The Influence of Perceived Personality Characteristics on Positive Attitude Towards and Suitability of a Celebrity as a Marketing Campaign Endorser

Magdalena Bekk, Matthias Spörrle*
1 Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) of Munich, Leopoldstr. 13, D-80802 München, Germany
2 University of Applied Management (FHAM), Am Bahnhof 2, D-85435 Erding, Germany

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© 2010 Bekk and Spörrle.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) of Munich, Leopoldstr. 13, D-80802 München, Germany; Tel: ++49-89-2180-5672; Fax: ++49-89-2180-3000; E-mail:


It is a common strategy to use celebrity endorsers in marketing campaigns. However, scientific literature on the effective use of celebrity endorsers has mainly focused on the credibility and the attractiveness of the celebrity. This study examines another endorser characteristic, which, despite other fields of psychological research confirming its importance, has not received much attention within marketing psychology: the perceived personality. Applying the three culturally stable personality dimensions (i.e., sincerity, excitement, and sophistication) from the established concept of brand personality to the endorser, correlation analyses demonstrated that these personality dimensions of the endorser were related to trustworthiness, a central credibility component, likeability, an important attractiveness component, as well as to positive attitude towards the celebrity and perceived suitability as endorser. Moreover, multiple mediation analyses indicated that the influence of personality dimensions on positive attitude towards the celebrity as well as on perceived suitability of the celebrity as an endorser was to some extent mediated by trustworthiness and likeability. In this context, the personality dimension of excitement emerged as an incrementally valid predictor of positive attitude towards the celebrity as well as perceived suitability as endorser in addition to trustworthiness and likeability. Therefore, the perceived personality of an endorser should be regarded as an important determinant of the central concepts of credibility and attractiveness with the personality dimension of excitement providing incremental value when predicting positive attitudes towards the celebrity and suitability as endorser.

Keywords: Celebrity, endorser, endorsement, credibility, trustworthiness, attractiveness, likeability, attitude, suitability as endorser.