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comm 301 - Celebrity Endorsements and the Link in...

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Celebrity Endorsements and the Link in Persuasion and Attitudes It is becoming more prevalent to observe celebrities teaming up with advertisers to solicit a product in expectations of improving sales. People are virtually fascinated with celebrity icons and obtain a pristine willingness to emulate their actions. A celebrity is someone who is well known and popular, whereas a celebrity endorser is someone who enjoys public recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement (McCracken 1989). According to Spielman (1981), celebrities increase the odds of getting attention, make the advertisement more memorable, humanize the company, add glamour to the product, and make it more desirable, credible and trusted. These attributes certainly make it obvious for the reasoning behind using a celebrity to endorse a product. In fact nearly 20% of all commercials use some sort of celebrity endorsements and 10% of all advertising dollars go to a celebrity (Bradley 1996). This revelation has certainly turned into a cultural obsession and the need for celebrity endorsements can only be expected to heighten dramatically through the upcoming years. It is argued to whether using celebrities for brand management is a highly effective advertising techniques geared toward the buying potential of the society. However, the three prominent variables that have been identified in celebrity endorsements are 1) physical attractiveness, 2) source credibility (trustworthiness and expertise) 3) celebrity brand congruency (Graeff 1996). These particular variables make the advertisement believable, leading the consumer to form an associative link (preexisting associations or groups of concepts that are related meaningful to an object (Till 1998), then in turn buy the product. It is common for consumers to already obtain this preexisting perception and ideals of a product. Although when advertisers take the
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extra initiative to obtain a sense of “brand equity” by inserting celebrities in their campaigns it in turn creates a higher degree of persuasive elements. In regard to creating a sense of “brand equity’, this will incorporate a set of assets such as a name, awareness, loyal customers, perceived and associations that are linked to the brand its name and symbol (Aaker, 1991). One celebrity who has gained identifications solely based upon physical attraction and high amounts of family assets is heiress Paris Hilton. The main objectives of her so called ‘career’ are to be seen and photographed to gain public recognition. After obtaining such a high sense of notoriety
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