Marketing Letters

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 373–384 | Cite as

The effects of perceived product-extrinsic cue incongruity on consumption experiences: The case of celebrity sponsorship

  • Sarah ClementeEmail author
  • Eric Dolansky
  • Antonia Mantonakis
  • Katherine White


The level of congruity is determined by the degree of match or mismatch between an object and its associated attribute. Product evaluations are positively influenced when there is moderate incongruity between a product and its association; this finding is termed the moderate schema incongruity effect (Mandler 1982). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the influence of incongruity between a product and one of its extrinsic cues on consumers' product evaluations. Furthermore, we examined the moderating role of consumers' level of product knowledge. Incongruity was created by partnering a product with a sponsor. We found that consumers who were highly knowledgeable of the product gave the highest taste evaluations to the moderately incongruent product–sponsor pairing, whereas taste evaluations for consumers with low product knowledge did not differ across product–sponsor pairings. The results of our study have important practical implications for marketers, namely that product–sponsor fit can enhance consumers' consumption experiences.


Schema Incongruity Fit Consumption Evaluation Sponsor Celebrity 


  1. Agence France-Presse (2013). Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to launch Rose wine. ABS-CBN Interactive. Accessed: 20 February 2013.
  2. Allen, M. W., Gupta, R., & Monnier, A. (2008). The interactive effect of cultural symbols and human values on taste evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research, 35, 294–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cohen, C. E., & Ebbesen, E. B. (1979). Observational goals and schema activation: a theoretical framework for behavior perception. Journal of Experiment Social Psychology, 15(4), 305–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Collins, A. M., & Loftus, E. F. (1975). A spreading-activation theory of semantic processing. Psychological Review, 82(6), 407–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Collins, A. M., & Quillian, M. R. (1972). How to make a language user. In E. Tulving & W. Donaldson (Eds.), Organization of memory. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  6. Fiske, S. T. (1982). Schema-triggered affect: applications to social perception. In M. S. Clark & S. T. Fiske (Eds.), Affect and cognition: The 17th Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition (pp. 55–78). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  7. Holbrook, M. B., & Hirschman, E. C. (1982). The experiential aspects of consumption: consumer fantasies, feelings, and fun. Journal of Consumer Research, 9(2), 132–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hughson, A. L., & Boakes, R. A. (2001). Perceptual and cognitive aspects of wine expertise. Australian Journal of Psychology, 53(2), 103–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kahle, L. R., & Homer, P. M. (1985). Physical attractiveness of the celebrity endorser: a social adaptation perspective. Journal of Consumer Research, 11(4), 954–961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kamins, M. A. (1990). An investigation into the “Match-Up” hypothesis in celebrity advertising: when beauty may be only skin deep. Journal of Advertising, 19(1), 4–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Latour, K. A., & Latour, M. S. (2010). Bridging aficionados' perceptual and conceptual knowledge to enhance how they learn from experience. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(December), 688–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lockshin, L. S., & Rhodus, W. T. (1993). The effect of price and oak flavor on perceived wine quality. International Journal of Wine Marketing, 5(2/3), 13–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mandler, G. (1982). The structure of value: accounting for taste. In M. S. Clarke & S. T. Fiske (Eds.), Perception, cognition and development: interactional analysis (pp. 3–36). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  14. Meenaghan, T. (2001). Understanding sponsorship effects. Psychology and Marketing, 18(2), 95–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Meyers-Levy, J., & Tybout, A. M. (1989). Schema congruity as a basis for product evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research, 16, 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mitchell, D. J., Kahn, B. E., & Knasko, S. C. (1995). There's something in the air: effects of congruent or incongruent ambient odor on consumer decision making. Journal of Consumer Research, 22(2), 229–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Newman, J. W., & Werbel, R. A. (1973). Multivariate analysis of brand loyalty for major household appliances. Journal of Marketing Research, 10, 404–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Olson, J.C., & Jacoby, J. (1972). Cue utilization in the quality perception process. In: Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference of the Association for Consumer Research, Association for Consumer Research, 167–79.Google Scholar
  19. Peck, J., & Childers, T. L. (2008). If it tastes, smells, sounds, and feels like a duck, then it must be a… : effects of sensory factors on consumer behaviors. Handbook of Consumer Psychology: Marketing and Consumer Psychology Series (pp. 193–219). New York: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Peracchio, L. A., & Tybout, A. M. (1996). The moderating role of prior knowledge in schema-based product evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research, 23, 177–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rao, A. R., & Monroe, K. B. (1988). The moderating effect of prior knowledge on cue utilization in product evaluations. Journal of Consumer Research, 15(2), 253–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ross, C. F., & Weller, K. (2007). Sensory evaluation of suspected Harmonia axyridis tainted red wine using untrained panelists. Journal of Wine Research, 18(3), 187–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Mazur, D., Pfeiffer, B. E., Kardes, F. R., & Posavac, S. S. (2012). The less the public knows the better? The effects of increased knowledge on celebrity evaluations. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34(6), 499–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Siegrist, M., & Cousin, M.-E. (2009). Expectations influence sensory experience in a wine tasting. Appetite, 52(3), 762–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Stayman, D. M., Alden, D. L., & Smith, K. H. (1992). Some effect of schematic processing on consumer expectations and disconfirmation judgements. Journal of Consumer Research, 19(September), 240–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wilcox, K., Roggeveen, A. L., & Grewal, D. (2011). Shall i tell you now or later? Assimilation and contrast in the evaluation of experiential products. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(4), 763–773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wszelaki, A. L., Delwiche, J. F., Walker, S. D., Liggett, R. E., Miller, S. A., & Kleinhenz, M. D. (2005). Consumer liking and descriptive analysis of six varieties of organically grown edamame-type soybean. Food Quality and Preference, 16(8), 651–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Clemente
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eric Dolansky
    • 2
  • Antonia Mantonakis
    • 2
  • Katherine White
    • 3
  1. 1.Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Brock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  3. 3.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations