Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Admin


Business Administration



Committee Chair

Marla Royne Stafford

Committee Member

George Deitz

Committee Member

Julie A Ruth

Committee Member

Jeff Thieme


The use of celebrities in marketing and advertising is not a new concept; however, there has been a shift form celebrities as endorsers to developers of their own brands and products. To understand the effectiveness of celebrities in marketing and advertising, it is important to examine celebrities not only as endorsers but also as brands. The academic literature has failed to fully address celebrities as marketable brands. This research introduced the celebrity brand concept and evaluated the effectiveness and implications of celebrity brands and their brand extensions. Literature from source credibility, match-up, human brands, brand extensions (perceived fit) and perceived involvement establish the importance of the celebrity brand concept to marketing and advertising research. Two separate studies were developed and tested with a sample of 742 undergraduate business students. Results of the hypothesis testing for Study 1 and its replicate found no main effects for perceived fit or the relationship between perceived fit with the role of the celebrity on the outcomes of source credibility, attitudes toward the celebrity and attitudes toward the product. These results imply that fit may not matter for celebrity brands and contradict the original research presented in the branding literature. Results for Study 2 found a main effect for perceived fit on attitudes toward the advertisement and attitudes toward the celebrity brand extension. In addition, mediation was found for attitudes toward the advertisement via attitudes toward the celebrity brand extension on purchase likelihood, supporting past research. Celebrities appear in 20 percent of advertisements in the United States (Solomon 2009); however, a recent Ace Metrix study found celebrity advertisementsdo not perform any better than advertisements without celebrities (Daboll 2011). Advertising managers may consider celebrities to be more effective as a brand owner. Celebrities who are more involved in the development of their brand extensions and the promotions of these products may be more successful than celebrity endorsers. Consumers are relating to celebrities on a more personal level, and celebrity branded products can help to make this connection.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.