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The study attempted to gauge the relative effectiveness of celebrity and product image match-up in comparison to non-celebrity attractive endorsers for two distinct high involvement situations. Also, due to the expected demographic diversity among target consumers, the study aimed at assessing the impact of respondent's age and gender on the effectiveness of image match-up.Design/methodology/approachBuilding on the three-order hierarchy model, two experiments were conducted (utilising celebrity and non-celebrity endorsers) for two high involvement hierarchies, i.e. standard learning and dissonance/attribution. Through fictitious print advertisement, the experiments assessed the effectiveness of the match-up in terms of consumer attitudes towards advertisement and brand and intentions to purchase.FindingsThe match-up consistently and significantly outperformed non-celebrity attractive endorser in case of standard learning hierarchy. The same conclusion was not established for dissonance/attribution hierarchy due to the lack of significant results. The findings also suggest that the match-up subdues the impact of consumer's gender and age on consumer attitudes only in case of standard learning hierarchy.Research limitations/implicationsThe study provides interesting theoretical implication by challenging a widely held postulation about the applicability of celebrity and product match-up under high involvement.Practical implicationsThe research provides the practitioners with a better understanding of important issues, mainly, whether to use a celebrity endorser and selecting the right celebrity, especially if high involvement is expected.Originality/valuePrevious research concerning celebrity endorsements has largely considered consumer involvement as unitary, i.e. either high or low. However, the multifaceted aspect of consumer involvement is well established in the field of consumer psychology. The present research, therefore, is a pioneering attempt as it studies the effectiveness of match-up for two distinct high involvement situations. Moreover, unlike the majority of previous studies that have focused on the performance of “celebrity match” versus “celebrity mismatch”, the impact of match-up was studied in comparison to a non-celebrity attractive endorser.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 4, 2021
Keywords: Celebrity endorsers; Consumer involvement; Three-order hierarchy; Match-up hypothesis; Source credibility model
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