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Exploring meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements: measurement and validation

Subhadip Roy (Department of Marketing, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, Udaipur, India)
Varsha Jain (MICA – IMC, Ahmedabad, India)

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration

ISSN: 1757-4323

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




The “meaning transfer model (MTM)” is one of the less researched models in celebrity endorsement. The purpose of this paper is to empirically measure and validate a comprehensive model of meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements.


Based on a conceptual model of meaning transfer that starts from celebrity identity as an antecedent of perceived celebrity meaning (CM), the study integrates CM, brand meaning (BM) and consumer behavior (CB) and two moderators leading to six studied hypotheses. The model is empirically tested using survey data (of 483 consumers) from India with the application of factor analysis and structural equation modeling.


Major results indicate a positive effect of CM on BM and BM on subsequent CB. The moderating effect of consumer knowledge and product involvement in successful meaning transfer is also observed.

Research limitations/implications

Contribution of the present study lies in the validation of a comprehensive model of meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements that may pave the way to the explanation of previous confounding results.

Practical implications

The present study provided an actionable model for marketers that would lead to successful meaning transfer and the various factors that need to be controlled.


This is the first study to validate the MTM that integrates the basic tenets of celebrity endorsement theory.



Roy, S. and Jain, V. (2017), "Exploring meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements: measurement and validation", Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 87-104.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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