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Celebrity endorsement, brand credibility and brand equity

Amanda Spry (Department of Management and Marketing, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Ravi Pappu (UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
T. Bettina Cornwell (Division of Kinesiology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 31 May 2011




This research aims to examine the impact of celebrity credibility on consumer‐based equity of the endorsed brand. The mediating role of brand credibility and the moderating role of the type of branding (parent versus sub‐brand) employed by the endorsed brand on the endorser credibility‐brand equity relationship are also to be examined. The endorser credibility‐brand equity relationship was developed using associative learning principles whereas the brand signalling theory is applied to examine the mediating role of brand credibility.


The conceptual framework was tested using a field experiment. Data were collected using a mall‐intercept approach at a shopping centre from a sample of consumers in a metropolitan Australian city. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling.


Results suggest endorser credibility has an indirect impact on brand equity when this relationship is mediated by brand credibility. This mediating relationship was moderated by type of branding. However, the “endorser credibility‐brand credibility” and “endorser credibility‐brand equity” relationships did not vary according to the type of branding employed.

Practical implications

In support of past findings, the present study shows that a celebrity endorser should be one who is perceived as credible based on their attractiveness, expertise and trustworthiness. Moreover, in this research, even a moderately low credibility endorser proved to be able to build the brand.


The present study is one of the first to empirically examine and confirm the impact of endorser credibility on brand credibility and consumer‐based brand equity.



Spry, A., Pappu, R. and Bettina Cornwell, T. (2011), "Celebrity endorsement, brand credibility and brand equity", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45 No. 6, pp. 882-909.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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