Sometimes probably yes. But there are also models used to determine the appropriate celebrity for the job, and that is what my paper is going to be researching. “One of the most important variables that seems to influence how persuasive a celebrity will be in any advertising is the appropriateness of the celebrity for endorsing a particular brand and product. This appropriateness may be defined as the natural linkage between personality and product category, regardless of how the celebrity is actually used in the ad” (Jones).
There are many different models used to determine which celebrity is the best fit for an advertising campaign, such as the source attractiveness model, the source credibility model, the product match hypothesis, the co-activation theory, the cognitive source model (elaboration likelihood model), and the cultural meaning transfer. The next sections of my paper will be discussing these models in greater detail. First of the models want to discuss are some that have been around for quite some time and were the bases of all of the models to follow.
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This model, the source model, is where marketers will rate celebrities on many different attributes when trying to place them into a commercial and “early attempts at understanding the influence of any source in the persuasive context suggested that an attractive, trustworthy, like able, or credible source facilitates the message-learning and acceptance process” (Jones). It was believed that you needed to determine in what context you want your advertisement to show and pick a celebrity that would align with this image. “… Here factors contribute to the effectiveness of message. These are familiarity of an endorser, similarity of an endorser and liking of an endorser. Similarity can be defined as the extent to which the receiver (customer) finds semblance between itself and the source (endorser). Familiarity refers to that how much knowledge the receiver (customer) posses about the source (endorser) And likeability is the affection the receiver (customer) develops towards source (endorser) because of the physical attractiveness of the endorsed’ (Aimed).
That said, it seems as though likeability relies a great deal on how attractive the celebrity is; I would say that familiarity related to trustworthiness, in that when you know someone well or have knowledge about them, then you are more likely to trust that said person. Going beyond just physical appearance for how you perceive someone, you also may view someone as credible. This person does not necessarily need to be a celebrity, but maybe someone who is well known for this certain area of expertise, or perhaps as long as the advertisement states the person’s credentials, you are more apt to believing what the person is selling to you.
Being credible “holds that the effectiveness of a message is based on the perceived level of expertise and trustworthiness the customers have in an endorser… Expertise can be defined as the extent to which the endorser communicator) is perceived to be knowledgeable, skillful and experienced” (Aimed). I believe that attractiveness identifies more with peripheral cues, while credibility aligns more with central processing cues.
When someone is viewed as attractive, you may be more interested in the advertisement just due to your sense of sight and emotional cues, whereas when someone is credible, you are more cognitive in your analyzing and begin to think about the product’s attributes the communicator is telling you more so than just wanting to purchase the product because of the looks of that person. These re brought up again later when talking about the cognitive response model. The next model is the Product Match-Up Hypothesis [which] states that there should be perfect match between the celebrity personality characteristics and brand attributes” (Aimed).
This model seems to be the most widely used of all of the models, as I found the most information and articles about it. “This theory was born out of the observation that using an attractive model is not universally effective for all products. They tend to work better for products that are beauty related” (Nag). The article goes on to tell s that this theory is used for other things besides beauty products as well, but many of the characteristics result the attractiveness-rating of a celebrity matched with a product that is either thought to be an attractive or unattractive product. The product celebrity match-up doesn’t solely rely on just ordinary congruency but on the physical attractiveness of the celebrity as well. Attractive celebrities are more persuasive specially when endorsing the products that enhance the prettiness… ” (Aimed). One article tell us that this hypothesis is related to the balance theory in that, “when the celebrity image r attributes do not coincide with the known attributes of the brand, product, or service, incongruence results. This incongruence produces tension and generates forces in the reader or viewer to restore balance” (Jones).
You need to find the correct celebrity to be able to create an attitude using the celebrity in the consumer that is consistent with their perceived attitude about the brand. Namely, “the message conveyed by the image of the celebrity and the message about the product ought to converge in effective ads… [it] is important because it allows for meaningful processing and makes it more Seibel for the brand name to be effectively linked and associated with the celebrity/’ (Jones). There have been some critiques to this model, however, brought up by Lawrence Nag.
First of all, some celebrities ‘fit’ in some categories, but do worse on others (I. E. Trustworthiness or likeability) and there are many celebrities to choose from, so it is hard to pinpoint the exact right one for the ad at hand. Second, if you are trying to reposition a brand, you would not be able to use this theory because “a certain level of incongruity is necessary in order to change the perception” (Nag). Along with that, “the theory must also explain the phenomenon of reverse transfer. This means that the endorsed product can also influence the perception of the celebrity.
A celebrity can lose his cache very quickly if he/she were to endorse a negative product” (Nag). It is also shown that this hypothesis does not explain what exactly “fir’ means; it is more of a generic term according to this hypothesis, where as other theories go into detail as what “fit” actually means to them. Finally, this model does not explain any asymmetric effects. For instance, “if an attractive celebrity (e. G. Tom Sellers) is juxtaposed with an attractive product (e. G. , luxury car), an image enhancement is seen for this attractive product more so than for an unattractive product (e. . , typewriter). However, for an unattractive celebrity (e. G. , Tell Cassavas) he/she does not in any way influence the unattractive product (e. G. , typewriter) even though he/she matches this product better… ” (Nag). In other words, attractive celebrities work well with attractive products, but it is harder to find a match for an unattractive product as attractive celebrities are not a match for these products, and unattractive liberties still have no positive effect on these sorts of products.
From these inconsistencies, other theories are found as to why this hypothesis still works and is still widely used. First is the social adaptation theory. “This theory states that a person will continue to process an ad until no new information is added; therefore it is the acquisition of new information that helps us adapt to our environment. Thus, an attractive celebrity is more effective for endorsing a beauty-related product because an attractive celebrity can add more information about the product than an interactive celebrity’ (Nag).