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Developing strategies for international celebrity branding: a comparative analysis between Western and South Asian cultures

Zahra Shah (Sheffield University Management School, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Hossein Olya (Sheffield University Management School, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Lien Le Monkhouse (Sheffield University Management School, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 31 March 2022

Issue publication date: 27 February 2023

1759

Abstract

Purpose

This empirical research conceptualises the impact of celebrity effectiveness on consumer purchase intention, with customer perception and attitude as mediators. A cross-cultural approach is adopted to analyse consumer response to celebrity branding across Britain and Pakistan containing non-explicit and explicit sex appeals.

Design/methodology/approach

A within-subject experimental design (2 countries × 2 ad designs) is employed to test the research model across Western and South Asian cultures. Structural equation modelling (SEM) and multi-group analysis (MGA) are used to test proposed hypotheses.

Findings

SEM results confirm the theoretical model: perception and attitude towards the advert and brand mediate the impact of celebrity effectiveness on purchase intention. Celebrity-endorsed advertising without explicit sex appeals elicited an overall favourable response across markets. British consumers respond to both adverts similarly. Yet, Pakistani consumers filter advert themes through salient cultural values and respond negatively to explicit sex appeals whilst, interestingly, accepting sexuality in associations of a celebrity endorser.

Practical implications

International celebrities can have cross-cultural appeal, and commonalities exist between the markets. A global or domestic marketing strategy can be utilised across the cultures based upon the environmental conditions and the themes and appeals incorporated within advert design.

Originality/value

The conceptual model is developed by consolidating existing models within celebrity endorsement and considering the mediating influence of both the advert and brand. The model is validated across theoretically different cultures. The comparative approach and selection of an underrepresented market provide novel insight into international branding strategies and global consumer culture.

Keywords

Citation

Shah, Z., Olya, H. and Monkhouse, L.L. (2023), "Developing strategies for international celebrity branding: a comparative analysis between Western and South Asian cultures", International Marketing Review, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 102-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-08-2021-0261

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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