The Effectiveness Of Celebrity Endorsers Cultural Studies Essay

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Celebrity endorsement is a much talked and less researched area in Indian advertising. Most of the advertisers are following herd mentality while irrationally using Celebrity Endorsers as a panacea for all advertising problems. Most advertisers go with the assertion that any Celebrity who is performing well in recent time in his or profession will be effective. According to an estimate one fourth of all commercials in US employ Celebrity endorsements (Miciak, 1994). A study by AdEX India, a division of TAM media research revealed 49% growth in Celebrity endorsement as volumes on TV during 2007 compared to 2006. Advertisers spend enormous money to have celebrities promote their products, with the assumption that consumers will react positively to the Celebrity association, with their product (Scott, 1991). It is perceived that message delivered by celebrities achieve a high degree of attention and recall amongst consumers. (Ohanian R., 1991). The basic premise of this study is to judge effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers from different profession and gender amongst different demographic segments of consumers.

LITERATURE REVIEW

A Celebrity is a personality, generally actor or Sports person, who is known to the public for his or her accomplishments, often in the areas other than the product class endorsed (Friedman, Hershey and Friedman, Linda, 1979). Celebrity Endorsers has been defined as any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition for promoting a product or service in advertisements. (McCracken Grant, 1991).

Studies on Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers

Three dimensions have been identified as components of source credibility namely expertise, trustworthiness and attractiveness (Baker 1977, Giffin 1967, Joseph 1982, Maddux 1980, Mills 1972). All dimensions make independent contributions to source effectiveness and can have appropriate influence of communicator on the audience.

The source credibility model based on social psychology contended that a message depends for its effectiveness on the "expertness" and "trustworthiness" of the source (Dholakia, 1977, Sternthal, 1978). Expertness is defined as the perceived ability of the source to make valid assertions. Trustworthiness is defined as the perceived willingness of the source to make valid assertion. The sources exhibiting expertness and trustworthiness are credible and thus persuasive. Highly credible source is more effective than a less credible source (Sternthal, 1978). Expertise and trustworthiness have been identified as the most significant indicators of source credibility of the communicator (Homer, 1990). Celebrity might contribute to a firm's advertising program by bringing fame, talent, credibility, or charisma, yet Celebrity credibility with the consumer audience is the most important. Celebrity credibility is audiences' perception of both the Celebrity's expertise and trustworthiness. Expertise means how much the Celebrity knows about the product area and trustworthiness signifies how honest is the Celebrity about the product (Ohanian, 1991). When endorser is perceived as being credible, audience attitudes are changed through a psychological process called internalization, where the receiver accepts the Endorser's position on an issue as his or her own. An interesting phenomenon as revealed by studies is that an internalized attitude tends to be maintained even if the source switches to a different position or the source of message is completely forgotten. (Stephen, 1981).

The source attractiveness model based on social psychological research contended that a message depends for its effectiveness on the "familiarity", "likability", and /or "similarity" of the source. Familiarity is defined as knowledge of the source through exposure and likability is the affection for the source and similarity is supposed resemblance between the source and the receiver of the message. This model holds that sources that are known to be liked by, and/or similar to the consumer are attractive and thus become persuasive (Baker 1977, Joseph 1982, Debevec 1984, Friedman 1978) The more familiar an Endorser, the more likely consumers are to buy the endorsed product (Miciak, 1994). The effect of attractiveness on causing attitudinal change were found to be positive in terms of eliciting greater agreement from targets with the position of attractive communicator (Chaiken 1979, Horai et al, 1974).

Studies on Celebrity Endorsements and Consumer Characteristics

Research with ethnic minorities have revealed that when a spokesperson matched the audience's ethnicity, the spokesperson's trustworthiness was enhanced, promoting more favorable attitude towards the advertised brand (Deshpande, 1994) Signifying the importance of understanding Celebrity endorsement phenomenon not only from source perspective i.e. Celebrity but also from receiver perspective i.e. consumer. Effectiveness of a Celebrity Endorser depends on the receiver's involvement level. When involvement was low a Celebrity Endorser had a significant effect on attitudes. When the receiver's involvement was high, the use of Celebrity had no effect on brand attitudes, however the quality of arguments used in the ad became more important (Petty et. al., 1983). Two sided appeals have been found to be more effective than one-sided communication in increasing copy believability across Celebrity conditions (Kamins, 1989)

Meaning transfer model proposes that the brand benefits from the associations with Endorser because of acquisition or possession of particular configurations of cultural meaning that cannot be found elsewhere (McCracken, 1991). The cultural meaning resides within a particular Celebrity Endorser and is passed on to the product or service being endorsed (McCracken, 1991, Langmeyer et al, 1991). Lautman, 1991 described this process of associating a spokesperson's attributes, traits and values with a particular service or product as Prototypical bonding. Consumer's attitudes and perceptions of quality are enhanced when celebrities endorse products (Fireworks, 1977). Research studies comparing the impact of advertisements with and without Celebrity Endorsers have found that those featuring celebrities were rated more positively. Teenagers were more likely to project the Celebrity's credibility to the advertising message and the endorsed product (Atkin, 1983).

Earlier studies have shown that the gender of celebrity has some influence on the judgments of adolescents regarding celebrity's attractiveness, trustworthiness and expertise. As indicated by the findings the celebrities offer variety of cues through their personality, achievements, and other attributes, their gender can be rightly seen as an important variable affecting advertisement effectiveness Mishra (2001). Study by Huston et al (2003) revealed influence of race and gender on respondents' ability to correctly identify celebrities and product they endorse. The race and gender were found to be inconsequential in terms of predicting the ability of the respondents to recall the association between product and Endorser. Differential response by women to ads featuring Celebrity Endorsers, differential responses to ads featuring female Celebrity Endorsers, as well as differential response to female Celebrity Endorsers has been found. Partial support was found for an interaction effect of gender on response to the gender of Celebrity Endorsers. The study based on student sample used only trustworthiness dimension of the source credibility scale (Klaus, 2008)

Studies on Selection of Celebrity Endorsers

Several Studies have tried to explore the selection process of a Celebrity. Results of the survey of advertising executives indicated Celebrity credibility, Celebrity and audience match-up, Celebrity and brand match-up, Celebrity attractiveness, and miscellaneous considerations are the major considerations in selection of Celebrity (Miciak, 1994). One such study involving executives in involved in selecting celebrities revealed that there is an unwritten and informal process of selecting Celebrity Endorsers, in which there are a number of factors affecting decisions (Erdogan, 2000). British agency managers based their selection primarily on product types Tagg et al., (2001). Study by (Erdogan, 2005) revealed that celebrities can add their own value to brands, build credibility and help cut through advertising clutter. In a study of Jordanian respondents Alsmandi (2006) found majority of respondents recognized Celebrity Endorsers overall attractiveness, though did not find it convincing enough in terms of brand choice behavior. The study suggests reconsidering the way celebrities were projected in advertising, or even chosen, within the context of the Jordanian culture

The literature review outlines studies pertaining to Celebrity Endorsers, endorsement process effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers and consumer characteristics. The various studies referred help us to identify the factors that help us to judge the effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers. Very few studies have focused on gender and profession of Celebrity Endorsers as well as demographic characteristics of consumers, with this backdrop the present study is conducted to provide empirical evidences impact of gender and profession of Celebrity Endorser on perception of effectiveness amongst various demographic segments of consumers.

RESEARCH DESIGN

Research Objective

The Objective of the study was to judge Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers amongst Different Demographic Segments of Consumers

Methodology

The present investigations were descriptive in nature with survey being used as the major research approach. Four celebrities were selected for the study namely Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Rahul Dravid and Sania Mirza. These celebrities represent a good mix of celebrities who are from different profession i.e. Film and Sports as well as different gender.

Scope of the study

The study was confined to Gujarat state of India which is one of the prosperous and advanced states of the country. Sample was taken from seven major cities viz. Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh of the Gujarat state. These are the most important urban centers of state of Gujarat and represent diversity of India.

Sampling Plan

The Population: All the existing and potential consumers means the total urban population of all seven selected cities becomes population for the study.

Sampling Unit: Sampling units for the study was individual consumer. From the above population, all the existing consumers who were able to identify the celebrities and recall brands endorsed by celebrities were defined as sampling unit for the purpose of the study. Those who failed to identify the celebrities selected for the study were excluded from the study.

Sampling technique: Quota sampling has been adopted in present study. The sample of the present study, represented the population with respect to demographic dimensions of gender, and age considered for the study. Care was taken to make the sample representative of the actual population.

Size of the Sample: Respondents for the study were 580.

Instrument for data collection

For data collection a survey using a structured questionnaire was conducted. Seven point semantic differential Source credibility scale developed by Ohanian (1990) was used to judge effectiveness of Celebrity Endorser. The scale gives effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers by adding scores of three sub-dimensions Attractiveness, Trustworthiness and Expertise.

ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

1 Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers amongst Respondents of Different Gender

To explore differences in perception of respondents of different genders towards different celebrities, effectiveness scores was collected as judged by source credibility scale comprising of fifteen items seven point semantic differential scale (Refer Table 1). To explore the differences following hypothesis were set.

H1 1: There is a significant difference in the perception of male respondents regarding effectiveness of different Celebrity Endorsers.

H1 2: There is a significant difference in the perception of female respondents regarding effectiveness of different Celebrity Endorsers.

The hypothesis H1 1 set above was accepted (Fcal = 51.19, p=0.05). Similarly hypothesis H1 2 was accepted (Fcal = 18.23, p=0.05). It can be inferred from the above analysis that perception of male and female respondents is significantly different for different celebrities. This rejection calls for further analysis that whether this perception is affected by gender of respondents or due to gender or profession of celebrities.

1.1 Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers of Different Gender amongst Respondents of Different Gender.

To explore differences in perception of respondents of different genders towards celebrities of different gender following hypothesis were set

H1 3: There is a significant difference in the perception of male respondents regarding effectiveness of male and female Celebrity Endorsers.

H1 4: There is a significant difference in the perception of female respondents regarding effectiveness of male and female Celebrity Endorsers.

H1 5: There is a significant difference in the perception of effectiveness amongst male respondents and female respondents about male Celebrity

H1 6: There is a significant difference in the perception of effectiveness amongst male respondents and female respondents about female Celebrity.

H1 7: There is a significant difference in the perception of male respondents regarding effectiveness of male Celebrity and female respondents regarding effectiveness of female Celebrity.

H1 8: There is a significant difference in the perception of male respondents regarding effectiveness of female Celebrity and female respondents regarding effectiveness of male Celebrity.

Findings of Gender Wise Analysis for Overall Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers

There was no effect of gender of respondent while determining perception of effectiveness of celebrities. Respondents of both the genders find male and female celebrities equally effective. Respondents' perception was not found significantly different in case of both male and female celebrities.

Perception of male respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities where male celebrities were perceived as more effective similarly perception of female respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities but according to female respondents also male celebrities were found to be more effective (For hypothesis H1 3, Z=5.363503, p=0.05 and for hypothesis H1 4 Z= 2.547695, p=0.01). Keeping gender of Celebrity as a base and comparing responses of male and female respondents regarding their perception towards a particular gender Celebrity no significant differences were found in scores of male and female respondents towards celebrities of a particular gender (For hypothesis H1 5 Z=-0.18302, p=0.01 and for hypothesis H1 6 Z=-1.48299, p=0.01). Thus it can be inferred celebrities' gender has a greater influence in creating positive perception rather than gender of respondents. Male respondents' perception towards male Celebrity and female respondents' perception towards female Celebrity was found to be significantly different where male respondents' perception towards male Celebrity was found to be higher. Similarly while comparing male respondents' perception towards female celebrities and female respondents' perception towards male Celebrity the differences were found to be significant with perception of female respondents towards male celebrities was found to be higher. (For hypothesis H1 7 Z=2.686499, p=0.01 and for hypothesis H1 8 Z=-4.67908, p=0.05)

1.2 Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers from Different Profession (Film and Sports) amongst Respondents of Different Gender.

To explore Gender wise differences in Film and Sports celebrities following hypotheses were set

H1 9: There is a significant difference in the perception of male respondents regarding effectiveness of Film Celebrity and Sports Celebrity Endorsers.

H1 10: There is a significant difference in the perception of female respondents regarding effectiveness of Film Celebrity and Sports Celebrity.

There was a significant difference in perception of male respondents towards Film and Sports Celebrity where Film celebrities were perceived to be more effective. There was significant difference in perception of female respondents towards Film and Sports Celebrity where Film celebrities were perceived to be more effective. (For hypothesis H1 9 Z=10.5327, p=0.01 and for hypothesis H1 10 Z=6.84586, p=0.01).

1.3 Attractiveness, Trustworthiness and Expertise of Celebrity Endorsers amongst Respondents of Different Gender.

Findings of Gender wise analysis for Attractiveness of Celebrity Endorsers

Perception of male respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities where female celebrities were perceived more attractive (Zatt=-6.80764, p=0.01), similarly perception of female respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities but according to female respondents also female celebrities were found to be more attractive (Zatt=-4.46542, p=0.01). Keeping gender of Celebrity as a base and comparing responses of male and female respondents regarding their perception towards a particular gender Celebrity no significant differences were found in scores of male and female respondents towards celebrities of a particular gender. (Zatt=0.322132, p=0.01) and (Zatt=0.570805, p=0.01). Thus it can be inferred celebrities' gender has a greater influence in creating positive perception rather than gender of respondents. Male respondents' perception towards male Celebrity's attractiveness and female respondents' perception towards female Celebrity's attractiveness was found to be significantly different where female respondents' perception towards female Celebrity was found to be higher(Zatt=-4.60865, p=0.01). Similarly while comparing male respondents' perception towards female celebrities and female respondents' perception towards male Celebrity the differences were found to be significant with perception of male respondents towards female celebrities' attractiveness was found to be higher (Zatt=6.188452, p=0.01).

There was significant difference in perception of male respondents towards Film and Sports Celebrity's attractiveness where Film celebrities were perceived to be more attractive by male respondents (Zatt=11.03822, p=0.01). There was a significant difference in perception of female respondents towards Film and Sports Celebrity where Film celebrities are perceived to be more attractive (Zatt=8.830567, p=0.01) ( Note- Zatt represent Z statistic for attractiveness dimension of source credibility scale measuring effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers).

Findings of Gender wise analysis for Trustworthiness of Celebrity Endorsers

Perception of male respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities where male celebrities were perceived to be more trustworthy (Ztru=9.20702, p=0.01), similarly perception of female respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities but according to female respondents also male celebrities were found to be more trustworthy (Ztru =4.433287, p=0.01). Keeping gender of Celebrity as a base and comparing responses of male and female respondents regarding their perception towards a particular gender Celebrity no significant differences were found in scores of male and female respondents towards celebrities of a particular gender (Ztru =1.49122, p=0.01 and Ztru =-1.1485, p=0.05). Thus it can be inferred celebrities' gender has a greater influence in creating positive perception rather than gender of respondents. Male respondents' perception towards male Celebrity's trustworthiness and female respondents' perception towards female Celebrity's trustworthiness was found to be significantly different where male respondents' perception towards male Celebrity's trustworthiness was found to be higher (Ztru =6.53670, p=0.01) . Similarly while comparing male respondents' perception towards female celebrities and female respondents' perception towards male Celebrity the differences were found to be significant with perception of female respondents towards male celebrities' trustworthiness was found to be higher (Ztru =-6.41931, p=0.01)

There was significant difference in perception of male respondents towards Film and Sports Celebrity's trustworthiness where Film celebrities were perceived to be more trustworthy by male respondents (Ztru =4.821286, p=0.01). There was no significant difference in perception of female respondents towards Film and Sports Celebrity's trustworthiness (Ztru =2.073253, p=0.01). Thus both Film and Sports celebrities were perceived equally trustworthy by female respondents, this finding is unlike finding of attractiveness dimension where Film celebrities were found to be more attractive. (Note- Ztru represent Z statistic for trustworthiness dimension of source credibility scale measuring effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers).

Findings of Gender wise Analysis for Expertise of Celebrity Endorsers

Perception of male respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities where male celebrities were perceived to be more expert (Zexp=9.5393, p=0.01), similarly perception of female respondents was found to be significantly different towards male and female celebrities but according to female respondents also male celebrities were found to be more expert (Zexp =5.883422, p=0.01)

Keeping gender of Celebrity as a base and comparing responses of male and female respondents regarding their perception towards a particular gender Celebrity no significant differences were found in scores of male respondents (Zexp =-2.04848, p=0.01) but in case of female respondents, female celebrities were considered more expert (Zexp =-3.00487 p=0.01)

Male respondents' perception towards male Celebrity's expertise and female respondents' perception towards female Celebrity's expertise was found to be significantly different where male respondents' perception towards male Celebrity's expertise was found to be higher (Zexp =4.724053, p=0.01). Similarly while comparing male respondents' perception towards female celebrities and female respondents' perception towards male Celebrity the differences were found to be significant with perception of female respondents towards male celebrities' expertise was found to be higher. (Zexp =-9.93654, p=0.01)

It is important to note that significant differences were observed in perception of expertise between male and female respondents. Both male and female respondents have given higher scores for male celebrities. When we compare male respondents' evaluation of female celebrities, female respondents found female Celebrity more expert. This could be attributed to the fact that there are products where only female celebrities are suitable and have expertise to endorse especially for female related products. While in case of male Celebrity both male and female perceive them similar. Thus in case of expertise gender of respondent does influence perception towards a particular gender Celebrity's expertise. It can be said that it is hard to imagine for a female respondent that a male Celebrity can endorse products used by them or only female celebrities have knowledge and expertise to understand female specific products.

There was no significant difference in perception of male respondents towards Film and Sports Celebrity's expertise amongst male respondents (Zexp =1.570307, p=0.01). Thus it can be said that no differences were found in scores of male respondents towards Film and Sports celebrities' expertise. Responses of female respondents towards Film and Sports celebrities were different Zexp =4.057545, p=0.01) where Film celebrities were considered to be more expert as compared to Sports celebrities by female respondents. Again this fact could be attributed to the type of products generally endorsed by the female celebrities. (Note- Zexp represent Z statistic for expertise dimension of source credibility scale measuring effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers).

2 Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers amongst Respondents of Different Age Groups

To explore age group wise differences in perception of respondents regarding effectiveness of all celebrities following hypotheses were set (Refer Table 2 and Table 3)

H1 11(a): There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Amitabh Bachchan.

H1 11(b): There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Rahul Dravid.

H1 11(c ): There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Aishwarya Rai.

H1 11(d): There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Sania Mirza.

The calculated values of F for Amitabh Bachchan, Rahul Dravid, Aishwariya Rai and Sania Mirza are 1.524, 3.685, 0.583, and 0.051 respectively. Since F (1.524), F (0.583) and F (0.051) falls under acceptance region corresponding alternate hypothesis H1 11(a), H1 11(c), H1 11(d) are rejected. Only calculated value F (3.685) corresponding to Rahul Dravid is higher than the critical value signifying that the alternate H1 11(b) is accepted (Refer table 3). Thus only in case of Rahul Dravid there was a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness amongst all the Celebrity Endorsers selected for the study.

2.1 Effectiveness of Male and Female Celebrity Endorsers as Perceived By Respondents of Different Age Groups

To explore differences in the perception of respondents of different age groups towards male and female celebrities following hypotheses were set

H1 12: There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of male Celebrity Endorsers.

H1 13: There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of female Celebrity Endorsers.

There was a significant difference in perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of male Celebrity Endorsers. (F=4.014, P=0.05). There was no significant difference in perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of female Celebrity Endorsers (F=0.321, P=0.05). (Refer Table 4 and 6)

The table 5 lists the pair-wise comparisons of the group means for all selected age groups. Mean difference lists the differences between the sample means. Sig. lists the probability that the population mean difference is zero. A 95% confidence interval is constructed for each difference. If this interval contains zero, the two groups do not differ and if it does not contains zero then there is a difference. In the above table for age group 18-25 and age group above 45, confidence interval does not contain zero. Thus there was a significant difference in perception of respondents of age group 18-25 and respondents above age 45 regarding effectiveness of male Celebrity.

The Table 7 lists the pair-wise comparisons of the group means for all selected age groups. The analysis revealed there was no significant difference in perception of respondents of all age group towards effectiveness of female Celebrity.

2.2 Effectiveness of Film and Sports Celebrity Endorsers As Perceived By Respondents of Different Age Groups

To explore age group wise differences in respondent's perception of effectiveness of Film and Sports celebrities following hypotheses were set.

H1 14: There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Film Celebrity Endorsers.

H1 15: There is a significant difference in the perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Sports Celebrity Endorsers.

There was no significant difference in perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Film Celebrity Endorsers (F=1.870, P=0.05). There was no significant difference in perception of respondents of different age groups regarding effectiveness of Sports Celebrity Endorsers (F=1.911, P=0.05) (Refer Table 8 and 9).

From the above analysis 2.1 and 2.2 it can be seen that amongst the celebrities selected for the study, only in case of Rahul Dravid significant differences were found in perception of respondents of different age groups regarding Celebrity's effectiveness and expertise. In case of male celebrities significant differences have been found in perception of effectiveness of respondents of different age groups. In other cases differences in perception of respondents of different age groups towards female, Film and Sports celebrities' overall effectiveness were insignificant.

2.3 Findings for Attractiveness, Trustworthiness and Expertise of Celebrity Endorsers amongst Respondents of Different Age Groups.

Amongst the celebrities selected for the study, only in case of male celebrities, significant differences have been found in perception of respondents of different age groups towards attractiveness of different types of celebrities.

The differences found were insignificant in perception of respondents of different age groups for dimension trustworthiness.

Amongst the celebrities selected for the study, only in case of male celebrities significant differences have been found in perception of respondents of different age groups regarding expertise of celebrities selected for the study.

MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS

The study has strategic and practical implications for marketers, advertisers, consumers, celebrities themselves. Implications pertain to following broad areas related to selection of Celebrity, Celebrity and product match, Celebrity's perceived image, consumer perception and behavior with respect to Celebrity endorsements of products and services.

As evident from the findings above it can be said that when it comes to one particular Celebrity, gender of respondents does not change perception towards that Celebrity but when respondents have to compare or choose from celebrities of different gender then gender of Celebrity does influence their perception of effectiveness. As we have seen in this study that respondents of different gender perceive celebrities of different gender differently. Support for this finding can be drawn from brand personality concept where we find that products are generally associated with a specific gender. Thus marketer should not only consider gender of the target market but also take care of supporting cues that associate a particular product with a gender and celebrities being source of the message might influence the gender associations of a product to a great extent. As discussed in literature review and meaning transfer model of Grant McCracken (1989) celebrities transfer certain meanings to the product and gender of Celebrity might be an important dimension in this transfer of meaning from Celebrity to brand and brand to consumer. It also draws support from Kamins (1990) product-Celebrity match hypothesis that there should be congruence between the Celebrity, product and consumer. This congruence makes a Celebrity Endorser an effective Endorser.

Marketers should see that the positioning of the brand is correct and congruent with the image of the Celebrity Endorser before using such Endorsers. Gender and profession of Celebrity could alter perception of respondents. Thus the selection process of Celebrity should consider these dimensions. Attributes of Celebrity in terms of age, gender, profession or field with which they are associated are important with respect to the target segment of the consumers. Marketers need to change perception that like attracts like for gender specific products. Gender was found to be an influencing factor especially in case of female respondents. It can be said that males are leaving their gender specific inhibitions when it comes to acceptability of a particular gender Celebrity is concerned, but females are still influenced by specific gender. Thus to be more successful marketers need to see target audience gender and product match as well as target audience gender, product and Celebrity gender match in certain products. Since male celebrities appeal to both male and female audience, male celebrities are a better choice when it comes to endorsement.

The celebrities should also be selective while selecting the brands to endorse; disjointed and unrelated endorsement should be avoided. Gender and profession of Celebrity has repercussion on type of products endorsed. Endorsements that do not suit the image and personality might negatively affect the brand value of the Celebrity Endorser. It affects their own brand image and credibility and might have negative repercussion in future endorsements. Once a Celebrity gets strongly associated with a particular category or type of product it might limit their future endorsements. Thus Endorsers should be knowledgeable and aware of technical attributes and features of the products as well as the target audience of the product. This will help increase trust and create a perception of expertise for the Endorser although he/she might not be from the field to which the product category belongs.

FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

Further research can focus on lifestyle and personality factors of the respondents that might shape their perceptions towards the Celebrity Endorsers. Culture and ethnicity could also be the factors that might influence consumers' perception towards Celebrity Endorsers and the brand they endorse. Research can be conducted on understanding the consumers' perception of quality when the brands are endorsed by celebrities as well as on their perceived risk associated with buying the products that are endorsed by celebrities

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