Persuasion and Athlete Endorsements: The Influence of Advertising Appeals on Consumer Perceptions of the Advertisement, Endorser, and Brand
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The use of athlete and celebrity endorsements is an effective marketing strategy for companies attempting to break through the advertising clutter and increase the visibility of their brands. Unfortunately, much of the research on celebrity endorsements has focused on how celebrities influence consumer attitudes and behaviors toward the brand. Consequently, little attention has been paid to the influence of advertising on consumer perceptions of the endorser. This is a potentially problematic omission because evidence has suggested that advertising content plays an important role in influencing consumer attitudes and behaviors toward advertisements and brands. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of advertising appeals on consumer perceptions of the advertisement, endorser, and brand. A secondary purpose was to assess the influence of emotions on consumer perceptions of the endorser and the mediating role of emotions between advertising content and attitude toward the ad. The study featured a 4 (appeal type: humorous vs. inspirational vs. warm vs rational appeal) x 2 (athlete endorser vs. non-athlete endorser) between-subjects factorial design. Participants were randomly assigned to one of eight experimental conditions and were asked to watch a television commercial produced by the Nike brand. The hypotheses were tested using analysis of variance (ANOVA), multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), multiple regression, and multivariate multiple regression. The results revealed that athlete endorsed ads containing warm appeals are more effective in general, than all other appeals. Further, the results suggested that marketers are capable of augmenting an endorser’s image via advertising and other marketing related activities. This study extends the literature by testing the influence of advertising appeals on attitude toward the ad and consumer perceptions of the brand. In addition, this study provides important building blocks in our understanding of emotional dimensions arousal and pleasure and their role in influencing the athlete endorsement process.
Hodge, Courtney McCrocklin (2015). Persuasion and Athlete Endorsements: The Influence of Advertising Appeals on Consumer Perceptions of the Advertisement, Endorser, and Brand. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from