“Hey guys, check this out! #ad” The Impact of Media Figure-User Relationships and Ad Explicitness on Celebrity Endorsements

Kathryn L. Lookadoo, Norman C. H. Wong

Abstract


This study examined the extent to which parasocial relationships (PSR) between celebrities and media users impact the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements on social media for various products. A 2 (high/low PSR endorser) x 2 (explicit/implicit endorsement) experiment tested the effects of PSR and endorsement explicitness on media users’ attitudes toward the endorsed product and product purchase intentions. A total of 346 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 16 Twitter message conditions (i.e., 8 celebrities and 2 types of endorsements). Product purchase intentions were not significantly impacted by the celebrity credibility or source congruence whereas attitudes toward the endorsed product was significantly affected. Media user-figure relationships significantly impacted both attitudes and intentions. PSR and endorsement explicitness had a significant interaction effect on attitudes toward products. Product attitudes were most positive for explicit endorsements from high PSR endorsers and least positive for explicit endorsements from low PSR endorsers. Implications for marketers are discussed in the paper. 


Keywords


parasocial relationship; wishful identification; social media; celebrity endorsements

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References


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