Examining the influence of fame in the presence of beauty: an electrodermal 'neuromarketing' study

Baldeesh Gakhall, Carl Senior

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


The use of famous and/or attractive models in brand marketing is ubiquitous yet little work, if any, has been carried out examining differences in their efficiency in driving subsequent consumer behaviour. Such brand platforms have an emotional selling proposition (ESP) that refers to the unique personality and image attributes that a particular endorsement generates. However, celebrity endorsers are also more than likely to be considered attractive and thus differences in the ESP (if any) would be very small. Such differences in an emotional response could be measured by a participant's electrodermal activity (EDA). This is a psychophysiological response, measurement of which is sensitive enough to detect differences engendered by a particular brand platform's ESP. In the present study, EDA measurements were recorded from participants who were shown advertisements containing a target product within four different types of endorsement platforms depicting models who were either famous/non-famous or attractive/average looking. The results showed that average looking celebrity endorsers produced a greater EDA response than any of the other conditions including the attractive looking celebrity endorsers. Furthermore, this effect was only revealed from recordings taken from the left hand side of the participants. Given that the right side of the brain would orchestrate any EDA responses recorded from the subjects' left side, the current results suggest a dedicated neural response for celebrity endorsed brand platforms. Future work examining the relationship between the specific EDA signature and consumer preferences is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-341
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Behaviour
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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