Why we buy Proactiv when Katy Perry tells us to…

The article ‘Exploring the relationship between celebrity endorser effects and advertising effectiveness: A quantitative synthesis of effect size’ explores and reviews the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements.

the meaning transfer model:

the ‘meaning transfer model’ is an important model to understand when looking at celebrity endorsements. this model is based around the idea that the public develop a particular view and make particular meanings from celebrities. This meaning is then transferred to the product that the celebrity endorses. This model can be reviewed further in the study ‘towards a practitioner-based model of selecting celebrity endorsers’ by Erdogan, B. Zafer and Baker, Michael J.

This meaning that we take from celebrities is important as research has shown a correlation between endorser and product fit (a matching of the dominant traits seen in the celebrity and the product/brand).

Key predictors:

research in this area has highlighted key predictors (certain traits) in celebrity endorsers that lead to certain endorsement feedback. These predictors include:

  1. Celebrity performance
  2. Negative celebrity information
  3. Celebrity credibility
  4. Celebrity expertise
  5.  Celebrity trustworthiness
  6. celebrity attractiveness
  7. Celebrity familiarity and likeability (sometimes referred to as the same as attractiveness)
  8. Celebrity/product fit

In this study meta-analysis was used to provide a comprehensive and quantitative review of current literature in this area.

endorsement effectiveness was measured through the categories: purchase intention, brand attitude, attitude towards advertisement, believability, recall and recognition. Also considered were methodological dimensions, these were source manipulation, celebrity/product fit, experimental effect, study setting, sample type, and origin.


The study concluded that the four main key predictors of positive endorsement effectiveness were: negative celebrity information, celebrity trustworthiness, celebrity expertise and celebrity attractiveness.

So, this is why we buy Proactiv because Katy Perry tells us to:

  1. She is positively viewed by us; we have no reason to view her negatively (except maybe her ridiculously short marriage to Russel Brand)
  2. She is perceived as trustworthy
  3. Her expertise (she has excellent skin… maybe if i use Proactiv I’ll look like her!)
  4. Attractiveness, both physically and also personality-wise

In conclusion:

Our susceptibility to celebrity endorsements of companies and products is hugely relevant. It should really make us question ourselves and make us wonder ‘why am I buying this product? Is it really because Katy Perry said I should?


Amos, C., Holmes, G. & Strutton, D. 2008. Exploring the relationship between celebrity endorser effects and advertising effectiveness: A quantitative synthesis of effect size. International Journal of Advertising, 27, 209-234.


1 comment so far

  1. gracehamilton35 on

    As much as I hate to admit it, I often find myself falling for the trap that when a celebrity tells me to buy or do something I will highly consider it. Do you think that there should be rules and regulations about how celebrities are used to push consumer products upon people? For example using airbrushing in images so people will want to look like that and thus buy the product?

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