Celebrity Endorsement – The influence on the brain


In 2018 celebrity endorsement is unavoidable. Whether this is through a television advert, a celebrity voiceover on the radio, or simply well-known faces printed on a magazine, we’re sure you can pair certain celebs with a product instantly. But what makes this kind of advertising successful?

One suggestion is that there is a transfer of positive affect from a celebrity to a product. If a celebrity is liked, people can have very high emotional attachment to them. This positive affect is elicited by spontaneous retrieval of explicit memories associated with the celebrity endorser.

So, for example, if a popular celebrity is advertising a pair of stilettos, our feelings towards the celebrity can be extended to the shoes. This was shown in a well-known neurological study by Stallen et al (2010). In it, a group of participants were shown images of different people modelling the same pair of shoes. When the model wearing the shoes was a celebrity there was an increase in activity in the medial orbifrontal cortex – the brain area in our brains associated with affection.

It is not surprising then that pairing celebrities with a brand can produce strong end enduring attitudes to a product. Emotional Logic wanted to look further into this to assess our conscious attitudes on celebrity endorsement. Look out for a post later this week on our findings. In the meantime, for more information please contact us.