Friday, February 22, 2013

Endorsement strategies: don't select the obvious

I wrote a guest blog for the Dutch organisation SWOCC, that bridges fundamental research and practitioners on the topic of brands and communication. They regularly publish posts that discuss academic research from an applied angle. What is the practical significance of the reported findings?
In this series, I summarized the findings of the paper by Fredrik Thörn on celebrity endorsement. In this paper, Thörn discusses a study demonstrating the persuasive superiority of a slight mismatch between the celebrity and the brand. Contrary to common logic, many practices, and some much cited theories, others already demonstrated that perfect congruity between celebrity and brand is outperformed by ads where there is still a good but more moderate congruity. Prior studies demonstrated this with regard to tier I brands, boiling down to a guideline where market leaders should use mildly congruent endorsers and new or unknown brands should use congruent endorsers. But what about all brands in between? Thörn demonstrated that also for such brands the expected persuasive impact is higher for moderately congruent endorsements.

The SWOCC blogpost can be found here [In Dutch]