CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT AND CONSUMER PURCHASE INTENTION OF AIRTEL CUSTOMERS

MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS

ABSTRACT

 

Celebrities are the personalities that are well known in public either because of their credibility or of their attractiveness or both of these. To leverage this, advertisers use celebrities in their advertisement to increase the effectiveness and heighten the credibility of commercials. The effectiveness of celebrities under any endorsement arrangement would depend on trustworthiness, likeness, attractiveness and expertise in order to penetrate the mind of customers. However, the phenomenon increase in the number of well-educated and enlightened customers have made non-sense of corporate projection most of the time. This has made competing telecommunication operators in the Nigerian economy, to engage the market more aggressively, looking for ways to get new and sustaining existing customers, using both ethical and unethical means. This study examined the influence of celebrity endorsement on consumer purchase intention of Airtel customers in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria because of the assumption that they heighten the credibility of commercials.

 

The study adopted cross-sectional survey research design. The target population comprised of 250,295 registered Airtel Customers in Abeokuta South Local Government and a multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the sample size of 525. Data were collected using a self-administered structured questionnaire and validated for the study. Cronbach’s Alpha reliability for major constructs ranged between 0.79 and 0.95. The response rate was 87.3%. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and referential statistics.

 

The findings revealed that celebrity endorsement had a significant relationship on consumer purchase intention of Airtel customers in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria. Results indicated that Celebrity trustworthiness had significant effect on consumer purchase intention (R = 0.496; R2 = 0.246; F1/395 = 159.720; p< 0.05). Celebrity attractiveness had significant effect on consumer purchase intention (R = 0.286; R2 = 0.896 F1/395= 43.532; p< 0.05). Celebrity expertise had significant relationship with consumer purchase intention (R = 0.423; R2 = 0.179; F1/359 = 106.754; p< 0.05). Celebrity product matchup had a significant relationship consumer purchase intention (R = 0.419; R2 = 0.175; F1/359 = 103.954; p< 0.05). Celebrity endorsement had a significant relationship on consumer purchase intention (R = 0.642; R2 = 0.413; F1/359 = 343.622; p< 0.05).

 

The finding further shows that Airtel customers at Abeokuta South Local Government Area had a positive perception of Airtel celebrity trustworthiness, celebrity attractiveness, celebrity expertise, celebrity product match-up and consumer purchase intention. Based on this, it is recommended that Nigeria telecommunication subsector should adopt a general view rather than individual approach to celebrity endorsement programme

 

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  TABLE OF CONTENTS  
Content Page
Title page i
Certification ii
Dedication iii
Acknowledgements iv
Abstract v
Table of Contents vi
List of Tables ix
List of Figures x
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION  
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 4
1.3 Objective of the Study 6
1.4 Research Questions 7
1.5 Hypotheses 7
1.6.1 Rationale for Hypotheses 8
1.6.2 Operationalization of Variables 9
1.6.3 Researcher’s Schematic Model 10
1.7 Scope of the Study 11
1.8 Significance of the Study 11
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms 12
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE  
2.1 Conceptual Model 14
2.1.1 Concept of Branding 14
2.1.2 Concept of Advertising 16
2.1.2.1 Billboard Advertising 19
2.1.3 Concept of Celebrities 20
2.1.4 Concept of Celebrity Endorsement 23

 

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Content Page
2.1.5 Concept of celebrity Trustworthiness 27
2.1.6 Concept of Celebrity Attractiveness 28
2.1.7 Concept of Celebrity Expertise 30
2.1.8 Concept of Celebrity Product Matchup 31
2.1.9 Concept of Purchase Intention 32
2.2 Theoretical Review 35
2.2.1 Source Model 36
2.2.2 Source Credibility Model 37
2.2.3 The Product Match-up Hypothesis 37
2.3 Empirical Review 40
2.3.1 Celebrity Endorsement 40
2.3.2 Consumer Purchase Intention 48
2.4 Summary and Gaps in Literature 49

 

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

 

3.0 Introduction 51
3.1 Research Design 51
3.2 Population 51
3.3 Sample size and sampling Technique 52
3.4 Method of Data Collection 54
3.5 Research Instrument 55
3.6 Validity of Research Instrument 55
3.7 Reliability of Research Instrument 56
3.8 Method of Data Analysis 56
3.9 Model Specification 57
3.10 A-prior Expectation 57
3.11 Ethical Consideration 58

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

 

 

Content Page
4.0 Introduction 59
4.1 Demographic Information 60
4.2 Data Analysis, Interpretations and Discussion of Findings 61
4.3 Restatement of Objective and Research Question One 61
4.3.1 Restatement of Objective and Research Question Two 67
4.3.2 Restatement of Objective and Research Question Three 71
4.3.3 Restatement of Objective and Research Question Four 74
4.3.4 Restatement of Objective and Research Question Five 78
4.4 Summary of Findings 81

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.0 Introduction 83
5.1 Summary 83
5.1.1 Summary of Findings 83
5.2 Conclusion 84
5.3 Recommendations 85
5.4 Contribution to Knowledge 85
5.5 Implication of the Findings 86
5.6 Limitation of the Study 87
5.7 Suggestion for Further Studies 88
References 89

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1         Background to the Study

 

It is no more an illusion that as competition to create consumer attention and interest in a product brand intensifies, it is critical that marketers develop better advertising appeal to get the consumer’s attention, create his interest, arouse their desire, and instigate the purchase action of the brand. In achieving this purpose, marketers often engage individuals who have achieved some form of celebrity status to serve as spokespersons for their brands. When capturing consumers’ mind is extremely tough, divergent society needs different means of advertisement for a variety of reasons, ranging from information sharing to consumer persuasion (Balakrishnan & Kumar, 2011; Zafar & Rafique, 2011). Organisations must embrace better advertising strategies to get the consumers’ attention, arouse desire, and instigate their purchase actions toward consumption of a particular product or service (Zhang, 2014).

 

Consumer products market appears saturated and it is increasingly becoming difficult to penetrate the market to secure and sustain customers’ attention. The difficulty arose from the increasing number of new and competing products in the market with primetime television cluster becoming almost a quarter of promotional content. Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain group of people. Whereas, attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle or special skills are just examples and specific common characteristics that are observed and celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy a high degree of public awareness.

 

Advertising as a form of celebrity endorsement is a form of communication used to promote products and accommodations of a company primarily to engender sales and secondly to create a brand identity, introduce incipient products and accommodations, communicating a very important change in the subsisting product line. Advertising, using celebrity endorser additionally avails in communicating gregarious messages to the masses (Kumar, 2012). Advertising is one of the major implements companies use to direct persuasive communications to target buyers and publics. The spenders include not only business firms but museums, professionals and gregarious organizations that advertised their causes to sundry target public. Today, advertising is a multi-billion industry, employing hundreds of thousands of people and affecting billions of people’s lives worldwide with

 

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the use of celebrity endorsement. Yet, visually perceiving as advertising clutter has incremented tremendously and is more excruciating than ever, it is vital that companies differentiate themselves from competitors by engendering even more puissant, regaling and innovative advertising messages, as well as sponsoring different events.

 

Udo and Nwulu (2015), believed that well-packaged advertising strategies aim at increasing customers’ awareness, arouse interest and convince a particular target population towards a product or service, while Gupta (2009), saw advertising as an integral part of the society and economic systems for both consumers and businesses, which help to deliver carefully prepared messages to target customers, thus, facilitating marketing programmes. Adani (2015) opined that a celebrity is a person whose name could catch public attention, arouse public interest and add to organizational profit through extra edge for holding customers’ attention. Sliburyte (2009) saw celebrities as people that are well known to the public and have substantial followers, to the extent that they could be used to project goods and services because of their attractiveness, likeable character, and credibility. Also, Ahmed, Mir and Farooq (2012), and Zipporah and Mberia (2014), agreed that organizations use celebrities in their advertisement to increase the effectiveness and heighten the believability of a commercial or promotion. According to Mukherjee (2009), celebrity endorsement is a channel of brand communication in which a celebrity acts as a brand’s spokesperson by extending his personality, popularity, stature in the society or expertise in a field to the brand’s claims. Zafar and Rafique (2011) observed that celebrities can foster brand’s acceptance, raise customers’ intention to purchase a product or service, thus providing an enormous momentum that brands require by endorsing an intrinsic value.

 

In the twenty first century mass media and the increasing complex technologies, advertising has reached an unpredicted level of sophistication. Markets are saturated with consumer goods, while the target audience is equally saturated with the allurement of media information geared towards the sale and promotion of consumer goods. Advertising occupies a special position within the economy of the modern society. It is not just an economic entity since it deals with conceptions, postures and values giving them cultural forms through its betokening practices.

 

Advertising as a symbolic design, which gives meaning to words and images. Through this process, advertising diffuses its meaning into the credence systems of the society. The advertising culture has an abundance of impact or influence on what we read, what we care about, the ways

 

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we raise our children, our conceptions of what is right and erroneous, conduct, value. (Schudson, 1984 cited in Kang, 1997 and Egwuonwu, 2014). However, advertising in the modern society significantly reflects a country’s standard of living. It avails, engender and sustain the injunctive authorization for products and accommodations (Olise, 2007).

 

Sliburyte (2009) provided that the most important characteristic of a celebrity is trustworthiness and organizations must make sure that the celebrity carries this particular uniqueness to match a product. Chaubey, et al. (2013), agreed that other attributes in order of importance include likeability, attractiveness, product matchup and expertise. Dani (2015) accepted celebrity as a popular icon with stopping power (Mukherjee, 2009), and useful to draw attention to advertising messages in a cluttered media environment (Zafar & Rafique, 2011). Sliburyte (2009), opined that the overall popular image of the celebrity coupled with exact product-image match enhances the consumers’ attention, resulting in greater demand, while Ahmed, et. al., (2015), posited that the consumers’ willingness to purchase is directly related to the celebrity’s credibility, pleasant appearance, reputation and understanding of product. Similarly, Chaubey, et. al., (2013), established that endorsement influence consumers’ mind-set and change feelings towards products’ sales and Zafar and Rafique (2011), opined that celebrities’ endorsement can greatly increase consumers’ awareness of an advertisement, capture their attention, increase the customer purchasing intention and make the advertisement more memorable to them.

 

It is clear that celebrities affect people in many ways – On a broad level via the advertising media (movies, TV, newspapers, radio and magazines) and how the media feed off the cult of celebrity, and on a more personal level, celebrities influence how people, especially women, look, dress, and live. One key criticism of celebrity- advertising in billboards in recent times is its tendency to misrepresent the celebrities that offer themselves for these advertising packages. This misrepresentation may create wrong perception of the celebrities used in these adverts which may in effect, reduce patronage for the product. This study therefore, seeks to examine the influence of celebrity endorsement on consumer purchase intention of the Airtel customers in Abeokuta South Local Government Area.

 

1.2         Statement of the Problem

 

The effectiveness of celebrities under any endorsement arrangement would depend on characteristics such as trustworthiness, likeness, attractiveness and expertise (Zipporah & Mberia,

 

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2014), in order to penetrate the mind of customers (Oyeniyi, 2014). The marketing implication is that organizations need to select celebrities that are most appealing to customers in order to increase market shares for a given product. However, the phenomenon increase in the number of well-educated and enlightened customers have made non-sense of corporate projection most of the time. This has made competing telecommunication operators in the Nigerian economy, MTN, Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat to engage the market more aggressively, looking for ways to get new and sustaining existing customers, using both ethical and unethical means (Dani, 2015; Jeyapalan, 2015; Chaubey, et. al., 2013; Apejoye, 2013; Atkin and Block, 1983).

 

In today’s competitive market, the use of celebrities in advertisement can make a difference. Using celebrities to win customers is on the increase and this can be seen in most of the commercial cities in the country. In Nigeria, most Airtel now make use of celebrities in billboard, TV, Radio etc. advertisement to aid the sale of their products/services.

 

However, various scholars have argued that the use of celebrities does not have any positive influence on the sale of goods/services, while others have argued that advertisers believe that using celebrities to endorsed or market a product/service would foster in the mind of the consumer(s) a match or connection between the celebrity endorser and the endorsed brand. Yet, others have argued that using celebrities in adverts can enhance consumers’ purchase intentions and their loyalty to a product or service; they further argue that the pictures of celebrities have a psychological effect on consumers and their patronage of a product or services. On the other hand, Edegoh, (2013), and Egwuonwu (2014), argued that the use of attractive models in billboard advertising sometimes creates distraction as audience focus their attention on the models rather than the advertised product. These contending positions have remained unresolved. As a result, there is a gap in the literature regarding public’s perception of the use of celebrities in TV, Radio, billboard and handbills advertising. It should be noted that, an understanding of the public’s perception of the use of celebrities in billboard advertising is critical to a discourse on the differentials in outcomes of adverts that use celebrities and those that do not and may also be useful in examining the influence of the use of celebrities in advertising on purchase intentions.

 

Also, celebrity endorsement may not guarantee long-term and sustainable effects where an endorsed celebrity is caught up in a scandal or an act of criminality, thereby creating negative perceptions to consumers (Zafar & Rafique, 2011). Some of the scandals may be involvement in

 

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the act of child, drug, sexual abuses, alcoholism and racial discrimination (Sliburyte, 2009). Any of these scandals would have negative effect on brand’s image, as consumers’ negative perceptions would be transferred to the brand, thereby negatively influencing product’s sales or turnover (Bowman, 2002).

 

Celebrity endorser’s expertise is a true sign of professionalism and has encouraging effect on receiver’s loyalty (Ohanian, 1990). Celebrities may be credible sources if they have expertise in a particular area, such as an athlete endorsing a shoe brand (Ratneshwar & Chiaken, 1991), or a beautiful model endorsing a make-up brand (Baker & Churchill, 1983). However, it has been duly observed that most celebrities are not expert endorsers and they endorse because of the financial gains at the detriments of the products brand.

 

Many companies have financially suffered from the inconsistency in the professional popularity of the use of celebrities in endorsements. The celebrity may lose his or her popularity due to some lapses in professional performances. The 2003 Cricket World Cup threw up the Shane Warne incident, which caught Pepsi off guard. With the Australian cricketer testing positive for consuming banned substances and his subsequent withdrawal from the event, banned in the middle of the game, PepsiCo the presenting sponsor of the World Cup 2003 found itself on an uneasy wicket (Okorie, Oyedepo & Akhidenor, 2012). Belch and Belch (1994), affirmed that consumers have strong belief upon the person who is practically having related knowledge, expertise in advocating area. If the celebrity advocating the product has strong knowledge and experience, then he or she will ultimately influence brand loyalty among buyers with power due to strong believability.

 

Furthermore, Arora and Sahu (2014) provided that consumers’ intention may be affected due to changes in the celebrity’s image. Changes in image may be as a result of injury, physical appearance, change in marital status, or a decline in professional capabilities. This could result in the celebrity no longer suitable for endorsement. (Clow & James, 2006). Another problem associated with endorsement is called eclipsing (Jeyapalan, 2015), known as overshadowing. This is describing an instance where a celebrity in an advertisement overshadows a product being advertised, as the product may not be the main focus. Similarly, over-exposure creates negative effect as a result of a celebrity endorsing multiple products at one time (Alsmadi, 2006). The

 

 

 

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implication of this is that credibility is at stake because consumers can become more sceptical about the celebrity’s motives.

 

It is based on these diverse opinions that the researcher has decided to examine how celebrities endorsement in advertising have influence on consumer purchase intention of the Airtel Customers in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ogun state.

 

1.3         Objective of the Study

 

The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of celebrity endorsement on consumer purchase intention of Airtel customers in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:

 

  1. determine the influence of celebrity trustworthiness on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc;

 

  1. determine the influence of celebrity attractiveness on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc;

 

  1. identify the influence of celebrity expertise on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc;

 

  1. determine the influence of celebrity product matchup on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc and

 

  1. identify the influence of celebrity endorsement on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc.

 

1.4         Research Questions

 

The study gives answer to the following questions:

 

  1. How does celebrity trustworthiness influence consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc?

 

  1. How does celebrity attractiveness influence consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc?

 

  1. What is the influence of celebrity expertise on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc?

 

  1. How does celebrity product matchup influence consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc?

 

 

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H05:
 
H04:
 
H03:
 
H02:

 

  1. What is the influence of celebrity endorsement influence consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc?

 

1.5         Hypotheses

 

The following hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance

 

H01:      Celebrity trustworthiness has no significant influence on consumer purchase intention in

 

Airtel Nigeria plc.

 

Celebrity attractiveness has no significant influence on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc.

 

Celebrity expertise has no significant influence on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc.

 

Celebrity product matchup has no significant influence on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc.

 

Celebrity endorsement has no significant influence on consumer purchase intention in Airtel Nigeria plc.

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