate that celebrities have an impact on children through advertising. Therefore, their association with these individuals as role models will likely affect their responses to advertisements featuring them.


The participants of the study range from the ages of 14 to 18. They will all be students of Shelbyville High School, located in Shelbyville, Illinois. Eight different classes will be surveyed, two different classes from each grade level (2 freshman classes, 2 sophomore classes ...). The classes will be randomly selected from a list of teachers. Each teacher's "home room" class will be used as the sampled class. ("Home room" is a mandatory study hall class that lasts 20 minuets at the beginning of every school day.) There will be 132 total students surveyed. Each class contains an average of 17 students each. The students are placed in home room classes randomly; therefore they provide a representative sample of each grade level. The use of Shelbyville High School is a choice of convenience, being that I reside in Shelbyville myself. Gender, race, religion, or any other demographic definition is not relevant in this particular study. This study is only concerned only with age affiliation. However, further studies could consider these other traits to further the progress of this research topic.


Leading the Industry

The research showed that Topshop was the first stop for the teenagers when buying casual wear, and compared to other retailers, Topshop uses none or little celebrity endorsement. They used to have a collaboration with Kate Moss, however, this was discontinued, possibly due to the celebritys personal life, according to jfifjid in 2010. Topshop has been branded the most influential brand in the British Fashion community, edging out H&M for number one position and dominating all other competitors in 2010. With its strong brand name, their taget audience consideres Topshops range of clothing to be popular, this also includes accessories and make up. Topshop integrated multiple marketing initiatives into one connected program creating a ‘network effect’ which resulted in increased traffic through their sales channels (JOYN, 2010). To achieve the result of Topshop being the most influential bramd, JOYN analysed all social media activity from the 1000 most influential social websites in the UK Fashion Community published from July to December in 2010.  The most relevant opinions were selected, coded and analysed by their team of fashion experts.(JOYN,2010)

The most signficant finding of our research was high quality products and range are the foundation of a successful digital strategy. Almost 70% of all conversations about Topshop directly related to their products, their conventional marketing activities were a fraction of that figure.

This resulted in over 115 mentions every month amongst the most influential blogs, online magazines and traditional media, none of which they paid for. Topshop’s ability to ‘earn’ enormous media coverage from fans, influential bloggers and online magazines is proof of their position as most influential brand.

An example of the value of ‘taking a stand’ was Topshop being the only High Street brand showing at London Fashion Week. There commitment to this initiative extends to financially supporting and stocking emerging designers. The support and enthusiasm from the UK Fashion community was huge, Topshop Unique earned over 200 articles within the British Fashion Community reaching a potential audience of millions. “Earned media” coverage is a proven sales driver and created a halo effect of good-will and credibility to Topshop’s other ranges. This kind of media is fueled by consumer satisfaction and advocacy, it’s proof that Topshop have earned their space in their customers hearts.

Blog, and bloggers are becoming significantly more popular, and during the foucus group it was reveiled that the majority of the teenagers read blogs very day. In accordance to this, it is of interest to see JOYNæs readerch, although from 2010, shows how much attention celebrity endoresements can gather on the internet. According to JOYN the H&M collaboration with Lanvin attracted 223 articles on the UK webpages in 2010, and with the target audience reading this blogs, that is additional (free) advertising. However, Mango failed to avhive similar results with their collaborations with Oliva Palermo.  

Further research recommendation



This article addressed a popular method of marketing communication: the use of

celebrity spokespersons in advertising to endorse brands. A brief assessment of the

current market situation indicates, that celebrity endorsement advertising strategies can

under the right circumstances indeed justify the high costs associated with this form of

advertising. However, as several failures show, it is essential for advertisers to be aware

of the complex processes underlying celebrity endorsement, by gaining an understanding

of the described concepts of source credibility and attractiveness, match-up hypothesis,

meaning transfer model, multiple product and celebrity endorsement. While these

concepts can help to answer the question if and when celebrity advertising investments

pay off, it has to be the goal of further research efforts to develop an extensive, consistent

and user-friendly tool to avoid arbitrary decisions and enhance the strategic character of

celebrity sponsorship decisions.



The effect of media on children is an important topic. It is important that research be continued on this topic. The ever-growing materialism that tags our nation with over-consumption is something that needs to be studied also very closely. Our children are our future, so learning how popular culture influences them is a big deal. Research on the topic, so far, is lacking. Many studies focus on cigarette ads. None seek to find out how ads affect the cognitive behaviors of children. Instead they focus in other areas.

My expectations are that there will be a slightly high instance of materialistic answers on the survey from the kids exposed to the celebrity endorsed advertisement. However, the study really needs to be done on a much larger scale to get a significant answer as to whether or not this relates to the notion of materialism, or just advertising effectiveness. Further studies also should include demographic classing in order to determine whether or not different cultural backgrounds cause variation in the results.


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