Is It Worth Adding a Celebrity? The Importance of Brand Familiarity and Celebrity-Product Congruency Across NBs and PLs
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We propose to investigate two specific moderating factors on the effect of celebrity endorsement on product evaluation and consumer purchase intention: the impact of consumer brand familiarity and the congruency between celebrity and product category, across both national brands and private labels. Because familiarity may breed contempt, we propose that the effect of celebrity endorsement will be higher for low familiar versus high familiar brands, and that this effect will be enhanced the higher the level of congruency between the celebrity and the product category. In the present research we study this phenomenon across national brands and private labels, hypothesizing that the impact of celebrity endorsement will be higher for private labels, since consumers exhibit lower levels of certainty about manufacturer origin.
Our hypotheses were tested across two experimental studies. Findings suggest that, for national brands (study 1), the effect of congruency between celebrity and product categories may be mitigated when consumers are highly familiar with the brand. Opposite results were found when celebrities are endorsing PLs (study 2), with findings suggesting a mitigation of product-celebrities congruency effects for low retailer’s brand familiarity.
KeywordsBrand familiarity Celebrity endorsement Product congruency Private labels
The authors acknowledge financial support, via the research units CSG-ADVANCE and CUBE, from the Fundação para a Ciência and Tecnologia (FCT Portugal) through the Multi-Year Funding Program for R&D Units (UID/SOC/04521/2013 and UID/GES/00407/2013) and the project PTDC/EGE-GES/103899/2008.
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