Product effects on endorser image: the potential for reverse image transfer

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate reverse image transfer as it applies to both celebrities (actors/models) and celebrity athletes in a New Zealand context. It extends the work of Garland and Charbonneau which examined reverse image transfer (product image transferring to endorser) as it applied to celebrity athlete endorsers alone. Design/methodology/approach – The data for the study are collected from 240 New Zealand university undergraduate students who are split equally into eight treatment groups. Using Ohanian’s source-credibility scale, each group rate several celebrities or celebrity athletes on their suitability for endorsing two contrasting products: orange juice (representing a positively perceived product) and cigarettes (representing a negatively perceived product). ANOVA (analysis of variance) is used to compare means between celebrities/celebrity athletes and the products they endorse. The study is a close replication of Till’s work in the USA. Findings – The results show a pronounced polarising effect for celebrity athletes, as opposed to celebrities (actors/models), for the endorsement of both products but particularly for cigarettes, the negative product. The potential for reverse image transfer is real, demanding careful attention by celebrities, agents and marketers during evaluation of endorsement opportunities. Research limitations/implications – Though not compromising the research integrity, the sample of New Zealand students is restrictive. Further extension of the research is advisable to address limitations based on sample composition, cultural setting and time of research. Originality/value – Aside from addressing the paucity of research on reverse image transfer, this paper signals important managerial implications for celebrity endorsers and their agents.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Charbonneau, J. & Garland, R. (2010). Product effects on endorser image : The potential for reverse image transfer. Asian Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 22(1), 101-110.
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
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