Paid versus unpaid celebrity endorsement in advertising : An exploration.


Van der Waldt D. L. R., Schleritzko N. E. A. and Van Zyl K.

Advertising and marketing managers spend a great deal of money to have celebrities endorse their product. Some view it to be an effective form of advertising as evidenced by the number of celebrityendorsed advertisements that have increased. Despite numerous amounts of research on celebrities endorsing a single product, little research has been conducted regarding the use of multiple-celebrity endorsements in advertising. This study is based on the research by Hsu and McDonald (2002), who documented the use of multiple-celebrity endorsement advertising in the milk moustache campaign in the USA. This study investigated the tendency towards correspondence inference of 200 respondents and researched their attitudes towards celebrities, the product being advertised, and the advertisement as a whole. The main findings are that there is a significant correlation between correspondence inference and attitudes towards the celebrity, but suggests that the levels of correspondence inference between the paid and unpaid situations depend on the celebrity. Implications are that marketers need to realise that correspondence inference might have an influence on people’s attitudes towards the celebrity who endorses the product.

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