Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Measuring the Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Consumer Behavioural Intentions: A Study of Malaysian Consumers

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Measuring the Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Consumer Behavioural Intentions: A Study of Malaysian Consumers

Article excerpt

Executive summary

Celebrity endorsement is a popular marketing approach to making a product more noticeable, attractive and compelling to consumers. Many Malaysians are willing to spend money on the products and services their favourite celebrities endorse. This shows the pervasiveness of celebrity appeal as a means of persuasive communication. Although the use of celebrity endorsers involves substantial costs, it does not instantaneously guarantee success in terms of marketing promotion. Hence, there is a need to study how celebrity endorsements affect consumers' behavioural responses. Consequently, it is worthwhile examining how Malaysians respond to celebrity endorsement efforts by marketers.

This paper examines the impact of celebrity endorsement on consumers' behavioural intentions. The characteristics of celebrity endorsers are discussed and examined, i.e. source attractiveness, source credibility and the fit between the endorser and the endorsed product. An empirical study is carried out involving a survey of 200 respondents. These respondents were asked a series of questions about David Beckham and Jackie Chan, as celebrity endorsers of simulated brands related to a fitness centre and sport shoe brand respectively. The self-administered questionnaire consisted of questions related to the opinions of respondents concerning the qualities (characteristics) of the endorsers and the fit between the celebrities and the brands promoted. Stimulus materials were presented to respondents simultaneously when the questionnaires were administered. All items in the questionnaire were measured on a five-point Likert scale. The mode of contact with respondents was face-to-face where sample respondents were randomly intercepted in 11 shopping malls in the Klang Valley district in Malaysia. The dataset was then analysed using a series of multivariate analyses; i.e. reliability testing, confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modelling. The findings show that source attractiveness and credibility are essential for celebrity endorsement effectiveness. Paradoxically, they also show that the fit between the endorser and the product does not have a significant impact on consumers' behavioural intentions. Nonetheless, the construct has an indirect impact on consumers' behavioural intentions via other exogenous constructs in the model, namely source attractiveness and credibility. The fit between the endorser and the product is symbolic in nature, which explains why this construct is significantly correlated with source attractiveness and credibility.

The results further show that Malaysians' reactions to celebrity endorsements are consistent with the findings of previous studies. An important finding is that the overuse of celebrity endorsement (in Malaysia) can dilute the impact of source expertise on behavioural intention. Although the sample size threshold allows the conduct of meaningful inferential statistical procedures, a larger sample size would certainly be helpful. Marketers would find these results useful, as they can effectively manage advertising initiatives to generate positive behavioural intentions. However, they ought to be cautious when choosing appropriate celebrity endorsers as there are risks involved, such as overshadowing the brand because of negative publicity associated with the endorser. Therefore, celebrities can also be seen as a tool to build brand image.

Introduction

The rise in product diversity, and the rivalry of products and services, has increased the amount spent on promotional initiatives by many organisations. Additionally, many organisations are compelled to invest heavily in their marketing communication efforts in order to compete. Traditionally, advertising has been preferred to other elements of the promotional mix. Marketers are now exploring possibilities to make advertisements more compelling, eye-catching and noticeable to audiences. …

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