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UNIVERSITY OF JAMMU
Multiple Celebrities in Advertising: Its impact on Consumer Attitudes and Intentions
Dr. Deepak Raj Gupta (Research Supervisor)
Department of Management Studies
Advertising / Brand Management
Faculty of Management
Contents Page No
1. Introduction & Rationale of Study
2. Research Objective
3. Review of Literature
5. Scope of the Study
4. Research Methodology
5. Tentative Chapter Scheme
6. References / Bibliography
Introduction & Rationale of Study In today’s highly cluttered media environment achieving consumer attention towards the brand is a challenge for marketing managers. In order to create consumer attention, achieve high brand recall rates and develop competitive differential advantage marketing managers’ resort to celebrity endorsement communication strategy. These celebrities could be from the field of sports (e.g. Sachin Tendulkar), films (e.g. Amitabh Bachchan), television (e.g. Smriti Irani Malhotra) or anyone achieving distinction in their respective area (e.g. Miss India) Today be it a national brand (e.g. TVS using Sachin Tendulkar) or an international brand (e.g. Coca Cola using Aamir Khan), usage of celebrities has become a very common and an accepted marketing communication strategy. Infact this strategy has been accepted to such an extent that there appears to be a celebrity clutter in the media. In an extensive literature review on celebrity endorsement, Erdogan (1999) highlights that companies use celebrities as spokesperson, actor, endorsement or for testimonial purpose. Further he mentions that the potential advantages of using celebrities could be increased attention, image polishing, brand introduction, brand repositioning, and underpin global campaigns. In addition to the advantages he also highlights the potential hazards in using celebrity endorsement strategy, as a celebrity may overshadow the brand, may enter into public controversy, may be overexposed or may be expensive. Looking at the celebrity endorsement practices adopted by companies, one can observe that they use one of the following strategies 1. Using a single celebrity to meet the desired marketing objective (e.g. TVS using Sachin Tendulkar for their TVS Victor motorbike; Hyundai Santro using Shahrukh Khan; Cadbury using Amitabh Bachchan) 2. Using more than one celebrity across multiple advertisements formats, with each advertisement using only one celebrity, to meet the desired marketing objective (e.g. Airtel using Shahrukh Khan and Sachin Tendulkar in different ads; Coca Cola using Aamir Khan and Vivek Oberoi in different ads) 3. Using more than one celebrity in the same advertising format to meet the desired marketing objective (e.g. Samsung using Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh; Boost using Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag; Royal Stag using cricket playing captains of 11 different nations; Government of India using
Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar for their Pulse Polio campaign) Though option no. 1 & 2 is a prevalent strategy adopted across the world, many companies are now increasingly using option 3 as their celebrity endorsement strategy. There are over a dozen brands in Indian market itself using multiple celebrities in single advertisement. These brands range across various product categories including consumer durables (e.g. LG & Samsung), FMCG (e.g. Boost, Sugar Free, Britannia Good-Day, and Frito-Lays), Carbonated Drinks (e.g. Pepsi, Coke), footwear (e.g. Nike) and societal marketing initiatives (e.g. Pulse Polio campaign of Government of India). The focus of this work will be to investigate option 3 as a celebrity endorsement strategy. Further there is increasing debate regarding the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements. Critiques argue that since celebrities are paid for endorsing the products and consumers are aware of the amount these celebrities charge, they discount the celebrity’s true intention to endorse the product. Previous research has also supported this argument that consumer’s attitude towards ad, celebrity and brand is lower in case where celebrity is paid for endorsing vis-à-vis when celebrity is not paid [Moore, Mowen and Reardon (1994)]. However there exists a counter-argument that argues that despite the information that celebrity is paid for endorsing a brand, consumers believe that a celebrity endorses a product because of his / her underlying disposition [Cronley et al (1999)]. The authors’ fall back on the correspondence bias (explained under relevant literature section) literature in psychology to explain this phenomenon and suggests that this is the reason why celebrity advertising is an effective advertising tool. In their experimental study Cronley et al (1999) used American students as their subjects. However current research in psychology suggests cultural variations in the correspondence bias. It has been observed that Asians do not suffer from the problem of correspondence bias as the Americans and the Europeans do. If this is true, consumers will attribute the presence of celebrity in an advertisement to situational factors (in this money being paid for endorsement) thereby making celebrity endorsement a non-effective strategy. The second focus of this study will be to examine the presence of correspondence bias in the Indian context. Till date there exists no study that attempts to jointly study the persuasive effects of multiple celebrities in advertisement and role of correspondence bias in celebrity endorsement with reference to Indian
context indicating the gap in existing literature. This work shall attempt to fill this gap
Research Objective 1. What are the persuasive effects of having multiple celebrities in the same advertisement vis-à-vis having a single celebrity? 2. Study the impact of multiple celebrities on consumers’ perception of celebrity’s credibility, ad evaluation, brand evaluation and purchase intention. 3. Is there a correspondence bias among Indian consumers when they evaluate advertisements with multiple celebrities?
Review of Literature Celebrity Endorsement Usage of celebrities in marketing communication is not a recent phenomenon and dates back to late nineteenth century. However the increased usage only took place after the emergence of commercial television. This trend was also supported by the increased willingness of celebrities to endorse the brands as celebrity management also became professional. Research in the area of celebrity endorsement has caught the fancy of academic researchers since last three decades. Erdogan (1999) provides an exhaustive description of the studies in the area of celebrity endorsement. This paper suggests that researchers while understanding the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement strategy have used one of these models – Source Credibility Model (Hovland et al, 1953) Source Attractiveness Model (McGuire, 1985), The Product Match Up Hypothesis (Kamins, 1990) or the Meaning Transfer Model (McCracken, 1989) The Source Credibility Model suggests that the effectiveness of a message depends upon perceived level of expertise and trustworthiness of the source (celebrity in advertising context). Credible sources can influence beliefs, opinions, attitudes and / or behavior. McGuire (1985) while explaining the Source Attractiveness model suggests that effectiveness of a message depends on similarity, familiarity and liking of the source. Ohanian (1990) constructed a tri-
component celebrity endorser credibility scale. The three components of this scale are Attractiveness, Trustworthiness and Expertise. Kamins (1990) in his study explained the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement using Product Match Up hypothesis i.e. the celebrity image and the product message should be congruent. Kamins and Gupta (1994) found that match up between a celebrity endorser and the brand endorsed also enhanced the celebrity endorsers’ believability and attractiveness. McCracken (1989) argue that celebrity endorsement is a special example of a more general process of meaning transfer. According to this study, celebrity endorsers bring their own symbolic meanings to the endorsement process. The cultural meaning residing in celebrities goes beyond the person and are passed on to the products. A detailed study of the above-mentioned models shall be undertaken to identify the appropriate model while explaining the effectiveness of multiple celebrity advertising strategy. Multiple Source Effect Today most of the advertising campaigns use multiple source techniques i.e. more than one speaker endorsing a product or service in the same advertisement. These speakers could be ordinary personon-the-street, celebrities or combination of these. To understand the persuasive impact of multiple celebrities’, literature in the area of social psychology shall be used. Multiple source effect is well studied in the area of social psychology. While reviewing literature on multiple source effect Harkins and Petty (1987) argued that it is because of information utility that greater processing of information takes place. In other words, when multiple arguments are presented by multiple sources, the target sees the different arguments as independent bits of information. The second argument they give is that multiple sources can also result in capturing the attention of the target. According to this study multiple sources enhances information processing and the findings indicated that the power of multiple sources to enhance issue relevant thinking lies in their perceived informational independence and the divergent perspectives they are presumed to represent. In advertising literature Moore & Reardon (1987), Moore, Mowen & Reardon (1994) have used the study of Harkins and Petty (1987). Moore & Reardon (1987) also adopt the information processing interpretation to explain multiple source effect in context of print advertising. Their findings also indicated that a greater polarization of 6
thoughts and attitudes takes place when subjects are exposed to multiple sources rather than single source. Moore, Mowen & Reardon (1994) in their study investigated the joint effect of single versus multiple sources and payments versus non-payment of message source on consumer responses to advertising appeals. In their study they used ordinary person-on-the-street while explaining the multiple source effects. The findings showed that subjects when exposed to multiple sources under unpaid condition elicited more positive cognitive responses. In contrast when subjects were exposed to multiple sources under paid condition the number of negative cognitive responses increased. Moore, Mowen and Reardon (1994) explain this using the information processing perspective. Moore, Mowen and Reardon (1994) emphasize that future research and experiments should attempt towards generalization of their findings. Further they suggest that future studies should extend the scope to examine the influence of celebrity endorsers rather than person-onthe-street testimonials. Subsequent to this study there is no empirical work examining the influence of multiple celebrity endorsements. (There is no other study after Harkins and Petty (1987) to describe multiple source effect. An email confirmation from Richard E Petty of Ohio State University and from David J Moore of University of Michigan confirms that there are no studies after this study. Infact Prof. Moore suggested to use this study to build the hypothesis)
Correspondence bias Why people behave as they do? Such explanations are provided by attribution theories. Attribution theories suggest that ordinary people seem to believe that others behave as they do because of the kinds of others they are and because of the kinds of situations in which their behavior unfold. In other words attribution theory suggest that behaviors is either attributed to dispositional (internal) factors or situational (external) factors. The fundamental or logical rule of this theory is that when situational factors are evident people should not attribute the behavior to dispositions. However various experiments in the area of social psychology reveal people tend to make mistake while attributing the cause of the behavior. This mistake is referred to as Correspondence bias. Technically correspondence bias basically states that the observer’s tend to use dispositional attributions more frequently under the assumption that the internal dispositions are driving the actor’s behavior. In celebrity endorsement context this would mean that consumers / viewers while looking at advertisement with celebrity endorsing the product will infer that celebrity is
appearing in the advertisement because s/he believes (internal dispositions) in the product and brand and not because s/he is being paid (situational factor) to appear in the ad. If this is true one can say celebrity endorsement is an effective advertisement strategy. Gilbert & Malone (1995) provides an exhaustive insight into the concept, forms and consequences of correspondence bias. Today there is increased interest among researchers in studying cultural variations in correspondence bias. Choi, Nisbett & Norenzayan (1999) while reviewing cultural variation mentions that Asians are less likely to show correspondence bias. In other words Asians are more likely to pay attention to contextual stimuli than Americans and Europeans. Miyamoto & Kitayama (2002) suggest that Asians do not have cognitive bias that favors dispositional information especially when there is a good reason to discount it. In celebrity endorsement context this would mean that when Asian consumers /viewers know that celebrity is being paid to appear in the advertisement they will under no circumstance attribute the appearance of celebrity to his / her dispositions. Correspondence bias has also been studied in the advertising context. Cronley et al (1999) confirmed the presence of correspondence bias to explain the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement. The findings indicated that the respondents believed that celebrity (Cindy Crawford) actually likes the product (orange juice), even when the respondents were made aware that the celebrity has been paid money to endorse the product. Cronley et al (1999) used American University students as the subjects in their experimental study and this could be one of the reasons why presence of correspondence was confirmed. Subsequent to this study, Sorum et al (2003) refuted the presence of correspondence bias while studying the product (watch) evaluation impact of peer endorsers. The subjects in their experimental study were students from a Norway University. The researchers suggest that possible reasons for reversal of correspondence bias could be either because of the characteristics of advertisement (i.e. nature of endorser, type of product being advertised, endorsement condition) or because of cultural differences. Till date there is no study that has attempted to study the presence or absence of correspondence bias in celebrities’ advertising context in Asia suggesting a gap in the existing literature. This gap supports the scope of the study. Moreover since these two studies have conflicting results with one accepting and the other refuting the presence of correspondence bias 8
no generalizations can be made regarding the presence of correspondence bias in celebrity endorsement context. The finding of the current study shall provide additional insights in this context. Attitude, Attitude Change & Persuasion The basic objective of an advertisement is to either create a new attitude or change an existing attitude. The major role of an advertisement is to persuade a consumer to behave in the desired manner. In order to understand the theory and contemporary research findings following resources shall be used: Perloff (2003), Dillard & Pfau (2002), Wood (2000), Levy & Malaviya (1999), Petty et al (1997), Friestad & Wright (1994), Maclnnis & Jaworski (1989). Further the earlier research has indicated that attitude towards the ad (Aad) also influences the attitude towards the brand. In order to understand the importance of Aad construct, the study by Brown & Stayman (1992) shall be used.
Hypothesis H1: Advertisement with multiple celebrities will be more persuasive as compared to single celebrity advertisements only under unpaid condition and when these celebrities are perceived to be independent of each other. H2: Advertisement with multiple celebrities will be less persuasive as compared to single celebrity advertisements under paid condition and when these celebrities are not perceived to be independent of each other. H3: There will be no correspondence bias among Indian consumers.
Scope of the Study Celebrity endorsement is a prevalent strategy in FMCG sector, consumer durables (white goods) and automobile sector. Further in Indian context celebrities used are either from film industry or sports especially cricket. In the current study product will be derived from the above-mentioned industry and the celebrities shall be derived from above mentioned professions. In terms of media vehicle the current study will focus only on print media (newspaper and magazines).
Experiments shall be conducted at different age groups and shall include consumers from various age groups and market segments. This will ensure diversity in the sample and will account for variation if any. Sample shall be selected randomly. 3 – 4 separate experiments shall be conducted covering approximately 1000 respondents. The sample size shall be adjusted as per the design of the experiments.
Data & Research Methodology Perloff (2003, pp 28) mentions that most of the studies in understanding the persuasive communication effects use experiments. Researchers conduct experiments or controlled studies that take place in artificial settings in order to find that one variable causes changes in another. This is also supported by the fact that most of the previous studies in celebrity endorsements have used experiments to reach their conclusions. Further in advertising context McQuarrie (1998) undertakes a Meta analysis of 443 studies published over last 5 decades and suggests six factors that need be taken care of while designing experiments in order to make them more realistic and closer to real world. According to them detachment of experiments from real world is because of the following factors – forcing exposure rather than arranging for non-focal attention to embedded advertisement, failing to measure choice, not incorporating competitive advertisements into the design to allow for interference, taking immediate measurements instead of allowing for decay, not arranging for repeated measures and exclusively using unfamiliar or fictitious brands. Taking care of all the six reality factors is more expensive to address in time, money and efforts. This is why McQuarrie (1998) suggest that researchers attempt to incorporate two, three or four reality factors into account while designing experiments. In the current study we shall also use experiments to investigate the problem in hand. Berger & Maurer (2002) shall be used to build the conceptual clarity on experimental design. These experiments shall be conducted in Jammu University and in colleges in and around Jammu and the data collected shall be analyzed using MANOVA techniques, as has been done in the past. Other than MANOVA experimental data can also be analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling (Bagozzi & Yi, 1989). Using SEM is gaining popularity in marketing, advertising and consumer behavior literature. Infact Sorum et al (2003) also used SEM to analyze the experimental data.
However before conducting experiments, I intend to understand the usage of multiple celebrities from the practitioners’ perspective. Discussions with the brand managers and their respective advertising agencies shall provide context specific insights that shall be used to develop the study. Erdogan, Baker & Tagg (2001) conducted a study in UK to understand the selection of celebrity endorser from the practitioner’s perspective. They emphasize that similar work should be taken in other countries as well.
Utility of the Study The findings of the study shall fill the gap in the existing literature. Managers shall be able to use the findings while designing their celebrity endorsement campaign. Moreover the findings of this study will be useful in explaining the presence or absence of correspondence bias in the celebrity endorsement context especially in Indian context.
Tentative Chapter Scheme Chapter I:
Introduction Objective & Rationale of the Study
Chapter II: Review of Literature Chapter III: Celebrity Endorsements in Indian context Chapter IV: Research Methodology Hypothesis Data Sets Measures Hypothesis Testing Chapter V: Results Chapter VI: Analysis and Discussion Chapter VII:Limitations and Future Research Appendices References and Bibliography
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