Celebrity Endorsement in a Danish Context: An Investigation of Danish vs. Foreign Celebrity Endorsers’ Effect on Danish Consumers

Peter Blæsbjerg Trebbien & Mikkel Gudiksen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master’s thesis investigates celebrity endorsement in a Danish context, to explore how Danish customers perceive the evolving trend of using international celebrities to promote Danish products on the Danish market. This is investigated by exploring Danish consumers’ attitudes towards advertising using either Danish or international celebrity endorsers in the promotion of Danish utilitarian or hedonic products. The aspect of celebrity endorsement concerning the ethnicity (nationality) of the celebrity endorser is interesting because this is a relatively new phenomenon, which means that a comprehensive study of the effects on consumers has not yet been undertaken. By including a literature review we could choose the theoretical focus for our thesis and thereby select the theoretical framework from which we derived the hypotheses. To investigate Danish consumers’ attitudes towards the commercials for Danish utilitarian and hedonic products endorsed by celebrities of diverse ethnicities, we collected quantitative and qualitative data by conducting a quasi-experiment and interviews.
The results of the analysis showed that the Danish consumers perceived the Danish celebrity to be more credible and attractive than the international celebrity as an endorser of the Danish products. This was due to the fact that the Danish celebrity was perceived to be more trustworthy and similar to the Danish consumers, due to their shared ethnic (national) background. The Danish consumers also responded more positively towards advertising promoting utilitarian and hedonic products using a Danish celebrity endorser. Ethnicity had an effect, in that the Danish celebrity was seen as a more knowledgeable and sincere endorser, while the international celebrity was seen as having a knowledge- and reporting bias when promoting utilitarian products. For hedonic products the consumers ‘ethnic self-awareness’ was strengthened by ‘ethnic primes’ in the advertisement, which enhanced the similarities between the consumers and the Danish celebrity.
The investigation thereby concludes that Danish companies can benefit from using Danish celebrity endorsers in their advertisements to Danish consumers, since they respond more positively to advertisements where there is a match between the celebrity endorser’s nationality and the product’s country of origin. Researchers who wish to exploit the field of celebrity endorsement further should elaborate on the findings regarding the effects of ethnicity on celebrity endorsement in a national context.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2016
Number of pages258