Celebrity Endorsement: Can personality help solve the puzzle

Nikolas Vaage-Nilsen & Sebastian Skov Evald

Student thesis: Master thesis


Celebrity endorsement is a marketing tool that is increasingly being used by marketers to grab attention and connect with consumers. However, until now researchers have not provided a conclusive picture of how celebrity endorsement works. Most researchers, within the literature, agree that there needs to be a “natural fit” between celebrity and brand for the endorsement to be effective. It has been argued that personality is one of the main attributes for creating such fit. However, no empirical tests have been undertaken to examine this matter, nor has the consumers’ part been taken into account. Thus, this thesis examines how a personality fit between celebrity-brand-consumer may lead to more effective celebrity endorsement. This matter has been examined for the high involvement affective product category, within the Western culture. A conceptual model has been theoretically accounted for, which illustrates how personality fit affects advertisement attitude, brand attitude and brand uplift. The model has been tested by use of a quantitative online survey, to which qualitative measures was utilized to heighten the validity of the survey. The model has been statistically supported and results further indicate that the greater the personality fit, the greater the effect on brand uplift. Further, the results indicate that if a celebrity with a low personality fit is used; such advertisement may actually be less effective than if an unknown model was used. As such, celebrity endorsement has been found to be both effective and non-effective, based on the conditions by which it is used. This emphasizes the need for marketers to be aware of the factors that help create effective celebrity endorsement, wherefore thorough testing of potential endorsers is advised. To this end, the model established by this thesis may, along with other important attributes, be used as a guideline for measuring the potential of an endorser. A model has further been discussed in regards to how to identify what is missing in a given celebrity endorsement relationship. Although not tested, this model may provide others inspiration for further investigating of how personality fit may affect endorsement effectiveness. Personality fit – an important piece of the puzzle.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages231