Many companies spend large sums of money on advertising, and effective vs. ineffective advertising can mean the difference between success and bankruptcy. Furthermore, even award-winning advertising campaigns sometimes fail to produce increases in product sales, suggesting that even industry experts lack a complete understanding of what makes advertisements effective. Surprisingly, research addressing this lack of understanding is relatively scarce, and very little research has attempted to generate and t est theoretical models that predict advertising effectiveness.
The goal of the present research is to begin this theory-building process in the context of endorsement advertisements, in which a person (usually a celebrity) states their liking for a part icular product or service in the hope that consumers who view the advertisement will buy that product or service in the future. The theoretical framework for the project is based on the notions that (a) different types of endorsers (e.g., beautiful superm odels vs. knowledgeable auto mechanics), different types of products (e.g., fashion accessories vs. computers), and different kinds of consumers (e.g., very interested in the product type vs. not interested at all) combine to determine how deeply consumer s will analyze a given advertisement, and (b) depending on a consumer’s depth of analysis, he or she will be influenced by different information associated with the advertisement (e.g., at a deep level of analysis, a consumer might be most influenced by s uperior technical specifications).
This research has clear implications for how advertisers should select endorsers that match well with their product type to have the best chance of favorably influencing consumers. This information can be useful not onl y to corporate advertisers, but also to non-profit institutions and government agencies that use endorsements to encourage desirable behaviors such as charitable donations or reduced smoking.