The impact of celebrity endorser attachment and endorser-product match-up on credibility, attitude, and purchase intent
The dissertation examined the impact of celebrity endorser attachment and endorser-product match-up on credibility (i.e., likability, attractiveness, expertise, and trustworthiness of the endorser), attitude (i.e., toward the endorser, ad, and brand), and purchase intent. The current study was based on affect transfer theory and endorser attachment. Affect transfer states that the transfer of positive affect from a celebrity to an endorsed brand can lead to more positive ad effects than the transfer of negative affect. The current study also was based on schema congruity theory, that is, the level of endorser-product match-up. This theory claims that congruent ads can lead to more positive ad effects than incongruent ads. Moreover, the current study tested, based on the integration of affect transfer and schema congruity, the interaction effects of endorser attachment and endorser-product match-up on the ad outcomes. The current study also looked at the mediation effect of brand attitude on purchase intent. A total of 212 subjects participated in an experiment with a 2 (strong/weak endorser attachment) × 2 (high/low endorser-product match-up) between-subjects design. Results indicated that strong attachment to an endorser led to higher ratings on ad outcomes (credibility, attitude, and purchase intent). Furthermore, high endorser-product match-up led to higher ratings on perceived product expertise except all other ad outcomes. Moreover, no interaction effects were found in all ad outcomes. Additional analyses indicated that brand attitude mediated the relationship between ad attitude and purchase intent as well as the relationship between endorser attitude and purchase intent. Implications of the results are discussed.