Celebrity Endorsement and Self-Brand Connections

Jennifer Edson Escalas , Vanderbilt University, USA
James R. Bettman, Duke University, USA
We propose that consumers purchase brands in part to construct their self-concepts and, in so doing, form self-brand connections. We focus on celebrity endorsements as a source of brand meaning. Results from our first study show that brands with images consistent with a celebrity endorser enhance self-brand connections for consumers when they like the celebrity, but harm them when consumers dislike the celebrity. Our second experiment finds that the degree to which a brand is symbolic, i.e., able to communicate something about the user, moderates this effect, with more symbolic brands having stronger effects than less symbolic brands. Our third study finds that the effect of celebrity endorsement on self-brand connections is augmented when consumer’s self-esteem is threatened.
[ to cite ]:
Jennifer Edson Escalas and James R. Bettman (2009) ,"Celebrity Endorsement and Self-Brand Connections", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 45-48.