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Journal of Consumer Marketing

The effect of female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising: neuromarketing approach


Lina Pileliene, Viktorija Grigaliunaite,
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The effect of female celebrity spokesperson in
FMCG advertising: neuromarketing approach
Lina Pileliene and Viktorija Grigaliunaite
Department of Marketing, Vytauto Didziojo Universitetas, Kaunas, Lithuania

Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop guidelines for the selection of a female advertising spokesperson and brand position regarding
the selected spokesperson in the context of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) advertising.
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Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents findings using both neuromarketing and traditional marketing research methods.
Findings – The findings are based on the results of P300 event-related brain potentials, eye-tracking experiments and a questionnaire research. It
was concluded that a famous female spokesperson indeed has a significant effect on FMCG advertising effectiveness.
Practical implications – The selection of a female celebrity spokesperson when seeking FMCG advertising effectiveness depends on the primary
determined aim of marketing communication. If the aim of the advertising campaign is to form attitude, then selecting a celebrity as the FMCG
advertising spokesperson is recommended, but if the aim of the FMCG advertising campaign is to enhance brand awareness, it is recommended to
select a non-celebrity spokesperson. Furthermore, the brand should be presented at the top of the advertisement’s layout, particularly when a
celebrity is chosen as a spokesperson because this allows lowering the possibility of the “vampire effect” occurrence.
Originality/value – As a study on the effect of a female spokesperson on FMCG advertising effectiveness, this research will be of academic interest,
integrating both marketing theory and neuroscience to analyze and evaluate consumer behavior. This research is also relevant to businesses, because
it provides guidelines for the selection of female advertising spokespersons in the context of FMCG advertising.
Keywords Neuromarketing, Advertising effectiveness, Celebrity spokesperson
Paper type Research paper

1. Introduction non-celebrity spokespersons. Concentrating only on female


celebrity/non-celebrity spokespersons and only on low
According to Hutton and Nolte (2011), images of the face in
involvement fast-moving consumer goods (further – FMCG;
advertisements have been shown to capture attention more
these are the products of low involvement, low price, frequent
easily than other stimuli, because the neural systems in the
purchase, short shelf life, sold in supermarkets) category, because
human brain are highly specialized for processing them; the
scientific research on using a celebrity spokesperson versus a
latter systems have developed because face recognition is
regular consumer as a spokesperson for FMCG is scarce, this
critical for effective social interaction. Weigold et al. (2013)
article deals with the problem of selecting a spokesperson, while
suggest that based on facial features people decide about one’s
answering the question relevant to both academic and business
personality. Moreover, the judgments of unknown faces are
levels: what is the effect of a female celebrity spokesperson on
often based on their similarity to the known faces. Tanner and
FMCG advertising effectiveness? The aim of the article is to
Ah-Reum (2010) emphasize that face familiarity might be
develop guidelines for the selection of a female advertising
considered as a determinant of liking and trust of the person.
spokesperson and the brand position regarding the selected
In the framework of advertising, consumers meet the face
spokesperson in the context of FMCG advertising.
of a spokesperson. Thus, the choice of the advertising
spokesperson might be considered as one of the core
indicators of advertising success (Lin, 2011). Moreover, the 2. Theoretical substantiation
advertising spokesperson can have a significant effect on the The growing competition of commercial brands in most
attraction and retention of viewers’ attention. Attention enables market segments supports advertising as being an essential
the development of brand awareness, which forms attitude, tool for highlighting product characteristics to consumers
influencing purchase intentions (Wangsa, 2007; Chang and (Hsu, 2009). Leong et al. (1999) highlight the fact that
Chang, 2014). Despite a wide body of literature on the topic,
there are opposing views on which type of spokesperson leads to
advertising effectiveness across different product categories; This research was funded by a grant (No. MIP-098/2014) from the
typically, these conflicting perspectives concern celebrity and Research Council of Lithuania. Authors also want to express their
appreciation to Associate Professor Dr Giedrius Janušas (Kaunas
University of Technology) and Dr Vladas Valiulis (Republican Vilnius
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Psychiatric Hospital). Authors express their gratitude to all the volunteers
Emerald Insight at: www.emeraldinsight.com/0736-3761.htm who participated in the study and to the reviewers for their valuable
comments as well.

Journal of Consumer Marketing


Received 24 February 2016
34/3 (2017) 202–213 Revised 7 September 2016
© Emerald Publishing Limited [ISSN 0736-3761] 8 December 2016
[DOI 10.1108/JCM-02-2016-1723] Accepted 28 December 2016

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Lina Pileliene and Viktorija Grigaliunaite Volume 34 · Number 3 · 2017 · 202–213

consumers have been overloaded with advertising information the idea that using a celebrity spokesperson is more
and it is becoming near impossible for them to remember appropriate for luxury or hedonic product categories, whereas
many of the advertisements they are exposed to. It becomes for low involvement FMCG products a non-celebrity or a
necessary that advertising captures consumers’ attention in regular consumer may be a better choice as a spokesperson.
likeable ways (Pieters et al., 2010). The ability of attracting However, the scientific research for using a celebrity
consumers’ attention can be considered as one of the spokesperson versus a regular consumer as a spokesperson for
core indicators of advertising effectiveness. Thus, the low involvement FMCG is scarce. Consequently, in this
spokesperson’s role in capturing consumers’ attention makes research the effect of a female celebrity spokesperson on
them a key component of overall advertising effectiveness. FMCG advertising effectiveness is analyzed.
Hsu (2009) emphasizes that the selection of an appropriate Previous studies (Ma et al., 2015) have shown that
spokesperson is a crucial task: a good spokesperson can event-related potential P300, a large positively deflected peak,
improve consumer perception and confidence in a product, occurring from approximately 300 to 800 ms following
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boost sales and increase the brand value, while a poor stimulus onset, provides extensive information about the
spokesperson can have minimal or even negative effects. neural activity of fundamental cognitive operations (Ma et al.,
Accordingly, different spokespersons will have different effects 2008) and reflect attentional allocation modulated by affective
in different markets and on different products. Arguing that processing to stimulus. It was proven by the research results
different advertising spokespersons can produce different that fans having affection for their favorite celebrity, paid
effects on consumer responses, Freiden (1984) categorizes considerable attention to the photographs of the celebrity
advertising spokespersons into celebrities, top corporate despite their not having met the celebrity, and this was
managers, experts and ordinary consumers (non-celebrities). reflected in P300 amplitude. Moreover, the photograph of the
Belch and Belch (2013) argue that to draw attention to the celebrity that elicited larger P300 amplitudes elicited more
message advertisers often use celebrities who are familiar, often positive attitude toward them as well. Consequently, in the
admired, or even idolized, by their target audience, such as actors context of the advertising spokesperson, recording and
and actresses, athletes, entertainers and other popular public analysis of the P300 component can reveal whether a celebrity
figures. However, selection of a famous celebrity spokesperson is spokesperson in advertising leads to more attentional
sometimes harmful. It might occur that consumers remember resources being engaged in processing an advertisement as
the celebrity more than the product or brand being advertised well as whether a celebrity spokesperson has a higher
(Hsu, 2009). Of course, a non-celebrity spokesperson could not emotional value to consumers in comparison with a
have such a harmful effect. non-celebrity. Moreover, further analysis can reveal whether a
Companies often use a number of marketing criteria to celebrity spokesperson in the advertisement is evaluated and
determine the appropriateness of a celebrity (Kamins and Gupta, classified faster than a non-celebrity one. Taken these aspects
1994). The criteria used for advertising spokesperson selection into consideration, we hypothesize that:
include the spokesperson’s popularity, consistency with brand
H1. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising
identity and position, also the lineament consistency that the
leads to a larger P300 amplitude in comparison with a
spokesperson can share with the target market (Hsu, 2009). Wu
non-celebrity female spokesperson.
(2013) suggests that such indicators of a spokesperson’s
suitability as a spokesperson’s attraction, reliability and fit with H2. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising
products have to be considered to enhance advertising leads to a shorter P300 latency than a non-celebrity
effectiveness, business image and the benefits of the product. Lin female spokesperson.
(2011) suggests that because it is easier for consumers to
recognize the celebrities, they can attract attention more easily. As the object of the research is the effect of a female
Whereas Pai (2013) argues that a typical consumer identifies best spokesperson on advertising effectiveness in FMCG category
with another typical consumer; thus, the choice of an ordinary and from a consumer’s perspective these products are of low
consumer as a spokesperson can make the advertising seem more price, low involvement and frequent purchase (Park et al.,
natural and believable. 2014), brand recall has to be created (Mukerjee, 2010).
According to Kamins (1989), not every product is Hence, we hypothesize that:
appropriate to be advertised by a celebrity, nor is every
celebrity appropriate to advertise a certain product. The H3. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising
research provided by Biswas et al. (2006) reveals that for leads to better brand recall in comparison with a
products with high technology orientation and for targeting non-celebrity female spokesperson.
consumers with high product knowledge, expert H4. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising
endorsements are more effective than celebrity endorsers. leads to better advertising recognition in comparison
Atkin and Block (1983) state that the use of a celebrity with a non-celebrity female spokesperson.
endorser is suitable where the product purchases involve high
social and psychological risk; thus, it is more applicable for According to Felix and Borges (2014), consumers who pay more
luxury products. This is substantiated by another research visual attention to a spokesperson in an advertisement may
provided by Kamins and Gupta (1994), which shows that develop more positive attitudes either toward the spokesperson
when the degree of congruence between the type of a or toward the advertisement. The attitude toward the
spokesperson and the product advertised is growing, the advertisement influences the attitude toward the brand, which in
believability of the spokesperson grows as well. This leads to turn influences purchase intentions (Antioco et al., 2012).

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Nevertheless, Erfgen et al. (2015) introduced the “vampire first positive component) or latency – time in terms of
effect”: milliseconds (further – ms) after the stimuli (audio, visual or
[. . .] the use of a celebrity in the execution of an advertisement can be so
somatosensory) (e.g. P300) (Vaitkevičius et al., 2007).
powerful in grabbing visual attention, it can suck the blood out of the Bearing in mind that a static advertisement is a visual
advertising’s core message of communication – the brand’s name. stimulus, it can be assumed that the analysis of ERPs is an
Thus, the probability exists that paying more visual attention objective method for the assessment of effectiveness of specific
to the spokesperson results in less visual attention to the advertising elements (including the advertising spokesperson).
brand. On the other hand, endeavoring to make a deeper All the components of ERPs can be recorded and analyzed,
research, the assumption could be made that such an effect but the focus of most clinical studies has been on P300 (Veiga
depends on the brand position in the advertisement. et al., 2004), becoming the most applied component in social
Consequently, we hypothesize that: sciences, including neuromarketing (Nazari et al., 2014).
P300 is a large positively-deflected peak occurring
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H5. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising approximately from 300 ms to 800 ms following the stimulus
attracts more visual attention in comparison with a onset (Pontixex et al., 2009), providing a great deal of
non-celebrity female spokesperson. information about the neural activity of fundamental cognitive
operations (Ma et al., 2008). According to Gray et al. (2004):
H6. Visual attention to the brand presented with a female
non-celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising is [. . .] the amplitude of P300 is proportional to the amount of attentional
resources engaged in processing a given stimulus and it is not influenced by
bigger in comparison with visual attention to the brand factors related to response selection or execution; moreover, P300 varies
presented with a female celebrity spokesperson in with the emotional value of the stimulus to the perceiver: stimuli with either
FMCG advertising. high negative or positive emotional value evoke larger P300 components
than neutral material.
H7. Different brand positions in the FMCG advertisements P300 peak latency is proportional to stimulus evaluation time
regarding the spokesperson attract different amount of (Polich, 2007). Thus, in this research we analyze the
visual attention to the brand. differences in P300 peak amplitude and latency regarding
different female advertising spokespersons in the context of
H8. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising FMCG advertising.
develops a more positive attitude toward the
spokesperson in comparison with a non-celebrity
female spokesperson. 3.2 Experimental stimuli
P300 is usually assessed using an “oddball paradigm” –
H9. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising presenting infrequent target stimuli in a background of
develops a more positive attitude toward the frequently occurring standard stimuli and infrequently
advertisement in comparison with a non-celebrity occurring distracter stimuli (Gray et al., 2004; Fabiani et al.,
female spokesperson. 2007; Polich, 2007; Mayaud et al., 2013). As such, it was used
for this electroencephalography (EEG) experiment. The visual
H10. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising
stimuli consisted of two target stimuli (probability ⫽ 0.05 for
develops a more positive attitude toward the brand in
each), distractor stimulus (probability ⫽ 0.1) and standard
comparison with a non-celebrity female spokesperson.
stimulus (probability ⫽ 0.8). The first target stimulus
H11. A female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising contained a globally known female celebrity image paired with
elicits higher purchase intention in comparison with a an existing known-brand mineral water product; the second
non-celebrity female spokesperson. target stimulus contained an unknown female image paired
with a different existing known-brand mineral water product.
Neuromarketing and traditional marketing research methods Both target stimuli were visually similar (the same color
are applied for testing the hypotheses and are further discussed background and spokespersons’ clothing, the same position of
in the next section. the spokesperson and of the product), the only difference
being the different spokespersons and different mineral water
3. Research methodology brands used. The spokespersons and mineral water brands
were selected and paired randomly. Both images were
3.1 P300 event-related brain potential
professional, of the same agency. The brands were selected
Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) are the ongoing
based on the following criteria:
electrophysiological activities resulting from the synchronous ● the products had to be sold in the experiment holding
activation of several neural subpopulations that occur in
country (to analyze purchase intentions); and
response to sensory, motor or cognitive events (Ibanez et al., ● they had to be foreign brands with no advertising campaigns
2012). Thus, ERPs are regarded as neural manifestations of
in the experiment holding country, i.e. last-of-the-mind
specific psychological functions (Fabiani et al., 2007). The
brands (to minimize the influence of pre-experiment
ERP waveform can be quantitatively characterized across two
attitudes on the results as much as possible).
main dimensions: amplitude and latency. The amplitude
provides an index of the extent of neural activity; the latency The celebrity female was chosen based on these criteria:
reveals the timing of this activation (Sanei and Chambers, ● she had to be a known foreign celebrity (because celebrities
2007). The ERP signals are represented by their polarity (P – from the experiment holding country have much stronger
positive; N – negative) and order of occurrence (e.g. P1 – the attitudes towards them);

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● there had to be no advertising campaigns with the chosen were controlled visually with the EMOTIV control panel and
celebrity in the experiment holding country; and EMOTIV TestBench. Signals are internally digitized at 2048 Hz
● she had to have as positive a reputation as possible. (16-bit) and subsequently low pass filtered (43 Hz) and down
sampled to 128 Hz before transmission to the acquisition
The unknown female was chosen based on her similarity to the
module.
chosen celebrity. The pre-test of the stimuli revealed that the
All of the participants were instructed to respond to the
celebrity was recognizable, the non-celebrity was
unrecognizable and both the females were assessed as equally female photo (both target stimuli) by pressing on a response
attractive. The product of mineral water represented the box with their right index finger and not to respond to the
FMCG product category. animated persons or other material. The distance between
The standard stimuli contained an animated female the computer screen and the participants’ eyes was about
spokesperson in the white background; the distractor stimulus 30 cm and the screen was centered in their line of sight.
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contained a picture of a flower. Markers that indicated the precise stimulus onset times were
All visual stimuli were presented in the center of the sent from the Matlab R2012b software to the EMOTIV
computer screen (resolution: 1,366 ⫻ 768) for 631 trials in TestBench v1.5.1.2 software via com0com serial port.
total. The stimuli were presented in a randomly generated The recorded EEG file of each participant was imported
order for the participants using Matlab R2012b software from the EMOTIV TestBench to the add-in programs of the
package. The stimuli were always presented at fixation for 800 Matlab R2012b software: EEGLAB 13.14.3b (Delorme and
ms each; the interstimulus (black screen) time interval varied Makeig, 2004) and ERPLAB 4.0.3.1 (Lopez-Calderon and
from 0.3 to 1.5 s in random order (average interstimulus Luck, 2014). In these programs, data pre-processing was
interval – 900 ms). performed by using independent component analysis to
Both target stimuli were also used for the eye tracking remove blink and saccadic movement artifacts from the EEG
experiment. Moreover, for the latter experiment, additional data, an automatic EEG artifact detector based on the joint
stimuli containing the same photos of females and the same use of spatial and temporal features – ADJUST 1.1 and band
brands were created with different brand positions: left and top, pass filter (0.1-30 Hz). The data were organized in epochs
right and top, left and bottom and right and bottom from the corresponding to intervals [⫺100; 800 ms], centered on a
spokesperson (the same positions were used with both the stimuli onset. Epochs were rejected according to the ⫾100-␮V
celebrity and non-celebrity spokespersons). Consequently, eight threshold criterion. In total, 30 ⫾ 2 epochs per participant
target stimuli (four with the celebrity spokesperson and the same (n ⫽ 30) per target stimuli were obtained. A time window of
brand in four different positions, four with the non-celebrity 100 ms before stimuli onset was used as the baseline.
spokesperson and the same brand in four different positions) Averaged ERPs were generated for every participant and for
were applied for the eye tracking experiment. These stimuli were every electrode for each stimulus. Latencies and amplitudes of
presented to the participants in a randomized order using Matlab P300 were compared for different stimuli by applying Student
R2012b software package; participants looked at the t test in IBM SPSS Statistics V.20 software package.
advertisements at their own pace, controlling the switch of
advertisements by clicking the computer mouse. Between the 3.4 Eye tracking experiment
advertisements, the interstimulus (black screen) appeared for two
For the eye tracking experiment Tobii Eye-Tracking Glasses
seconds to eliminate the influence of the last seen advertisement
were applied. It is a mobile video-based eye tracker recording
on the trajectory of gaze.
monocular gaze data from the right eye at a sampling rate of
30 Hz. The accuracy of this eye tracker is 0.5°. The system has
3.3 ERP recording and analysis
a camera to record a scene video with a resolution of 640 ⫻
P300 ERP is usually analyzed over the midline electrodes (Fz,
480 pixels; maximum recording angles are 56° of visual angle
Cz, Pz) (Polich, 2007); nevertheless, the wave reflecting the
in horizontal and 40° of visual angle in vertical direction.
top-down allocation of attentional resources to stimulus
evaluation has a central/parietal maximum (Polich, 2007; For each of the participants, a standard nine-point
O’Connell et al., 2012). Because the EMOTIV EPOC EEG calibration procedure was used to provide the most accurate
headset does not contain midline electrodes, the analysis was results. The calibration quality ranged from four to five on a
provided for the electrodes P3, P4 in the parietal region. To six-point scale (where zero indicates the worst and five – the
perform the experiment, we applied the procedure provided by best calibration quality).
Mayaud et al. (2013): to allow the collection of signals located in The distance between the participants’ eyes and the
the parietal and occipital areas instead of in the frontal region, the computer screen (diameter – 58 cm; screen was centered in
EMOTIV EPOC EEG headset was setup front-side-back the line of gaze) was 40 cm. The heads of the participants were
(according to Duvinage et al. (2013), the low-cost EMOTIV stabilized with a special tool holding the chin and the
EPOC EEG is suitable for measuring P300 ERP for non-medical forehead.
applications). The 14 single-use felt pads were irrigated with For the analysis of eye tracing results, Tobii Studio v.3.2.3
saline solution and located approximately at the extended 10/20 software was used. Viewing times of the different target
locations Fp1, F7, CP5, T7, P7, P3, PO3, Fp2, F8, T8, CP6, advertisements, different spokespersons and brands presented
P8, P4 and PO4. The EMOTIV headset uses a common mode in different positions (which composed of the areas of interest)
sense electrode at F4 location and a driven right leg electrode at were calculated. IBM SPSS Statistics v.20 software package
F3 that can be related to the ground and reference, respectively, was applied for the statistical analysis of the results obtained
in more traditional acquisition systems. Electrode impedances from the Tobii Studio v.3.2.3 software.

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3.5 Questionnaire research EEG results can be interpreted because of very few trials
To determine the differences between brand recall, remaining after artifact removal. Thus, the EEG experiment was
advertising recognition and attitudes toward the brand, continued until there were 30 appropriate sets of participants’
spokesperson and advertisement as well as purchase intentions data. Consequently, 37 participants participated in the
regarding the brand advertised by different spokespersons, a experiment and 30 participants’ (seven female) data were used
questionnaire research was conducted. There were three main for the analysis. All of the participants were right-handed with
parts of the questionnaire: normal or normal-to-corrected vision. Twenty-one participants
(out of 30) were in the age group of 18-29, nine participants were
3.5.1 Brand recall and advertising recognition aged 30-39.
This section contained four questions concerning unaided Regarding eye tracking experiments, 30 participants’ (20
brand recall, aided brand recall, unaided advertising recall and female and 10 male) data were used for the analysis as well. All
advertising recognition (Dikčius, 2011): of the participants were right-handed with normal or normal-to-
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1 What brand did you see during the experiment (if you corrected vision. Twenty-five participants (out of 30) were in the
remember two, which one comes to mind first)? age group of 18-29, five participants were over 29 years old.
2 Who was advertising that brand? All of the participants were volunteers and were not paid for
3 Please mark all of the brands you saw during the the participation in the EEG and eye tracking experiments.
experiment (12 brands, 2 of them were presented during the Before the experiments each of the participants was informed
experiment); in detail about the experiment and signed the form of
4 Please write the brand which was advertised in the information and informed persons’ consent.
provided advertisements (parts of both advertisements with All of the participants of the EEG research completed the
faces and without brands provided). questionnaire research (during the eye-tracking experiment,
3.5.2 Attitudes toward the brands, spokespersons, advertisements the timing of watching the advertisements was not controlled;
and purchase intentions thus, because of a different experiment design, they did not fill
The attitudes were measured on a semantic differential scale, in the questionnaire). Because 30 respondents are not
thus revealing the strength and direction of a person’s attitude sufficient to get reliable results of a questionnaire research, a
toward the specific object (Megehee, 2009). The attitudes questionnaire research was conducted with university
were measured by 11 items each (Spears and Singh, 2004; students, using the same questionnaire given to subjects of the
Megehee, 2009): EEG research. All of the respondents were shown the same
● brand – low quality/high quality, unlikable/likable, bad/ experimental design as the one in the EEG experiment. Thus,
good, worthless/valuable, unattractive/attractive, not 201 respondents in total participated in the questionnaire
advisable to choose/advisable to choose, not distinctive/ research (38 per cent male, 62 per cent female respondents; 90
distinctive, useless/useful, inferior/superior, negative/ per cent of the respondents were in the age group of 18-29, 10
positive, ineffective/effective; per cent of the respondents were in the age group of 30-39).
● spokesperson – inappropriate/appropriate, not believable/ All parts of the experiment were conducted at a large
believable, not trustworthy/trustworthy, not attractive/ university in Eastern Europe, February-April, 2015.
attractive, not knowledgeable/knowledgeable, irritating/not According to Felix and Borges (2014), the use of student
irritating, unpleasant/pleasant, dull/interesting, not confident/ samples in marketing research may be problematic because
confident, not likeable/likeable, not natural/natural; and students may not adequately represent the average consumer
● advertisement – dull/interesting, unpleasant/pleasant, not in the population; however, student samples may be
important/important, unattractive/attractive, inappropriate/ acceptable when relationships between constructs and not
appropriate, not useful/useful, not informative/informative, absolute magnitudes are of interest for the researchers. Hence,
not persuasive/persuasive, irrelevant/relevant, ineffective/ the sample of this research is considered appropriate to reach
effective, bad/good. the aim of the article.

A seven-point Likert scale was used to measure purchase 4. Research results


intentions regarding the specific mineral water brand
advertised by specific spokespersons. 4.1 P300 event-related potential
The grand-averaged latencies of P300 component for different
3.5.3 Socio-demographic data spokespersons in the different parietal channels are provided
Respondents were asked to identify their age and gender. in Table I. The longer latency of the P300 component in
Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses using IBM channel P4 is elicited by the non-celebrity spokesperson, while
SPSS Statistics V.20 and XLSTAT 2014 software packages in channel P3 the longer latency of the P300 component is
were performed to assess the differences in attitudes, recall, elicited by the celebrity spokesperson. Nevertheless, the
recognition and purchase intentions regarding brands analysis of the P300 latencies in the parietal region
advertised by celebrity and non-celebrity spokespersons. (grand-averaged latencies in both P3 and P4 channels) reveals
that the latencies of P300 component are the same for
3.6 Participants celebrity as well as non-celebrity spokespersons.
According to electroencephalogram/ERP methodologies, when Based on the mean values of P300 latencies for different
the number of study participants is between 30 and 40 (per target spokespersons, it is not surprising that there are no statistically
demographic grouping), there is a less than 1 per cent chance of significant differences in the latencies of P300 component for
error (Sands, 2009). Nevertheless, not all of the participants’ different spokespersons (see Table II). It can be stated that the

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Table I P300 latencies (ms)


Standard Lower bound Upper bound
Spokesperson Channel Mean value SD error (95% C.I.) (95% C.I.) Minimum Maximum
Celebrity P4 317.969 17.785 3.247 311.327 324.610 281.25 343.75
Non-celebrity P4 320.314 22.192 4.051 312.027 328.600 289.06 359.38
Celebrity P3 318.751 29.474 5.381 307.744 329.757 273.44 375.00
Non-celebrity P3 316.407 20.795 3.796 308.641 324.172 289.06 351.56
Celebrity P3/4 318.360 24.138 3.116 312.124 324.595 273.44 375.00
Non-celebrity P3/4 318.360 21.413 2.764 312.828 323.892 359.38 359.38
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Table II Differences of the mean P300 latencies regarding different spokespersons (celebrity–non-celebrity spokesperson)
Lower bound Upper bound
Channel Mean difference SD Standard error (95% C.I.) (95% C.I.) t-statistics p-value
P4 ⫺2.3450 21.0401 3.8413 ⫺10.2015 5.5115 0.610 0.546
P3 2.3440 27.0742 4.9430 ⫺7.7657 12.4537 0.474 0.639
P3/4 ⫺0.0005 24.1553 3.1184 ⫺6.2404 6.2394 0.000 1.000

evaluation and classification time does not differ for the the left hemisphere. Finally, the amplitude of P300
celebrity spokesperson in comparison with the non-celebrity component in the parietal region is statistically significantly
spokesperson. Hence, H2 is rejected. larger for the celebrity spokesperson compared to the
The grand-averaged amplitudes of P300 component for non-celebrity spokesperson.
different spokespersons in channels P3, P4 are provided in The topographic map of the difference in P300
Table III. As it can be seen, the larger amplitude of P300 amplitudes in the parietal channels regarding different
component is elicited by the celebrity spokesperson. advertising spokespersons (celebrity versus non-celebrity) is
It can be seen from Table IV that in channel P4 the provided in Figure 1 below. Consequently, it can be stated
celebrity spokesperson elicited larger P300 amplitudes than that the celebrity spokesperson in advertising leads to
the non-celebrity spokesperson, but the difference in the more attentional resources engaged in processing an
latter channel of the amplitude of P300 component advertisement. Moreover, the celebrity spokesperson has
regarding these spokespersons is statistically non- higher emotional value to the consumers in comparison
significant. However, in channel P3 the celebrity with the non-celebrity spokesperson in the advertisement.
spokesperson elicited larger P300 amplitudes than the Thus, H1 is supported.
non-celebrity spokesperson and the difference in the latter
channel of the amplitude of P300 component regarding 4.2 Eye-tracking experiment: brand position
these spokespersons is statistically significant. Thus, the Average viewing time (s) of different elements of
assumption can be made that the source of P300 ERPs is in advertisement is presented in Table V. As it can be seen,

Table III P300 amplitudes (␮V)


Standard Lower bound Upper bound
Spokesperson Channel Mean value SD error (95% C.I.) (95% C.I.) Minimum Maximum
Celebrity P4 8.553 5.944 1.085 6.333 10.772 2.88 19.66
Non-celebrity P4 6.778 4.282 0.781 5.179 8.377 2.56 15.42
Celebrity P3 11.942 9.041 1.650 8.566 15.318 2.11 29.71
Non-celebrity P3 7.847 3.021 0.551 6.718 8.975 3.57 12.22
Celebrity P3/4 10.247 7.776 1.003 8.239 12.256 2.11 29.71
Non-celebrity P3/4 7.313 3.713 0.479 6.353 8.272 2.56 15.42

Table IV Differences in the mean P300 amplitudes regarding different spokespersons (celebrity versus non-celebrity spokespersons)
Lower bound Upper bound
Channel Mean difference SD Standard error (95% C.I.) (95% C.I.) t statistics p-value
P4 1.7744 5.8727 1.0722 ⫺0.4185 3.9673 1.655 0.109
P3 4.0954ⴱ 8.9228 1.6290 0.7635 7.4272 2.514 0.018
P3/4 2.9349ⴱⴱ 7.5799 0.9785 0.9767 4.8930 2.999 0.004
Notes: ⴱ p ⬍ 0.05; ⴱⴱ
p ⬍ 0.01

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Figure 1 Topographic map of the difference of P300 amplitude in Figure 2 Visual attention map (average brand viewing time in
the parietal channels (celebrity versus non-celebrity spokesperson) different positions is a percentage from advertisement’s viewing
time)
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4.3 Eye-tracking experiment: viewing time to the


different spokespersons and their advertised brands
To assess the differences in participants’ viewing time to the
celebrity and non-celebrity spokespersons in the advertisements
as well as participants’ viewing time to the brand presented in the
advertisement with a celebrity spokesperson and with a
non-celebrity spokesperson, a Wilcoxon signed-rank test is used
(two dependent samples, non-normally distributed data) and the
results are presented in Table VI below.
As it can be seen, the participants’ viewing time to the
celebrity spokesperson presented in the advertisement is
statistically significantly higher than the participants’ viewing
time to the non-celebrity spokesperson presented in the
advertisement. Thus, H5 is supported. The results of the
eye-tracking experiment substantiate the results obtained
during the EEG experiment.
average viewing time to the spokesperson and to the brand
presented in the advertisement differs depending upon the Despite this, brand viewing time (measured as a percentage
selected spokesperson as well as upon the selected brand from advertisements’ viewing time) is a little higher regarding the
position in the layout of the advertisement. advertisement with the non-celebrity spokesperson when
Based on these results, a visual attention map (Figure 2) is compared to brand viewing time regarding the advertisement
elaborated where the average brand viewing time in different with the celebrity spokesperson (implying the appearance of the
positions is measured as a percentage from the advertisement’s “vampire effect”). Nevertheless, there is no statistically
viewing time. As it can be seen, visual attention to the brand significant difference in participants’ viewing time to the brand
in the advertisements lowers according to letter “Z” pattern. presented in the advertisement with the non-celebrity
Accordingly, H7 is supported. spokesperson and viewing time to the brand presented in the

Table V Average viewing time (s) of different ad elements


Including zeros
Average ad
viewing time Average spokesperson viewing time Average brand viewing time
Statistics % from ad Statistics % from ad
Spokesperson Brand position Statistics SD (N ⴝ 30) SD viewing time (N ⴝ 30) SD viewing time
Celebrity Left, bottom 5.34 3.51 2.93 3.03 55 0.72 0.75 14
Celebrity Right, bottom 3.95 2.62 2.00 2.34 51 0.67 0.69 17
Celebrity Left, top 2.68 1.74 1.13 1.03 42 0.96 1.29 36
Celebrity Right, top 2.38 1.60 1.45 2.23 61 0.54 0.60 23
Non-celebrity Left, bottom 3.91 2.81 2.09 2.08 53 0.85 0.73 22
Non-celebrity Right, bottom 2.63 1.91 1.23 1.15 47 0.47 0.64 18
Non-celebrity Left, top 2.91 1.62 1.41 1.23 48 0.80 0.78 27
Non-celebrity Right, top 2.44 1.42 1.19 1.27 49 0.58 0.44 24

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Table VI Wilcoxon test the aided brand recall and advertising recognition. Furthermore,
Spokesperson viewing time Brand viewing time not only does the celebrity spokesperson not improve the brand
Ad with non-celebrity Ad with non-celebrity recall, but they may also cause a decrease in brand recall because
Criteria versus Ad with celebrity versus Ad with celebrity of the “vampire effect”.

Z statistics ⫺1.968 ⫺0.611 4.5 Attitude toward brand, advertisement,


p-value 0.049ⴱ 0.541 spokesperson and level of purchase intentions
Note: ⴱ p ⬍ 0.05 To assess the differences in attitude toward the brand, the
attitude toward the advertisement, the attitude toward the
spokesperson and the purchase intentions when the spokesperson is
advertisement with the celebrity spokesperson. This leads to the a celebrity and non-celebrity, the Mann–Whitney test is used (two
rejection of H6. independent samples; non-normally distributed data; ordinal scale)
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(see Table VIII).


4.4 Brand recall and advertising recognition The values of Cronbach’s alpha being above 0.7 indicate the
When analyzing unaided brand and advertising recall, it is reliability of the measurement scales. As it can be seen in
important to mention that 97 per cent of the respondents Table VIII, the attitude toward the brand, attitude toward the
remembered at least one of the brands that they saw during spokesperson and attitude toward the advertisement are more
the research procedure. The brand advertised by the positive when the spokesperson in the advertisement is a
non-celebrity spokesperson was the first to come to mind for celebrity. The attitude toward the brand does not statistically
55.3 per cent of the respondents and 40.3 per cent of them significantly differ between the brand advertised by a celebrity
correctly associated that brand to the spokesperson, whereas and the brand advertised by a non-celebrity spokesperson
15 per cent could not recall the spokesperson. The brand (though a more positive attitude is to the brand advertised by
advertised by the celebrity spokesperson was most memorable a celebrity spokesperson). This leads to the rejection of H10.
for 41.7 per cent of the respondents and 40.3 per cent of them The attitude toward the spokesperson and attitude toward the
correctly associated that brand to the spokesperson whereas advertisement are statistically significantly and more positive
only 1.4 per cent did not. when the spokesperson in the advertisement is a celebrity.
So a greater proportion of the respondents recalled first the Hence, H8 and H9 are supported. The celebrity spokesperson
brand advertised by the non-celebrity spokesperson. However, in the advertisement elicits more positive attitudes than the
among the respondents, a greater proportion were able to non-celebrity spokesperson. Nevertheless, the level of
correctly associate the brand with the celebrity spokesperson purchase intentions does not differ for the brand advertised by
than with the non-celebrity (i.e. they thought that the brand a celebrity compared to the brand advertised by a
advertised by a non-celebrity was advertised by a celebrity). non-celebrity spokesperson. Consequently, H11 is rejected.
This helps to substantiate the assumption about the “vampire The results of the hypotheses testing are summarized in
effect” where the audience remembers the celebrity but not Table IX.
the product/brand. Discussion as well as theoretical and managerial
To compare the aided brand recall and advertising recognition implications regarding the research results is further discussed
levels regarding different advertising spokespersons, the in the next section.
McNemar test is applied (two dependent samples; non-normally
distributed data with dichotomous variables). As can be seen in 5. Discussion and conclusions
Table VII, there is no statistically significant difference in the
level of the aided brand recall when the brand is advertised by 5.1 Discussion
the celebrity spokesperson and when it is advertised by the Based on the results of the current study, a famous
non-celebrity spokesperson. Moreover, there is no statistically spokesperson can have a significant effect on FMCG
significant difference in the level of advertising recognition when advertising effectiveness. The analysis of the research
the spokesperson in the advertisement is a celebrity and when the results supports the hypothesis that different advertising
spokesperson in the advertisement is a non-celebrity. This leads spokespersons lead to different amount of attentional
to the rejection of H3 and H4. Hence, despite the fact that using a resources engaged in processing the advertisement – the
celebrity spokesperson in advertising leads to more attentional celebrity spokesperson leads to more attentional resources
resources engaged in processing that advertisement and elicits a engaged in processing an advertisement when compared to the
higher emotional response in the consumers, it does not improve non-celebrity one. Moreover, visual attention to the celebrity
spokesperson presented in the advertisement is higher than
visual attention to the non-celebrity one. Thus, the results of
Table VII McNemar test the eye-tracking experiment substantiate the results obtained
Aided brand recall Advertising recognition during the EEG experiment. Additionally, the celebrity
(comparing brand (comparing advertisement spokesperson has higher emotional value to the consumers in
advertised with celebrity with celebrity to comparison with the non-celebrity spokesperson. However,
to advertised with advertisement the evaluation and classification time does not differ regarding
Statistics non-celebrity) with non-celebrity) famous and non-famous spokespersons.
Chi-square 2.017 1.939 The research suggests that a celebrity spokesperson in the
p-value 0.156 0.164 advertisement elicits more positive attitudes than a
non-celebrity spokesperson. The assumption can be made

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Table VIII Mann–Whitney test


Attitude toward Attitude toward Attitude toward Purchase intentions
the brand (Cronbach’s the spokesperson (Cronbach’s the ad (Cronbach’s (Cronbach’s
Statistics alpha ⴝ 0.904) alpha ⴝ 0.932) alpha ⴝ 0.956) alpha ⴝ 0.871)
Mean value (SD)
Celebrity 5.0303 (0.79435) 5.7632 (0.91314) 4.1134 (1.56713) 3.0556 (1.39194)
Non-celebrity 4.7340 (1.16693) 5.0348 (1.09597) 3.4143 (1.24814) 3.0556 (1.76600)

95% C.I. (Lower bound/Upper bound)


Celebrity 4.8547/5.2059 5.5613/5.9651 3.7668/4.4599 2.7478/3.3633
Non-celebrity 4.4760/4.9920 4.7925/5.2771 3.1383/3.6902 2.6651/3.4460
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Mann–Whitney U 2,979.000 1,926.000 2,452.500 2,979.000


Wilcoxon W 6,300.000 5,247.000 5,773.500 6,300.000
Z ⫺1.011 ⫺4.541 ⫺2.776 ⫺1.017
p-value 0.312 0.000ⴱⴱ 0.006ⴱⴱ 0.309
ⴱⴱ
Note: p ⬍ 0.01

Table IX Results of hypotheses testing


No. Hypothesis Result
1 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising leads to larger P300 amplitude in comparison with non-celebrity Supported
female spokesperson
2 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising leads to shorter P300 latency than non-celebrity female spokesperson Rejected
3 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising leads to better brand recall in comparison with non-celebrity female Rejected
spokesperson
4 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising leads to better advertising recognition in comparison with non- Rejected
celebrity female spokesperson
5 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising attracts more visual attention in comparison with non-celebrity Supported
female spokesperson
6 Visual attention to the brand presented with female non-celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising is bigger in Rejected
comparison with visual attention to the brand presented with female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising
7 Different brand positions in the FMCG advertisements regarding spokesperson attract different amount of visual attention Supported
to the brand
8 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising develops more positive attitude toward spokesperson in comparison Supported
with non-celebrity female spokesperson
9 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising develops more positive attitude toward advertisement in comparison Supported
with non-celebrity female spokesperson
10 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising develops more positive attitude toward brand in comparison with Rejected
non-celebrity female spokesperson
11 Female celebrity spokesperson in FMCG advertising elicits higher purchase intention in comparison with non-celebrity Rejected
female spokesperson

that attentional allocation, modulated by affective products associated with an unknown female. Then again,
processing to the advertisement with the celebrity it is proved that the attitude toward the advertisement
spokesperson leads to a more positive attitude toward the influences the attitude toward the brand (Felix and Borges,
spokesperson, which leads to a more positive attitude 2014), which in turn influences purchase intentions
toward the advertisement (assuming that the emotional (Antioco et al., 2012), allowing a possibility that in the long
value elicited by a certain celebrity spokesperson is term the effect of celebrity spokespeople in the advertising
positive). According to our results, this research is in of products in the FMCG category can enhance the level of
alignment with the studies (Klucharev et al., 2008) arguing purchase intentions.
that a single exposure to a combination of the celebrity and
an object leads to a long-lasting positive effect on memory
for and attitude toward the object. 5.2 Theoretical implications
On the other hand, the level of purchase intentions does The results of this research enhance readers’ understanding of
not differ for the brand advertised by a celebrity compared the holistic view of a female spokesperson’s effect on
to the brand advertised by a non-celebrity spokesperson. consumer cognitive, affective and conative response. Thus,
Hence, this research is in alignment with studies (Stallen the findings of this investigation complement those of earlier
et al., 2010) arguing that purchase intentions are not higher studies by revealing the reasons of specific consumer behavior
for the products presented in the context of fame than for as a consequence of exposure to advertising.

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While prior research mostly analyzed the effect of a female becomes the direction for future research. Moreover, the
spokesperson on advertising effectiveness in the context of framework of this research, analyzing the effect of a
high involvement products, the present research contributes to spokesperson on consumer behavior in a holistic view, could
the literature by extending the knowledge of the effect of a be used for the analysis of the effect of a spokesperson on
female spokesperson on advertising effectiveness in the consumer behavior in the context of high involvement
context of low involvement FMCG category. products.
Furthermore, this research of the effect of a female
spokesperson on FMCG advertising effectiveness contributes
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FMCG advertising Journal of Consumer Marketing
Lina Pileliene and Viktorija Grigaliunaite Volume 34 · Number 3 · 2017 · 202–213

About the authors Viktorija Grigaliunaite, PhD student, is an Assistant


Professor and Researcher in the Marketing Department,
Lina Pileliene, PhD, is a Professor in the Marketing
Faculty of Economics and Management, Vytautas Magnus
Department, Faculty of Economics and Management, University. Viktorija Grigaliu៮ naitė focuses on investigating
Vytautas Magnus University. She specializes in marketing. the various phenomena in marketing areas by applying
During her academic career, she has published more than mathematical methods. She analyzes consumer behavior by
40 articles in scholarly journals (referred in scientific applying neuromarketing techniques (electroencephalography and
databases), participated and presented her research findings eye-tracking). Her main scientific research areas are
at more than 20 international scientific events. Her neuromarketing, advertising effectiveness, customer
main scientific research areas are consumer behavior, satisfaction and loyalty. Viktorija Grigaliunaite is the
customer satisfaction and loyalty, place marketing and corresponding author and can be contacted at:
neuromarketing. v.grigaliunaite@evf.vdu.lt
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This article has been cited by:

1. Weng Marc Lim. 2018. Demystifying neuromarketing. Journal of Business Research 91, 205-220. [Crossref]
2. Ramendra Pratap Singh, Neelotpaul Banerjee. 2018. Exploring the Influence of Celebrity Worship on Brand Attitude,
Advertisement Attitude, and Purchase Intention. Journal of Promotion Management 35, 1-27. [Crossref]
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