Celebrity Endorsement: A Comparative Study on its Effects on Purchase Intentions

Thea Brøndum Knudsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis seeks to uncover the influence celebrity endorsement has on purchase intentions for two select target audiences: teenagers and young adults. A qualitative methodological approach has been applied and two interviews have been completed for each age group. The teenage grouping has been divided in two: a “young” group, and an “older” teenage grouping.
While established theoretical deliberations of this area focus on the ways in which a celebrity is perceived and connected to the endorsed product, e.g. through meaning transfer or the match-up hypothesis, one perspective seems to be lacking. It is recognized that certain commercials, appeals, approaches and -strategies have more influence on some audiences than others, but whether this is the case for celebrity endorsement seems yet unclear. It has then been of central interest to find whether a noticeable difference of influence by or attitude towards celebrity endorsement was present between the two selected target audiences.
Whilst it appears that there is a discernable difference between teenagers’ and young adults’ perceptions of celebrity endorsement - as the young adults had much more “demands” and prerequisites for what constitutes as “good” celebrity endorsement - another central discovery was made; the “young” teenagers had a significant difference of opinion than the “older” teenagers. While social consumption motives were mentioned by all four groupings, they were particularly clear for the “older” teenage focus group as they strongly connected the purchase of celebrity-endorsed products to social esteem. On the other hand, the “young” teenage grouping was highly skeptical towards the general concept of celebrity endorsement and did not seem to believe that it had any effect on their purchase intentions.
The young adults were more explanatory and reflective than the teenagers in their lines of reasoning and largely agreed that they don’t see celebrity endorsement having a direct effect on their purchase intentions. They did however see the strong possibility of it having a “subconscious” effect; they recognized that it could affect them in ways they do not recognize or notice and furthermore acknowledged that it has greater possibility of affecting their purchase intentions positively when a need or desire for the endorsed product already has been recognized.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages213