empiricalstudy.celeb - Present day american culture can be...

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Present day american culture can be characterized by its obsession with celebrities. Mass media inundate audiences with celebrity images. From sports figures to actors/actresses, musical artists and entertainers, audiences feel that they personally know these famous personalities and often develop an "illusion of intimacy" with them ( Schickel 29). Schickel highlights the subtle but profound impact of celebrities on everyday thinking and living (24). Indeed, some people admire, emulate, and become infatuated with their favorite celebrities ( McCutcheon et al. ). Advertisers are well aware of the positive influence that celebrities can bring to a persuasive message; approximately 25% of all US television commercials feature celebrities ( Shimp ). Defined as "any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement" ( McCracken 310), the positive effects of celebrity endorsers have been well established. Celebrities draw more attention to the advertisements they appear in and brands they are aligned with when compared with advertisements that do not take advantage of an individual's celebrity status ( Sternthal, Phillips, and Dholakia ). In this way, celebrity endorsers help advertisements break through the surrounding and otherwise busy clutter ( Erdogan, Baker, and Tagg ). Perhaps more importantly, celebrities bring their own distinctive images to an advertisement and its associated brand and can create, enhance, and change brand images ( Debevec and Iyer; Erdogan ). The academic literature in advertising provides ample evidence of the positive effects of using celebrities on both ad and brand evaluations ( Ohanian , "Construction"). A widely accepted explanation for celebrity endorser effects has been that celebrities bring credibility to advertising messages. With their high profile, wide recognition, and unique qualities, celebrities in general are perceived as more credible than non-celebrity endorsers, exerting greater influences on consumers' brand attitudes and purchase intent ( Atkin and Block; Freiden ; Kamins ; Kamins and Gupta; Kamins et al.; Ohanian , "Impact"; Petty and Cacioppo ). However, credibility alone cannot explain the effects of celebrity endorsers, and the richness of their iconic qualities has not been adequately captured in this approach ( McCracken ). Although celebrities share some common characteristics, including recognition, status, and popularity, each celebrity embodies his or her own unique image in the media. While one celebrity may be considered an appropriate endorser for one brand, she or he may be completely wrong for another based on the public's perception of her/his distinctive image ( McCracken ). For instance, Bill Cosby, who had previously proven quite effective for other products, appeared to have little effect on the performance of E. F. Hutton and Texas Instruments. Despite the recognized role of celebrity image for effective product endorsements
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2008 for the course COMM 1 taught by Professor Mullin during the Winter '07 term at UCSB.

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empiricalstudy.celeb - Present day american culture can be...

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