The Effects of Celebrity Attractiveness and Identification on Advertising Interest

  • Priscilla Patel
  • Michael Basil
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


Celebrities are frequently used in advertising to promote a product or a brand. A variety of possible mechanisms have been proposed to explain celebrity influence. One of the most frequently examined is physical attractiveness; however, it is not clear if physical attractiveness will be effective for all products or simply attractiveness-related products. This study also examines whether that a mechanism found in health communication may also be important in consumer products – parasocial identification. An experiment was used to test the viability and relative power of these two factors in shaping product interest. A sample of 235 respondents saw eight different advertisements. Results show that, firstly, interest in the ad increased for female respondents when the celebrity was attractive, while for male respondents, both attractiveness and identification were important. This confirms that attractiveness plays a role in generating interest in product advertising. Secondly, the effects of identification appear to be more limited in power than attractiveness, in this case restricted to male customers. These findings can be used to reconcile research which demonstrates that physical attractiveness is more relevant for products that are beauty-related. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings and future research directions are discussed.


Celebrity Advertising Attractiveness Identification Parasocial identification 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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