The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
Conceptual Model Development for Celebrity Endorsement in Social Advertising: The Case of Source Credibility and Celebrity-Fan Relationship

Article Details
Pub. Date : November, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJMM81121
Author Name : Bharathi S Gopal
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Marketing
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 20



The influence of the famous is a widely researched topic. It is equally a sure-shot success formula for marketers selling clothes, cement, life insurance, cars, electronic gadgets, seeking political endorsement, and a plethora of consumption choices. Marketers have been successful with celebrity endorsements to launch a new product, change negative attitudes towards brands, influence trial and even convince a purchase. Celebrities, though not at a comparable scale of consumer product advertising, have also shared their liking and views, and endorsed social issues ranging from immunization, safe driving to creating awareness for rare disorders. While academic studies have explored and validated the influence of a celebrity on consumption-related outcomes, is it any different when celebrities endorse behavioral change for social good? This paper presents the conceptual framework to understand the influence of the source (celebrity) and celebrity-fan relationship on the cognitive and affective components of attitude towards a social cause. The conceptual framework examines the source credibility factors (Ohanian, 1990) of source attractiveness, expertise and trustworthiness and proposes the influence of celebrity-fan relationship as measured through Celebrity Attitude Scale (CAS) (McCutcheon et al., 2004) on the attitude outcomes mediated by Need for Cognition (Cacioppo and Petty, 1982). The conceptual research model is developed using the Eight-Step Theory Building Framework of Dubin (1978).


In October 2021, 46-year-old Kannada film actor Puneeth Rajkumar breathed his last. While his fans, moviegoers and stalwarts from across different walks of life were shocked, his family donated his eyes to fulfil his last wishes. Following this incident, eye banks in Bengaluru witnessed a spike in eye donation pledges (Puneeth, 2021). A decade and a half ago, in 2006, when Puneeth's father, Rajkumar breathed his last and his eyes were donated, three of Bengaluru's hospitals reported that there have been more than 205 applicants for eye donation. Several other hospitals also reported receiving more than 1,000 applicants. A year later, in 2007, to commemorate the thespian's first death anniversary, 501 fans were believed to have signed certificates to indicate willingness to donate eyes (501 Fans Donate Eyes, 2007).