13 Celebrity Endorsement

Based on Power Distance Theory, power distance beliefs moderates the positive effect of celebrity endorsers on evaluations of advertising (Winterich, Gangwar, and Grewal 2018)


McCracken (1989)

  • Source credibility and source attractiveness model are criticized

  • Meaning transfer model is then proposed to explain the effectiveness of celebrities as endorsers can be traced to cultural meaning (meaning from celebrity to product to consumer)

  • celebrity endorsers are “individuals who enjoy public recognition and use this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement.” (p.310)

  • Mode of endorsement:

    • explicit mode

    • implicit mode

    • imperative mode

    • copresent mode

  • Original model contends expertness and trustworthiness affect message effectiveness

    • Expertness = “perceived ability of the source to make valid assertions”

    • Trustworthiness = “perceived willingness of the source to make valid assertions.”

  • Source attractiveness model contends familiarity, likability, similarity of the source affect message effectiveness.

    • Familiarity = “knowledge of the source through exposure”

    • Likability = “affection for the source as a result of the source’s physical appearance and behavior.”

    • Similarity = “a supposed resemblance between the source and receiver of the message.”

  • Cultural meaning and celebrity endorser:

    • Variety of the meanings: status, class, gender, age, personality, and lifestyles

    • Meaning transfer:

      • Under culturally constituted world, meaning from consumer goods to consumers. Advertising is the vehicle to facilitate this transfer.

(p. 315)


McCracken (1986)

  • Cultural meaning moves from culturally constituted world to goods to consumers

  • Instruments that facilitates this movement are:

    • Advertising

    • The fashion system

    • Four consumption rituals

      • Possession ritual

      • Exchange ritual

      • Grooming ritual

      • Divestment ritual