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Endorsement Effectiveness of Celebrities Versus Social Media Influencers in the Materialistic Cultural Environment of India

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Saurabh BhattacharyaORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


In this article, we explore the relative endorsement effectiveness of mainstream celebrities versus social media influencers in the materialistic cultural environment of India. Based on three studies across two product categories, our findings suggest that mainstream celebrities were more effective endorsers than social media influencers in both a celebrity-product congruent and incongruent condition. Endorsement effectiveness was explained by the strength of the parasocial relationship that Indian consumers developed with celebrities and social media influencers. In a materialistic country like India, as celebrities possess more wealth, power, and status, consumers formed a stronger parasocial relationship with them than social media influencers. Regulatory focus moderated this relationship such that, for promotion-focused consumers, no difference existed in the strength of the parasocial relationship between consumers and celebrities versus social media influencers. However, for prevention-focused consumers, the strength of the parasocial relationship increased for mainstream celebrities and decreased for social media influencers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Agnihotri A, Bhattacharya S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of International Consumer Marketing

Year: 2021

Volume: 33

Issue: 3

Pages: 280-302

Online publication date: 14/07/2020

Acceptance date: 19/06/2020

Date deposited: 28/06/2020

ISSN (print): 0896-1530

ISSN (electronic): 1528-7068

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/08961530.2020.1786875


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