Fame matters more than beauty in consumer behaviour

Aug 13, 2008

New research from Aston University in Birmingham, UK suggests that fame really does matter more than beauty when it comes to consumer behaviour.

A study by psychologists Dr Carl Senior and Baldeesh Gakhal found that even average looking celebrity models in advertisements produced a greater emotional response in test subjects than good-looking, but non-celebrity endorsers.

The research in turn suggests that there may be a dedicated area in the brain that has now become hard wired to produce a reaction to celebrity endorsed products.

Participants in the study were shown a series of specially constructed, hypothetical advertisements for perfume which used a series of models who were either famous or non-famous and either attractive or average looking. Their responses to the images were measured and analysed.

Carl Senior said: ‘It is well known of course that both beauty and celebrity endorsements are used by marketers to sell products. Celebrities are chosen to advertise specific products because of what we call their ESP, or Emotional Selling Proposition. However, given that most celebrities are also considered to be attractive it is not known to what extent celebrity and beauty interact to drive consumer decision-making.

‘In our study we examined a specific question regarding the relationship of fame and beauty with consumer behaviour; namely, is there a difference in the emotive nature of celebrity advertisements compared to these adverts that depict attractive models who are non-celebrities?

‘Psychophysiological data were recorded from both of the subjects’ hands while being shown these test advertisements. The aim was to measure the electroconductivity of a form of fine sweating that is automatically generated during emotive responses on our hands, a technique which is also known as the electrodermal response.

‘Although it was a relatively small scale study, and there is certainly potential for further research, the results we obtained suggest that it doesn’t matter how attractive the celebrity is or isn’t because the test subjects still exhibited a greater emotional response when looking at a celebrity than a non-celebrity.’

Source: Aston University

Explore further: Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cosmologists cast doubt on inflation evidence

Mar 25, 2014

It was just a week ago that the news blew through the scientific world like a storm: researchers from the BICEP2 project at the South Pole Telescope had detected unambiguous evidence of primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, t ...

Recommended for you

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

Apr 18, 2014

A new article published online in The Gerontologist reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-e ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...