Celebrity Endorsements and a New Kind of Product Placement

Open Access
Asmara, Michelle Rose
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Francis Erin Dardis, Thesis Supervisor
  • Susan Mary Strohm, Honors Advisor
  • celebrity endorsement
  • product placement
  • source characteristics
  • source credibility
  • meaning transfer
  • likability
  • brand integration
This study aims to discover the effectiveness of a new type of product placement in the form of a “candid” photograph of an endorser using a product in “real” life placed in a Hollywood news magazine. Celebrity endorsements have been assessed for effectiveness in a variety of ways. This study tests the effectiveness of this new form of endorsement in encouraging higher perceptions of source authenticity and meaning transfer than a traditional placed advertisement. The researcher manipulates likability of the celebrity and advertisement format (candid photograph vs. advertisement) to study the interaction of these two variables and their effects on the two mental processes previously mentioned. Through an experiment, the author discovers that candid photographs of likable endorsers are no more and no less effective than traditional endorsement advertisements in encouraging perception of source authenticity, nor the transfer of meaning. However, significant main effects of likability and ad format on the dependent variables emerge.