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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management Information Systems