The beauty of celebrity endorsements: a study on audience reception of celebrity endorsed cosmetics with a view through the lens of upper-class and middle-class women
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Advertisers constantly compete for consumers' attention and business. Thus, it is imperative for advertisers to develop superior strategies to gain consumer attention, increase product awareness and spur purchasing. Employing a celebrity endorser is an expensive but popular strategy. In 2010, 15 percent of all advertisements were celebrity endorsements (Crutchfield, 2010). Therefore, it is crucial that advertisers understand how celebrity endorsements influence consumers. Twenty in-depth interviews yielded thick descriptions of the impact cosmetic celebrity endorsements have on upper-class and middle-class females, ages 25-40. The research aims to discover what women think about celebrities endorsing mass-marketed cosmetic products. Particular emphasis is given to any differences between upper-class and middle-class women. This research applies the uses and gratifications theory as well as the concept of parasocial interaction. The findings suggest that women use cosmetic celebrity endorsements to gratify a variety of needs. Also, the research suggests that a parasocial interaction may manipulate the reception and use of a cosmetic celebrity endorsement. Overall, the study found that celebrity endorsements increase product awareness but do not increase purchase intent.
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