Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Effect of Celebrity Endorsement in Marketing of Musicals: Poster versus Social Networking Site

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Effect of Celebrity Endorsement in Marketing of Musicals: Poster versus Social Networking Site

Article excerpt

Marketing communication strategies include advertising, promotions, publicity, and word-of-mouth (WOM), with the goal of enhancing awareness, providing information, and increasing purchase intention (Buil, de Chernatony, & Martinez, 2013). The use of celebrities for product promotion is a popular advertising strategy (Choi & Rifon, 2012), which is used more frequently in Eastern than in Western countries. In Korea, for example, 75% of advertising depends on celebrity endorsement (Um & Lee, 2015). However, it has not been established that using a celebrity as a strategy in all marketing endeavors is always effective in Korea. Although the positive effects of celebrity endorsement advertisements are well documented, few researchers have compared the effects of celebrity endorsement vs. ordinary individuals, or among various types of advertising and marketing tools. Even fewer researchers have focused on advertising in the entertainment business.

Marketing communication activities have a significant effect on product sales in the entertainment industry, as with other businesses. High advertising spending on movies has been associated with higher movie sales (Moon, Bergey, & Iacobucci, 2010). Also, positive WOM (Rui, Liu, & Whinston, 2013) and the volume of WOM (Kim, Park, & Park, 2013) have significant explanatory power for the growth of box office revenue. Social networking sites (SNS), such as Twitter and Facebook, have become popular media for WOM marketing because of their diffusion power and credibility (Rui et al., 2013). The diffusion of messages via Twitter may be more rapid and more expansive than are other types of WOM because the purpose of Twitter is to share opinions and information (Hughes, Rowe, Batey, & Lee, 2012).

These findings led us to assume that revenue from musicals would also be increased by advertising and WOM. However, few studies have been conducted about marketing communication for musicals. Thus, in this study, with our focus on the marketing of musicals, we investigated how consumer behavior is affected by celebrity endorsement, and how it changes according to the type of message communication, that is, a poster advertisement vs. Twitter WOM.

Literature Review and Hypotheses

In studies on the effect of message senders on the success of the message, celebrity endorsement has been shown to be a popular advertising strategy (Choi & Rifon, 2012). Consumers' perception of the attractiveness, expertise, and trustworthiness of the celebrity enhances their attitude toward both the advertisement and the product, and also increases their purchase intention (Choi & Rifon, 2012; Eisend & Langner, 2010). The congruence between the celebrity image and ideal self-image of consumers, that is, the congruence between a consumer's perception of a celebrity's personality characteristics and the consumer's self-image, enhances the endorsement effect and influences the consumer's purchase decisions (Choi & Rifon, 2012). Korean advertising agents believe that celebrity endorsement generates awareness of the brand (Um & Lee, 2015). Choi, Lee, and Kim (2005) suggested that the reason for the higher frequency of celebrity appearances in Korean advertising compared to Western countries, may be that Korean consumers are more likely to conform to group norms. Thus, in Korea, marketers in industries-including musicals-use celebrity endorsement as a promotional strategy.

Although previous findings provide insight into the advertising effectiveness of celebrity endorsement, it is not suitable in all cases, and other endorsement strategies and types of communication may be more effective (Wei & Lu, 2013). Celebrity endorsements devised by marketers are not always credible to consumers and, therefore, the use of ordinary (noncelebrity) individuals as endorsers has gained popularity (Munnukka, Uusitalo, & Toivonen, 2016).

In WOM situations, consumers are influenced by the credibility of message senders and their social ties (Chakravarty, Liu, & Mazumdar, 2010; Groeger & Buttle, 2014). …

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