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Article
Publication date: 14 January 2021

Anwar Sadat Shimul, Matthew Barber and Mohammad Ishmam Abedin

This paper aims to examine the role of religiosity on consumers’ forgiveness when celebrities get involved in transgression. The celebrity’s reaction and its impact on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role of religiosity on consumers’ forgiveness when celebrities get involved in transgression. The celebrity’s reaction and its impact on consumers’ forgiveness is tested as well. In addition, consumers’ attitudes towards the brand and celebrity as well as purchase intention for the endorsed brand are examined both before and after the transgression.

Design/methodology/approach

Data (n = 356) were collected through a self-administered online survey and analysed though structural equation modelling in AMOS 26.

Findings

The results show that consumers’ attitude towards celebrity, brand and purchase intention gets weaker once the celebrity gets into transgression. Consumers tend to forgive more if the celebrity apologises (vs denies) for the wrongdoing. The hypothesised relationship between attitude towards celebrity and purchase intention did not sustain after the transgression. In addition, consumers’ intrinsic religiosity strengthens the relationship between attitude towards the celebrity and purchase intention.

Practical implications

The findings of this research present valuable implications for brands practitioners. Brands should formulate actionable contingency plans to mitigate the negative ramifications of celebrity transgressions. Specifically, intrinsic religiosity and celebrity apologies should assist consumers in forgiving the transgression and negate the implications that could have arisen if the celebrity instead denied the transgressions.

Originality/value

This research extends the previous research by examining religiosity and forgiveness within the context of celebrity transgressions. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first few research studies to consider the role religiosity plays in consumers’ intention to forgive celebrity transgressions.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2021

Hayley Cocker, Rebecca Mardon and Kate L. Daunt

This paper aims to elucidate instances whereby celebrity endorsements by social media influencers (SMIs) embedded within online consumption communities are perceived as…

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1705

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to elucidate instances whereby celebrity endorsements by social media influencers (SMIs) embedded within online consumption communities are perceived as transgressive by their fellow community members. In doing so, this study provides insights into the new challenges and considerations that such community contexts present for celebrity endorsement.

Design/methodology/approach

The research team conducted a longitudinal, netnographic study of the YouTube beauty community, involving an initial phase of netnographic immersion followed by an investigative netnography that examined community members’ response to celebrity endorsements by 12 SMIs within the community.

Findings

This study identifies five recurring celebrity endorsement transgressions, each violating an established moral responsibility within the community. The paper explores how community members attribute responsibility for transgressive endorsements and identifies consequences for both the SMI and the endorsed brand.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on a single consumption community, developing a deep understanding of the distinct moral responsibilities that shape the reception of celebrity endorsements within this context.

Practical implications

The paper presents managerial recommendations that will aid both SMIs and brands in implementing celebrity endorsements that avoid communal perceptions of transgression.

Originality/value

The analysis extends prior study on celebrity endorsement by SMIs by explaining when and why SMI endorsements are likely to be perceived as transgressive by the community and providing new insights into community member responses to transgressive SMI endorsements. It also extends wider theories of celebrity endorsement by highlighting the influence of consumption community contexts upon endorsement reception and examining consumer responses to celebrity endorsements perceived as transgressive in and of themselves.

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Hosun Lee, Dae Ryun Chang and Sabine Einwiller

This study aims to examine how consumers use a moral reasoning process to defend preferred celebrity and celebrity brand images and specifically, the processes for…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how consumers use a moral reasoning process to defend preferred celebrity and celebrity brand images and specifically, the processes for supporting the celebrity’s comeback after a transgression.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 measures consumers’ preference for celebrities and their support for them after a transgression and tests whether the celebrity’s image moderates consumers’ preference for celebrities and their support of them to come back. Study 2 examines the effect of the specific moral reasoning processes and tests whether it leads to different levels of support after a transgression, depending on the primed celebrity image.

Findings

Results show celebrity preference is positively related to consumer support of a celebrity’s return after a wrongdoing. This relationship is moderated by the celebrity’s image (Study 1). The authors find that a celebrity primed with a role model image receives more support for a comeback in the moral rationalization condition, whereas a celebrity primed with a bad boy image receives more support in the moral decoupling condition (Study 2).

Research limitations/implications

First, in the empirical studies, using a pre-test, the authors chose transgressions that were unrelated to the celebrities’ profession and that had an intermediate level of severity. Moreover, these transgressions were manipulated using information about fictitious celebrities to control for pre-existing respondents’ differences on information or biases about them and confounding characteristics between identified celebrities. Despite the control benefits, the disadvantage of this approach could be that respondents’ involvement with the celebrities may be generally lower as compared to studies that use known celebrities (Fong and Wyer, 2012). The involvement or attachment with known celebrities by respondents may be a factor that determines the power of a specific human brand. By using fictitious celebrities, the effects related to human brands may have been bounded or based more on celebrity archetypes. Another limitation is that both Studies 1 and 2 collected data using an online panel. To make the results more generalizable, the authors can contemplate on-site experimental designs or a qualitative approach in future research. The latter may also facilitate the use of known human brands to understand how they interact with other mediating factors without having to worry about control of confounds between respondents. Finally, there is a potential inflation of moral sensitivity stemming from measuring moral reasoning in Study 1 after informing participants about a celebrity transgression. While the authors followed other studies in this procedure, for the effects related to measuring across different image groups this would be less critical, as all participants would be affected in a similar way. However, there remains the possibility that the inflation bias could be higher for one celebrity type and could be a limitation or even a topic considered for future research that delves into specific relationships between celebrity image type and morality judgment bias.

Practical implications

The results of this study have managerial implications for the various stakeholders involved. First, for celebrities, especially role models, living up to expectations congruent to the performances and brand images that they have developed is important. This will necessitate them to manage their consumers’ expectations, and perhaps, suggest that they do not create unrealistically high ones. Although consumer expectations have not often taken center stage as a theoretical issue in recent consumer research, they may still be important for consumers’ evaluations and choices (Howard and Sheth, 1969). In addition, this study offers implications for public relations agencies or management companies that promote and manage celebrities. Although consumers in many countries have a higher preference for celebrities with a role model image, the authors see that being such a human brand can be potentially counterproductive amid scandals. If the level of supporters’ commitment for a celebrity is high and the attachment relationship is strong, then constructing a diverse and flexible image spectrum may be more advantageous in the long term than adhering to just the role model image. In the event that a misbehavior has occurred, celebrities, to the extent that they can identify their brand image, need to assess more precisely the type of moral judgment and support they are likely or unlikely to receive after the transgressions. Based on that analysis, the misbehaving celebrities may have to adjust the rehabilitation period or act of redemption. Finally, the conventional wisdom used by advertising agencies or corporations that the bad boy image of celebrities is more vulnerable to a negative event, needs to be reconsidered (Aaker et al., 2004). This rethinking is aligned with other past research that have also argued that transgressions do not necessarily have an adverse impact on associated brands (Lee and Kwak, 2016). Thus, when advertising agencies use celebrities, they must consider the congruence between the human brand image and the company and review the source and depth of the reasons why supporters like celebrities using a broader perspective.

Social implications

Although consumers in many countries have a higher preference for celebrities with a role model image, the authors see that being such a human brand can be potentially counterproductive amid scandals. For them constructing a diverse and flexible image spectrum may be more advantageous in the long term than adhering to just the unrealistic role model image. Celebrities need to assess more precisely the type of moral judgment and support they are likely or unlikely to receive after the transgressions. Based on that analysis, the misbehaving celebrities may have to adjust the rehabilitation period or act of societal redemption.

Originality/value

The study makes three key contributions by combining celebrity image and moral psychology to assess how consumers pass moral judgment on celebrities who transgress according to different image types, examining the mediation effect of moral reasoning in the relationship between consumer preferences for a celebrity and their support for them after transgressions and looking at consumer support for a comeback of the transgressing celebrity as the dependent variable and not just the effects of the immediate fallout. The value of this study, therefore, lies in understanding the specific dynamics between consumer preference, celebrity image, moral reasoning processes and consumer support to accept a celebrity’s return after a transgression.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 September 2020

Julie Guidry Moulard and Kathrynn Pounders

Abstract

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2019

Sai Wang and Ki Joon Kim

In the context of celebrity endorsement, this study aims to demonstrate that the ways in which consumers adopt moral reasoning strategies (i.e. rationalization, decoupling…

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1212

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of celebrity endorsement, this study aims to demonstrate that the ways in which consumers adopt moral reasoning strategies (i.e. rationalization, decoupling and coupling) are largely dependent on the severity (i.e. high vs low) of celebrity transgressions and the degree to which they personally identify with the celebrity.

Design/methodology/approach

A between-subjects online experiment (N =144) with two conditions, representing high- and low-severity celebrity transgressions, was conducted. Participants’ attitudes toward the celebrity and endorsed brand, their purchase intention for the endorsed product and the degrees to which they identified with the celebrity and adopted the three types of moral reasoning strategies were assessed.

Findings

The rationalization and decoupling strategies mediate the effects of highly negative information about a celebrity on consumer attitudes toward the celebrity and endorsed brand as well as on purchase intention for the endorsed product. In addition, consumers who identify strongly as fans of the celebrity in question are more likely to activate rationalization and decoupling strategies to process and evaluate transgressive behaviors than those with weaker fan identification.

Originality/value

By exploring the ways in which moral reasoning and fan identification work in processing negative information, this study provides insights into the psychological process through which negative news coverage of a celebrity endorser influences consumer attitudes and purchase intention.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Kwame J.A. Agyemang and Antonio S. Williams

Central to the celebrity creation process is mass media communication and impression management (IM) behaviors of social actors. The emergence of social network sites…

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1255

Abstract

Purpose

Central to the celebrity creation process is mass media communication and impression management (IM) behaviors of social actors. The emergence of social network sites (SNSs) such as Twitter offers a platform for social actors to engage both of these means in efforts to manage their celebrity. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of how celebrity athletes manage their celebrity status by investigating IM tactics employed by National Basketball Association (NBA) celebrities on Twitter.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analytic design was employed to examine the Twitter posts of the top ten most popular and influential NBA celebrity athletes (past and present) at the time of tweet acquisition.

Findings

The findings revealed the celebrity athletes used a variety of IM tactics to manage their celebrity. Defensive IM tactics (i.e. reactive measures taken) were used sparingly when compared to offensive IM tactics (i.e. proactive measures taken). Also, consistent with extant IM literature, the celebrity athletes utilized IM tactics in isolation as well as in combination.

Practical implications

The extant literature suggests that celebrities cultivate their relationships with the various media outlets with the potential to create (or even damage) one’s celebrity. This study offers celebrity athletes and their managers with useful insight on celebrity management.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine IM in a sport business context, particularly the use of IM of athletes on SNSs.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2020

Maria Lucila Osorio, Edgar Centeno and Jesus Cambra-Fierro

The purpose of this study is threefold. First, human brands are conceptualized and the distinction between them and personal brands is established. Second, human-brand…

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1441

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is threefold. First, human brands are conceptualized and the distinction between them and personal brands is established. Second, human-brand research is reviewed in light of a strategic brand management framework and gaps in the knowledge that may suggest new research pathways are identified. Third, the extent to which a brand management model designed for products could be applied to human brands is explored.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review was conducted in this study. The content analysis of the selected set of papers allowed the assessment of the state of this field of brand management and the identification of proposals for future research.

Findings

Substantial research exists on different aspects of human brands. However, these studies are fragmented in nature, thus highlighting the need for specific and complete human-brand management models.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this literature review is that it is based on a sample of papers collected by one specific criterion; furthermore, the way the papers were classified may be challenged. However, this study provides a comprehensive picture of studies on human brands available today.

Originality/value

A parsimonious distinction and connectivity between human and personal brands suggest a branding-by-individual continuum. Additionally, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first identifiable one that summarizes the growing literature on human brands, reveals important gaps in the knowledge and calls for the development of particular human-brand management models.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2019

Marc Fetscherin and Alexandra Sampedro

This paper aims to explore and discuss the concept of brand forgiveness. It empirically assesses the relationships among three types of brand transgressions, brand…

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1743

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore and discuss the concept of brand forgiveness. It empirically assesses the relationships among three types of brand transgressions, brand forgiveness and three consumer coping strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

A 3 × 2 research design is used to evaluate the effects of three types of brand transgression (performance, image and value) and two degrees of severity (high vs low) for brand forgiveness. Then, this paper use a 2 × 3 research design, evaluating two degrees of brand forgiveness (high vs low) together with their effects on three different consumer coping strategies (switching, attacking and purchasing again). Using a representative sample of 472 US consumers, various hypotheses related to these research designs are tested.

Findings

The results show that almost half (48 per cent) of the consumers are unlikely or very unlikely to forgive a brand compared to about a third (32 per cent) who are likely or very likely to forgive. The results of ANOVA show the more severe the brand transgression, the less likely the forgiveness. Consumers who are more likely to forgive are less likely to avoid the brand or engage in attacking behaviors; they are also more likely to purchase the brand again. The results of regression analyses show that consumers witnessing a performance-based brand transgression are more likely to forgive the brand than in the case of image- or value-based brand transgressions.

Originality/value

This paper explores and outlines the brand forgiveness construct, both theoretically and empirically.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2018

Abstract

Details

Microcelebrity Around the Globe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-749-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Ruth Penfold-Mounce

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Death, The Dead and Popular Culture
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-053-2

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