Unpacking celebrity brands through unpaid market communications

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Davies, Fiona ; Slater, Stephanie (2015)

This paper explores the role of unpaid communications (newspaper and online reporting, blogs, associated comments and tweets) in informing consumer decisions on celebrity brands. The research tests “the old model of celebrity endorsement” (Chahal, 2013) in a new context using new media. Despite the ample literature (Erdogan, 1999; Keller, 2008) on celebrity appeal, the impact of unpaid messages remains underexplored. The paper addresses this gap, confirming that unpaid messages in relation to celebrity events enhance endorsement potential for associated, but not unrelated, products. We unpack celebrity brands by showing that message communication during and after celebrity events can change media profiles and fans’ perceptions of celebrity brands and we show the transformation effect that new media offer for celebrity endorsement.
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